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Encyclopedia > Alhambra
Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Patio de los Arrayanes.
State Party Spain
Type Cultural
Criteria i, iii, iv
Reference 314
Region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1984  (8th Session)
Extensions 1994
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
Region as classified by UNESCO.

The Alhambra (Arabic: الحمراء = Al-Ħamrā; literally "the red fortress") is a palace and fortress complex of the Moorish monarchs of Granada in southern Spain (known as Al-Andalus when the fortress was constructed), occupying a hilly terrace on the southeastern border of the city of Granada. 37°10′37″N 3°35′24″W / 37.17686, -3.589901 The Generalife viewed from the Alhambra The Generalife was a villa with gardens used by the Muslim kings of Granada as a place of retreat. ... Albayzín district in Granada, Spain. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1944 × 2592 pixel, file size: 3. ... As of 2006, there are a total of 830 World Heritage Sites located in 138 State Parties. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... This is a list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... Arabic redirects here. ... For other uses, see moor. ... For other uses, see Granada (disambiguation). ... Al-Andalus is the Arabic name given the Iberian Peninsula by its Muslim conquerors; it refers to both the Caliphate proper and the general period of Muslim rule (711–1492). ...


The Alhambra is now a tourist attraction exhibiting exquisite Islamic architecture, although much of the visible decorations and gardens are recent restorations of the old ones. The interior of the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne. ...


Within the Alhambra, the Palace of Charles V was erected by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor in 1527. The Palace of Charles V: exterior view The Palace of Charles V, in Granada, Spain, is a Renacentist construction, located on the top of the hill of the Assabica, inside the Nasrid fortification of the Alhambra. ... For the Carlist claimant King Carlos V, see Infante Carlos, Count of Molina. ...


Coordinates: 37°10′36.81″N, 3°35′23.95″W Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...

Contents

Overview

The terrace or plateau where the Alhambra sits measures about 740 m (2430 ft) in length by 205 m (674 ft) at its greatest width. It extends from WNW to ESE and covers an area of about 142,000 m².


Its most westerly feature is the alcazaba (citadel); a strongly fortified position. The rest of the plateau comprises a number of palaces, enclosed by a relatively weak fortified wall, with thirteen towers, some defensive and some providing vistas for the inhabitants. The Alcazaba in Malaga An alcazaba (from the Arabic for citadel al-qasbah, قصبة) is a Moorish fortification in Spain. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Separation barrier. ...


The river Darro passes through a ravine on the north and divides the plateau from the Albaicín district of Granada. Similarly, the Assabica valley, containing the Alhambra Park on the west and south, and, beyond this valley, the almost parallel ridge of Monte Mauror, separate it from the Antequeruela district. River Darro is a river in the Spanish city Granada. ...


History

One detail of the arabesques.
One detail of the arabesques.

Built after the Muslim kings took over Spain[citation needed], Alhambra is a living reminder of the height of Muslim culture in Western Europe. Spain reached its highest level of cultural knowledge under Muslim rule. The Alhambra with its thin, minaret-like structure, elaborate and painstaking details, the celebration of life, and the mixture of natural elements with man-made ones marks the skill of Moorish craftsmen and artisans. Alhambra's literal translation "red fortress" derives from the colour of the red clay of the surroundings of which the fort is made. The buildings of the Alhambra were originally whitewashed; however, the buildings now seen today are reddish. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 532 pixelsFull resolution (1024 × 681 pixel, file size: 202 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Alhambra ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 532 pixelsFull resolution (1024 × 681 pixel, file size: 202 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Alhambra ... Arabesque pattern at the Alhambra An element of Islamic art usually found decorating the walls of mosques, the arabesque is an elaborate application of repeating geometric forms that often echo the forms of plants and animals. ... Whitewash, or calcimine, kalsomine, or calsomine is a type of inexpensive paint made from slaked lime (calcium hydroxide) and chalk (whiting). ...


The first reference to the Qal’at al Hamra was during the battles between the Arabs and the Muladies during the rule of the ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad (r. 888-912). In one particularly fierce and bloody skirmish, the Muladies soundly defeated the Arabs, who were then forced to take shelter in a primitive red castle located in the province of Elvira, presently located in Granada. According to surviving documents from the era, the red castle was quite small, and its walls were not capable of deterring an army intent on conquering. The castle was then largely ignored until the eleventh century, when its ruins were renovated and rebuilt by Samuel ibn Naghralla, vizier to the King Bādīs of the Zirid Dynasty, in an attempt to preserve the small Jewish settlement also located on the Sabikah hill. However, evidence from Arab texts indicates that the fortress was easily penetrated and that the actual Alhambra that survives today was built during the Nasrid Dynasty. Muladíes (sg. ... ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad (), of the Umayyad dynasty, was the seventh Emir of Córdoba, reigning from 888 to 912 in the Al-Andalus (Moorish Iberia). ... The Zirids were a Berber dynasty, originating in Petite Kabylie among the Kutama tribe, that ruled Ifriqiya (roughly, modern Tunisia), initially on behalf of the Fatimids, for about two centuries, until weakened by the Banu Hilal and finally destroyed by the Almohads. ...

Emblem of the Catholic Monarchs engraved after the conquest.
Emblem of the Catholic Monarchs engraved after the conquest.

Ibn Nasr, the founder of the Nasrid Dynasty, was forced to flee to Jaén in order to avoid persecution by King Ferdinand and his supporters during attempts to rid Spain of Moorish Dominion. After retreating to Granada, Ibn-Nasr took up residence at the Palace of Bādis in the Alhambra. A few months later, he embarked on the construction of a new Alhambra fit for the residence of a king. According to an Arab manuscript published as the Anónimo de Granada y Copenhague, "This year 1238 Abdallah ibn al-Ahmar climbed to the place called ‘the Alhambra inspected it, laid out the foundations of a castle and left someone in charge of its construction…" The design included plans for six palaces, five of which were grouped in the northeast quadrant forming a royal quarter, two circuit towers, and numerous bathhouses. During the reign of the Nasrid Dynasty, the Alhambra was transformed into a palatine city complete with an irrigation system composed of acequias for the lush and beautiful gardens of the Generalife located outside the fortress. Previously, the old Alhambra structure had been dependent upon rainwater collected from a cistern and from what could be brought up from the Albaicín. The creation of the Sultan's Canal solidified the identity of the Alhambra as a sumptuous palace-city rather than a defensive and ascetic structure. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 532 pixelsFull resolution (3008 × 2000 pixel, file size: 994 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Alhambra Metadata This file contains additional... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 532 pixelsFull resolution (3008 × 2000 pixel, file size: 994 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Alhambra Metadata This file contains additional... Ferdinand on the left with Isabella on the right Coffins of the Catholic Monarchs at the Granada Cathedral The Catholic Monarchs (Spanish: los Reyes Católicos) is the collective title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. ... Mohammed ibn Alhamar (also ibn Nasr) was a Nasrid ruler of Granada in Iberia and founder of the last Muslim dynasty in Spain in 1238. ... The Nasrid dynasty was the last Muslim dynasty in Spain, founded by Mohammed ben Nasar. ... Among the kings named Ferdinand, one may find: Ferdinand I of Aragon (1380-1416) Ferdinand II of Aragon = Ferdinand V of Castile and Leon (1452-1516), Ferdinand the Catholic, King of Aragon, Sicily, and Navarre, first king of united Spain Ferdinand I of Leon = Ferdinand I of Castile (d. ... This acequia is a waterway. ...


The Muslim rulers lost Granada and Alhambra in 1492 without the fortress itself being attacked when King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella took the surrounding region with overwhelming numbers.


Art of the Alhambra

A room of the palace and a view of the Court of the Lions.
A room of the palace and a view of the Court of the Lions.

The art within the rooms embodied the small remaining portion of Moorish dominion within Spain and ushered in the last great period of Andalusian art which had become isolated within the small sphere of Granada. Trapped without influence from the Islamic mainland, artists endlessly reproduced the same forms and trends, creating a new style characterized by its exquisite refinement and beauty perfected over the course of the Nasrid Dynasty. Elegant columns seem to soar effortlessly towards the sky, intricate muquarnas, stalactite-like ceiling decorations, create an airy appearance in several chambers, and the interiors of numerous palaces are decorated with elegant arabesques and graceful depictions of calligraphy. The design of these columns marks one of the first examples of creativity in Western Europe rather than just representational art. The splendid arabesques of the interior are ascribed, among other kings, to Yusef I, Mohammed V, and Ismail I. After the Christian conquest of the city in 1492 by Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, the conquerors began to alter the Alhambra. The open work was filled up with whitewash, the painting and gilding effaced, and the furniture soiled, torn or removed. Charles V (1516–1556) rebuilt portions in the Renaissance style of the period and destroyed the greater part of the winter palace to make room for a Renaissance-style structure which has never been completed. Philip V (1700–1746) italianised the rooms and completed his palace right in the middle of what had been the Moorish building. He ran up partitions which blocked up whole apartments. In subsequent centuries under Spanish authorities, Moorish art was further defaced; and in 1812, some of the towers were blown up by the French under Count Sebastiani, while the whole buildings narrowly escaped the same fate. Napoleon had tried to blow up the whole complex. Just before his plan was carried out, a soldier who secretly wanted the plan of Napoleon — his commander — to fail defused the explosives and thus saved the Alhambra for posterity. In 1821, an earthquake caused further damage. The work of restoration undertaken in 1828 by the architect José Contreras was endowed in 1830 by Ferdinand VII; and after the death of Contreras in 1847, it was continued with fair success by his son Rafael (d. 1890) and his grandson. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Mohammed V may refer to: Mohammed V of Morocco Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca, Morocco Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca, Morocco Mehmed V, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (Mohammed V is an obsolete transliteration) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise... Shah Ismail I, the founder of Safavid Dynasty of Iran pictured at battle against Abul-khayr Khan in a scene from the Tarikh-i alam-aray-i Shāh Ismāil Abul-Mozaffar bin Sheikh Haydar bin Sheikh Junayd SafawÄ« (Persian: - Azerbaijani: ) (July 17, 1487 - May 23, 1524), Shah... See: Ferdinand II of Leon (1137-1188, king from 1157) Ferdinand II of Portugal (1816-1885, king 1837-1853) Ferdinand II of Aragon, the Catholic (1452-1516, king of Aragon from 1479, of Sicily from 1468) (=Ferdinand V of Castille 1474-1504) (=Ferdinand III of Naples 1504-1516) Ferdinand II... Isabella I of Castile (April 22, 1451 – November 26, 1504) was Queen regnant of Castile and Leon. ... Whitewash, or calcimine, kalsomine, or calsomine is a type of inexpensive paint made from slaked lime (calcium hydroxide) and chalk (whiting). ... For the Carlist claimant King Carlos V, see Infante Carlos, Count of Molina. ... King Philip V of Spain (December 19, 1683 – July 9, 1746) or Philippe of Anjou was king of Spain from 1700 to 1746, the first of the Bourbon dynasty in Spain. ... Horace François Bastien Sebastiani (1772-1851) was a French soldier and diplomat. ... For other uses, see Napoleon (disambiguation). ... This article is about the natural seismic phenomenon. ... José Ariel Contreras (born December 6, 1971 in San Juan y Martinez, Pinar del Río, Cuba) is a right-handed Major League Baseball starting pitcher for the Chicago White Sox, nicknamed The Count. He previously played for the New York Yankees (2003-2004) as well as the Cuban national... Ferdinand VII (October 14, 1784 - September 29, 1833) was King of Spain from 1813 to 1833. ...


Setting

View of the Alhambra from the Mirador de San Nicolás in the Albaycin of Granada.
View of the Alhambra from the Mirador de San Nicolás in the Albaycin of Granada.

Moorish poets described it as "a pearl set in emeralds," in allusion to the brilliant colour of its buildings and the luxuriant woods around them. The palace complex was designed with the mountainous site in mind and many forms of technology were considered. The park (Alameda de la Alhambra), which is overgrown with wildflowers and grass in the spring, was planted by the Moors with roses, oranges and myrtles; its most characteristic feature, however, is the dense wood of English elms brought thither in 1812 by the Duke of Wellington. The park is celebrated for the multitude of its nightingales and is usually filled with the sound of running water from several fountains and cascades. These are supplied through a conduit 8 km (5 miles) long, which is connected with the Darro at the monastery of Jesus del Valle, above Granada. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x678, 138 KB) View of the Alhambra, Granada, from the terrace of the Mirador St Nicolas in the Albaycin. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x678, 138 KB) View of the Alhambra, Granada, from the terrace of the Mirador St Nicolas in the Albaycin. ... Species Myrtus communis L. Myrtus nivellei Batt. ... Binomial name Ulmus minor var. ... Italic text His Grace Field Marshal the Most Noble Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS (c. ... Binomial name Luscinia megarhynchos (Brehm, 1831) This article is about the bird. ...


In spite of the long neglect, willful vandalism and sometimes ill-judged restoration which the Alhambra has endured, it remains the most perfect example of Moorish art in its final European development, freed from the direct Byzantine influences which can be traced in the Mezquita cathedral of Córdoba, more elaborate and fantastic than the Giralda at Seville. The majority of the palace buildings are, in ground-plan, quadrangular, with all the rooms opening on to a central court; and the whole reached its present size simply by the gradual addition of new quadrangles, designed on the same principle, though varying in dimensions, and connected with each other by smaller rooms and passages. Alhambra was added onto by the different Muslim rulers who lived in the complex. However, each new section that was added followed the consistent theme of "paradise on earth." Dainty column arcades, fountains with running water, and reflecting pools helped to make the complex more extravaggant aesthetically as well as functionally. In every case, the exterior is left plain and austere, as if the architect intended thus to heighten by contrast the splendour of the interior. Within, the palace is unsurpassed for the exquisite detail of its marble pillars and arches, its fretted ceilings and the veil-like transparency of its filigree work in stucco. Sun and wind are freely admitted, and the whole effect is one of the most airy lightness and grace. Blue, red, and a golden yellow, all somewhat faded through lapse of time and exposure, are the colours chiefly employed. Byzantine architecture is the architecture of the Byzantine Empire. ... Interior of the Mezquita The Mezquita (Spanish for mosque, from the Arabic مسجد Masjid) is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Córdoba, Spain. ... Location Coordinates : , , Time zone : CET (GMT +1) - summer : CEST (GMT +2) General information Native name Córdoba (Spanish) Spanish name Córdoba Founded 8th century BC Postal code 140xx Website http://www. ... For the food company, see Alimentos La Giralda. ... For other uses, see Seville (disambiguation). ... Stucco is a material made of an aggregate, a binder, and water which is applied wet, and hardens when it dries. ...


The decoration consists, as a rule, of stiff, conventional foliage, Arabic inscriptions, and geometrical patterns wrought into arabesques of almost incredible intricacy and ingenuity. Painted tiles are largely used as panelling for the walls. The palace complex is designed in the Mudéjar style which is characteristic of western elements reinterpreted into Islamic forms and largely popular during the Reconquista, a period of history in which the Christian kings reconquered Spain from the Muslims. Arabesque pattern at the Alhambra An element of Islamic art usually found decorating the walls of mosques, the arabesque is an elaborate application of repeating geometric forms that often echo the forms of plants and animals. ... Teruel: Tower of the Cathedral, one of ten Mudéjar monuments of Aragón that comprise the World Heritage Site The Courtyard of the Dolls in the Alcázar of Seville Tower of the Santa maría church in Calatayud Las Ventas, Madrids Neo-Mudéjar bullfighting ring Mud...


A tour of the Alhambra

The Tower of Justice (Torre de la Justicia) is the original entrance gate to the Alhambra, built by Yusuf I in 1348.
The Tower of Justice (Torre de la Justicia) is the original entrance gate to the Alhambra, built by Yusuf I in 1348.

The Alhambra resembles many medieval Christian strongholds in its threefold arrangement as a castle, a palace and a residential annex for subordinates. The alcazaba or citadel, its oldest part, is built on the isolated and precipitous foreland which terminates the plateau on the northwest. That is all massive outer walls, towers and ramparts are left. On its watch-tower, the Torre de la Vela, 25 m (85 ft) high, the flag of Ferdinand and Isabella was first raised, in token of the Spanish conquest of Granada on January 2, 1492. A turret containing a huge bell was added in the 18th century and restored after being damaged by lightning in 1881. Beyond the Alcazaba is the palace of the Moorish kings, or Alhambra properly so-called; and beyond this, again, is the Alhambra Alta (Upper Alhambra), originally tenanted by officials and courtiers. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (663x1024, 178 KB) The Torre de la Justicia (Tower of Justice), the original entry gatehouse to the citadel of the Alhambra, Granada, and is still the main gateway if you approach the Alhambra from the city below. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (663x1024, 178 KB) The Torre de la Justicia (Tower of Justice), the original entry gatehouse to the citadel of the Alhambra, Granada, and is still the main gateway if you approach the Alhambra from the city below. ... The Alcazaba in Malaga An alcazaba (from the Arabic for citadel al-qasbah, قصبة) is a Moorish fortification in Spain. ... Ferdinand V of Castile & II of Aragon the Catholic (Spanish: , Catalan: , Aragonese: ; March 10, 1452 – January 23, 1516) was king of Aragon (1479–1516), Castile, Sicily (1468–1516), Naples (1504–1516), Valencia, Sardinia and Navarre and Count of Barcelona. ... Isabella I of Castile (April 22, 1451 – November 26, 1504) was Queen regnant of Castile and Leon. ... is the 2nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also film, 1492: Conquest of Paradise. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... Year 1881 (MDCCCLXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...

"Honeycomb," "stalactite," or "mocárabe" vaulting in the Hall of the Abencerrajes
"Honeycomb," "stalactite," or "mocárabe" vaulting in the Hall of the Abencerrajes

Access from the city to the Alhambra Park is afforded by the Puerta de las Granadas (Gate of Pomegranates), a massive triumphal arch dating from the 15th century. A steep ascent leads past the Pillar of Charles V, a fountain erected in 1554, to the main entrance of the Alhambra. This is the Puerta Judiciaria (Gate of Judgment), a massive horseshoe archway surmounted by a square tower and used by the Moors as an informal court of justice. The hand of Fatima, with fingers outstretched as a talisman against the evil eye, is carved above this gate on the exterior; a key, the symbol of authority, occupies the corresponding place on the interior. A narrow passage leads inward to the Plaza de los Aljibes (Place of the Cisterns), a broad open space which divides the Alcazaba from the Moorish palace. To the left of the passage rises the Torre del Vino (Wine Tower), built in 1345 and used in the 16th century as a cellar. On the right is the palace of Charles V, a cold-looking but majestic Renaissance building, out of harmony with its surroundings, which it tends somewhat to dwarf by its superior size. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1024 × 768 pixel, file size: 686 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Alhambra Metadata This file contains additional... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1024 × 768 pixel, file size: 686 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Alhambra Metadata This file contains additional... Polycromed mocárabe on an arch in the Alcázar of Seville Mocárabe is an ornamental design used in certain types of Islamic architecture. ... A triumphal arch is a structure in the shape of a monumental archway, usually built to celebrate a victory in war. ... (14th century - 15th century - 16th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was that century which lasted from 1401 to 1500. ... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ... The Palace of Charles V: exterior view The Palace of Charles V, in Granada, Spain, is a Renacentist construction, located on the top of the hill of the Assabica, inside the Nasrid fortification of the Alhambra. ... This article is about the European Renaissance of the 14th-17th centuries. ...


The Royal Complex consists of three main parts: Mexuar, Serallo, and the Harem. The Mexuar is modest in decor and houses the functional areas for conducting business and administration. Strapwork is used to decorate the surfaces in Mexuar. The ceilings, floors, and trim are made of dark wood and are in sharp contrast to white, plaster walls. Spainards love this sharp contrast and designs such as this can be seen throughout Spain. Serallo, built during the reign of Yusef I in the 14th century, is highly and elaborately decorated and contains the Patio de los Arrayanes. Brightly colored interiors featured dado panels, yesería, azulejo, cedar, and artesonado. Artesonado are highly decorative ceilings and other woodwork. Lastly, the Harem is also elaborately decorated and contains the living quarters for the wives and mistresses of the Arabic monarchs. This area contains a bathroom with running, hot and cold water, baths, and pressurized water for showering. The bathrooms were open to the elements in order to allow in light and air. The Harem also features lifelike representations of human forms, which is forbidden under Islamic law. The Christian artisans were most likely commissioned to design artwork that would be placed in the palace and the tolerant Muslim rulers allowed the work to stay.


The present entrance to the Palacio Árabe, or Casa Real (Moorish palace), is by a small door from which a corridor connects to the Patio de los Arrayanes (Court of the Myrtles), also called the Patio de la Alberca (Court of the Blessing or Court of the Pond), from the Arabic birka, "pool". The birka helped to cool the palace and acted as a symbol of power. Because water was usually in a shortage, the technology that was required to keep these pools full was expensive and difficult. The common layperson, not knowing about the technology to feed a birka, would most likely think that the pool had mystical powers because it never evaporated, making them form a good opinion of their leader. This court is 42 m (140 ft) long by 22 m (74 ft) broad; and in the centre, there is a large pond set in the marble pavement, full of goldfish, and with myrtles growing along its sides. There are galleries on the north and south sides; that on the south is 7 m (27 ft) high and supported by a marble colonnade. Underneath it, to the right, was the principal entrance, and over it are three elegant windows with arches and miniature pillars. From this court, the walls of the Torre de Comares are seen rising over the roof to the north and reflected in the pond.


The Salón de los Embajadores (Hall of the Ambassadors) is the largest in the Alhambra and occupies all the Torre de Comares. It is a square room, the sides being 12 m (37 ft) in length, while the centre of the dome is 23 m (75 ft) high. This was the grand reception room, and the throne of the sultan was placed opposite the entrance. It was in this setting that Cristopher Columbus received Isabel and Ferdinand's support to sail to the New World. The tiles are nearly 4 ft (1.2 m) high all round, and the colours vary at intervals. Over them is a series of oval medallions with inscriptions, interwoven with flowers and leaves. There are nine windows, three on each facade, and the ceiling is admirably diversified with inlaid-work of white, blue and gold, in the shape of circles, crowns and stars—a kind of imitation of the vault of heaven. The walls are covered with varied stucco works of most delicate patterns, surrounding many ancient escutcheons. No authentic contemporary portrait of Columbus has been found; this late 19th-century engraving is one of many conjectural images For information about the director, see the article on Chris Columbus. ... Frontispiece of Peter Martyr dAnghieras De orbe novo (On the New World). Carte dAmérique, Guillaume Delisle, 1722. ...

The Court of the Lions, a unique remain of Islamic animal statues.
The Court of the Lions, a unique remain of Islamic animal statues.
Main article: Court of the Lions

The celebrated Patio de los Leones (Court of the Lions) is an oblong court, 116 ft (35 m) in length by 66 ft (20 m) in width, surrounded by a low gallery supported on 124 white marble columns. A pavilion projects into the court at each extremity, with filigree walls and light domed roof, elaborately ornamented. The square is paved with coloured tiles, and the colonnade with white marble; while the walls are covered 5 ft (1.5 m) up from the ground with blue and yellow tiles, with a border above and below enamelled blue and gold. The columns supporting the roof and gallery are irregularly placed, with a view to artistic effect; and the general form of the piers, arches and pillars is most graceful. They are adorned by varieties of foliage, etc.; about each arch there is a large square of arabesques; and over the pillars is another square of exquisite filigree work. In the centre of the court is the celebrated Fountain of Lions, a magnificent alabaster basin supported by the figures of twelve lions in white marble, not designed with sculptural accuracy, but as emblems of strength and courage. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1280 × 960 pixel, file size: 319 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1280 × 960 pixel, file size: 319 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... General view of the court The Court of the Lions (Spanish: - Arabic: ‎) is the main court of the Nasrid Palace of the Lions. ... General view of the court The Court of the Lions (Spanish: - Arabic: ‎) is the main court of the Nasrid Palace of the Lions. ...


The Sala de los Abencerrajes (Hall of the Abencerrages) derives its name from a legend according to which the father of Boabdil, last king of Granada, having invited the chiefs of that illustrious line to a banquet, massacred them here. This room is a perfect square, with a lofty dome and trellised windows at its base. The roof is exquisitely decorated in blue, brown, red and gold, and the columns supporting it spring out into the arch form in a remarkably beautiful manner. Opposite to this hall is the Sala de las dos Hermanas (Hall of the two Sisters), so-called from two very beautiful white marble slabs laid as part of the pavement. These slabs measure 50 by 22 cm (15 by 7½ in) and are without flaw or stain. There is a fountain in the middle of this hall, and the roof —a dome honeycombed with tiny cells, all different, and said to number 5000— is a magnificent example of the so-called "stalactite vaulting" of the Moors. Abencerrages, was a family or faction that is said to have held a prominent position in the Moorish kingdom of Granada in the 15th century. ...

The Partal, one of the rich palaces of the complex.
The Partal, one of the rich palaces of the complex.

Among the other wonders of the Alhambra are the Sala de la Justicia (Hall of Justice), the Patio del Mexuar (Court of the Council Chamber), the Patio de Daraxa (Court of the Vestibule), and the Peinador de la Reina (Queen's Robing Room), in which are to be seen the same delicate and beautiful architecture and the same costly and elegant decorations. The palace and the Upper Alhambra also contain baths, ranges of bedrooms and summer-rooms, a whispering gallery and labyrinth, and vaulted sepulchres. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...


The original furniture of the palace is represented by the celebrated vase of the Alhambra, a splendid specimen of Moorish ceramic art, dating from 1320 and belonging to the first period of Moorish porcelain. It is 1.3 m (4 ft 3 in) high; the ground is white, and the enamelling is blue, white and gold.

Whilst fountains and flowing water are a common feature around the Alhambra, they are particularly prevalent in the Palacio de Generalife.
Whilst fountains and flowing water are a common feature around the Alhambra, they are particularly prevalent in the Palacio de Generalife.

Of the outlying buildings in connection with the Alhambra, the foremost in interest is the Palacio de Generalife or Gineralife (the Muslim Jennat al Arif, "Garden of Arif," or "Garden of the Architect"). This villa probably dates from the end of the 13th century but has been restored several times. Its gardens, however, with their clipped hedges, grottos, fountains, and cypress avenues, are said to retain their original Moorish character. The Villa de los Martires (Martyrs' Villa), on the summit of Monte Mauror, commemorates by its name the Christian slaves who were forced to build the Alhambra and confined here in subterranean cells. The Torres Bermejas (Vermilion Towers), also on Monte Mauror, are a well-preserved Moorish fortification, with underground cisterns, stables, and accommodation for a garrison of 200 men. Several Roman tombs were discovered in 1829 and 1857 at the base of Monte Mauror. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (665x1024, 204 KB) The Patio de la Acequia (Court of the Long Pond), with its 48m long pool lined with fountains, is one of the most popular parts of the Gardens Generalife in the Alhambra, Granada. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (665x1024, 204 KB) The Patio de la Acequia (Court of the Long Pond), with its 48m long pool lined with fountains, is one of the most popular parts of the Gardens Generalife in the Alhambra, Granada. ... The Generalife viewed from the Alhambra The Generalife was a villa with gardens used by the Muslim kings of Granada as a place of retreat. ... The Generalife viewed from the Alhambra The Generalife was a villa with gardens used by the Muslim kings of Granada as a place of retreat. ...


Miscellaneous

The Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín of Granada are listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The Generalife viewed from the Alhambra The Generalife was a villa with gardens used by the Muslim kings of Granada as a place of retreat. ... Albayzín district in Granada, Spain. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1945. ...


Influence of the Alhambra

Alhambra in literature

Parts of the following novels are set in the Alhambra:

Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) was an American author of the early 19th century. ... Tales of the Alhambra (ISBN 978-8424105044) is a collection of essays, verbal sketches, and stories by Washington Irving . ... Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie (Devanagari : अहमद सलमान रश्दी Nastaliq:; born 19 June 1947) is an Indian-British novelist and essayist. ... The Moors Last Sigh cover The Moors Last Sigh, a short novel by Salman Rushdie, is based in Bombay, India. ... Amin Maalouf (Arabic: ), born 25 February 1949 in Beirut, is a Lebanese author. ... Philippa Gregory (born 9 January 1954) is a British novelist, mainly associated with the historical fiction genre. ... The Constant Princess is a historical novel by Philippa Gregory, published in 2005. ...

Alhambra in music

Alhambra has directly inspired musical compositions as Francisco Tárrega's famous tremolo study for guitar Recuerdos de la Alhambra (Memories of the Alhambra)[1] and Claude Debussy's piece for 2 pianos Lindaraja (composed in 1901) and the prelude La Puerta del Vino (in the 2nd book of preludes, composed 1912-13).[2]. Francisco Tárrega (Francisco de Asís Tárrega y Eixea) (November 21, 1852 — December 15, 1909) was a Spanish composer, and one of the most influential guitarists the world has ever known. ... Claude Debussy, photo by Félix Nadar, 1908. ...


"En los Jardines del Generalife", first movement of Manuel de Falla's Noches en los Jardines de España, and other pieces by composers as Ruperto Chapí, Tomás Bretón and many others are also ambianced in the Alhambra and its surroundings. Manuel de Falla y Matheu (November 23, 1876 – November 14, 1946) was a Spanish composer of classical music. ... Nights in the Gardens of Spain (Noches en los Jardines de España) is a piece of music by the Spanish composer Manuel de Falla (1876-1946). ... Ruperto Chapí (b. ... Tomás Bretón (December 29, 1850 – December 2, 1923), was a Spanish musician and composer. ...


In pop and folk music, Alhambra is the subject of the Ghymes song of the same name.


In September 2006, Canadian singer/composer Loreena McKennitt performed live at the Alhambra. The resulting footage premiered on PBS and was later released as a three-disc DVD/CD set entitled Nights from the Alhambra. Loreena McKennitt live on stage Loreena McKennitt, C.M. (b. ...


Alhambra is the title of an EP by Canadian rock band The Tea Party, containing acoustic versions of a few of their songs. Alhambra (1996) is an EP by The Tea Party and was used as a bridge between The Edges of Twilight and Transmission. ... The Tea Party was a Canadian rock band with blues, progressive rock and Middle Eastern influences. ...


Influence in graphic art

Tessellations like this inspired Escher's work.
Tessellations like this inspired Escher's work.

M. C. Escher's visit in 1922 inspired his following work on regular divisions of the plane after studying the Moorish use of symmetry in the Alhambra tiles. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (1280 × 853 pixel, file size: 313 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (1280 × 853 pixel, file size: 313 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Maurits Cornelis Escher (June 17, 1898 – March 27, 1972), usually referred to as M. C. Escher, was a Dutch graphic artist. ... Maurits Cornelis Escher (June 17, 1898 – March 27, 1972), usually referred to as M. C. Escher, was a Dutch graphic artist. ...


Influence in 19th- and 20th-century architecture

From 19th=-century Romantic interpretations right up to the present day, numerous buildings and portions of buildings worldwide have been inspired by the Alhambra: To cite one example, there is a Moorish Revival house in Stillwater, Minnesota, that was created and named after the Alhambra. The main portion of the Irvine Spectrum Center in Irvine, California, is a postmodern version of the Court of the Lions. A Stillwater city limit sign Stillwater is a city located in Washington County, Minnesota (coordinates, 45. ... The Irvine Spectrum Center is an outdoor mall in Irvine, California centered on a large Edwards 21 Cinema Movie Theater. ... Motto: Innovation. ... 1000 de La Gauchetière, with ornamented and strongly defined top, middle and bottom. ...


Television Event

In March of 2008, John Donohue and John Rielly, both of New York City, lost all of the money they had "won" on the popular Discovery Channel gameshow Cash Cab after betting it all on the Video bonus question. The video they were shown was of Alhambra and they were asked to identify it; they could not. They have not spoken of the palace since, but plan on a pilgrimage to purge themselves of any lingering curses. Discovery Channel is a cable and satellite TV channel founded by John Hendricks which is distributed by Discovery Communications. ... Cash Cab is a game show originating in the United Kingdom in which passengers in a specially designated taxi cab are offered the chance to win money by correctly answering a series of trivia questions on the way to their destination. ...


One also recalls the renowned Alhambra Theatre in central Bradford, England [3]. For other uses, see Bradford (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ...


Gallery

Media

  • Video highlights of the Alhambra (part 1)

    Video walkthrough of the Alhambra - Part 2, Part 3, from here


    Image File history File links Alhambra. ... Image File history File links Alhambra. ... Image File history File links Alhambra. ... Image File history File links Alhambra. ...

  • Problems seeing the videos? See media help.

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Alhambra

‹ The template below (Expand) is being considered for deletion. ... The interior of the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne. ... General view of the court The Court of the Lions (Spanish: - Arabic: ‎) is the main court of the Nasrid Palace of the Lions. ... Image File history File links Commons-logo. ...

External links

The Victoria and Albert Museum (often abbreviated as the V&A) in London is the worlds largest and finest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 293rd day of the year (294th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

References

  • Irwin, Robert. The Alhambra. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2004.
  • Grabar, Oleg. The Alhambra. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1978.
  • Jacobs, Michael and Francisco Fernandez. Alhambra. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 2000.
  • Lowney, Chris. A Vanished World: Medieval Spain’s Golden Age of Enlightenment. New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc., 2005.
  • Menocal, Maria, Rosa. The Ornament of the World. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2002.
  • Read, Jan. The Moors in Spain and Portugal. Great Britain: Faber and Faber Limited, 1974.
  • Steves, Rick (2004). Spain and Portugal 2004, pp. 204–205. Avalon Travel Publishing. ISBN 1-56691-529-5.
  • http://lexcorient.com/spain/alhambra

  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
Image File history File links Flag_of_Spain. ... Encyclopædia Britannica, the eleventh edition The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
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The massive influx of people during the high season means that it is complicated to obtain tickets for the day and time required and in addition inconvenient queues form.
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he Alhambra is not only the most important, but also the best conserved Arabian palace of its epoch.
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