The Alhambra in Spain
The Alhambra, located in Granada, Spain, is a mysterious and historically significant palace complex, which has also become a popular tourist attraction. Situated on a hilltop, overlooking its breathtaking surroundings, the exact date of construction of the structure is unknown and neither is the identity of its architect. It is known that the Alhambra was only a small complex before interest was shown in it during the eleventh century, with major renovations and construction taking place during the fourteenth century, estimated dates being 1338 to 1390. Though constructed to serve a military purpose, as it was a military area, kings and nobility took up residence here and contributed to its illustrious heritage.
The red clay that was used during the construction of the building lead to it being named accordingly, as Alhambra means ‘Red Fortress’. With continuous work additions being made to the fortress over the years, there does not seem to be a specific order to the buildings and monuments found within its fortified walls. The complex consists of a variety of picturesque bathhouses, palaces, stables, grottos, tombs, circuit towers and an irrigation system. Running fountains and sparkling pools still give the complex an air of royalty, and even though time and neglect have taken their toll on some of the buildings, it remains a breathtaking monument to Spanish history. A few main features to look forward to include the Court of the Vestibule, the Hall of Justice, the Queen’s Robing Room, Whispering Library, summer rooms and a few pieces of original furniture that are on display.
Researchers have also recently released a DVD, on which they have documented and deciphered the thousands of engravings and inscriptions that adorn the walls, arches and ceilings of the complex, revealing a little more of this magnificent monument. There are also a host of legends connected to the Alhambra, such as the legend of the Justice Door, The Chair of the Moor, The Enchanted Soldier and the Sigh of the Moor. Visiting the Alhambra is a unique and memorable experience, opening a doorway to the history of Spain, filled with ancient kings, ingenious engineers and mysterious architects.