If you want to step back in time, a time of the Moors (Arabic people) ruling Spain, then wander your way to the Alhambra. The Alhambra, located in Granada in the Andalucia region of Spain, began as a military fortress. The Alcazaba, as this structure is called, had been around for a while, but it was in the 9th century then it was repaired by Sawwar ben Hamdun, giving it new life. The Ziri kings resided on a hill in the Albacin neighborhood (where the Alhambra resides) from then until the 13th century. However, it was in the 13th century that Mohammed ben Al-Hamar (Mohammed I, 1238-1273) of the Nasrid dynasty, made the Alahmbra the royal residence. This was the beginning of the glory days of this magnificent palace.
Yusuf I (1333-1353) and Mohammed V (1353-1391) are responsible for most of the construction of the Alhambra that we can still admire today. They made improvements to the Alcazaba and the palaces, the famous Patio of the Lions and the Justice Gate. We are fortunate to have all this still standing today. The Catholic monarchs demolished some of the complex under Charles V in order to build the palace that bears his name. And, from the 18th century, the Alhambra was abandoned. Restoration of this incredible UNESCO site began in the 19th century.
The Generalife, or the gardens, of this amazing complex are stunning. Pools of water and fountains dominate, along with loads of flora. It’s a place to take your time wandering through. The buildings are simple and the atmosphere almost meditative.
Because the number of visitors is limited each day, it is a good idea to reserve your ticket in advance. You are designated a specific time slot and you need to adhere to this. However, you can enter the Generalife and the Alcazaba at any time. You can find more information on tickets here. Also, guides are available for hire to escort you through this magnificent UNESCO site and can be well worth the additional cost. For more information on this fascinating piece of Spanish history, contact us here at Wander Your Way.