What Alhambra Is Famous For & Why It’s Worth Visiting

Revel in Spanish history in a unique and fascinating way at the Alhambra.

The Alhambra is a palace and fortress of the Moorish monarchs of Granada, Spain with several spaces that capture visitors’ attention. As seen in Torre de Comares, Patio de los Leones and Sala de las Dos Hermanas, the palace’s architecture helps define the Alhambra as one of the most unique structures in Granada and also in Andalucia. After visiting the fortress, one will have reveled in one of the top places in the region to appreciate Islamic architecture.

Palacios Nazaríes
Palacios Nazaríes. Photo by Clark Van Der Beken on Unsplash

Mexuar, a space in the Palacios Nazaríes, exemplifies this. Originally used for the administration of justice and assemblies, the section’s ceiling, columns and walls have corbels of mocárabes, paintings and coats of arms. Additionally, text on the plaster frieze and door say,

“Everything that you own comes from God” and “Enter and fear not ask to ask for justice, for you will find it.

Although the text may have been out of date in later centuries since the area was used as a chapel after the Christian conquest of the nation, it still provides the space with its allure given its historical roots.

Alhambra, Spain.
Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Located close to Mexuar is the Patio de los Arrayanes, or Court of the Myrtles. Called as such due to the myrtle bushes surrounding the central pond of the area, the Patio de los Arrayanes features several unique elements of the palace. One fountain at each end of the space feeds the pond its water, which also reflects upon the building’s façade.

Additionally, there are chambers and porticoes on both sides of the patio, along with intricately decorated arches. The space’s unique features make it a must-visit location in the Alhambra.

Situated above the Patio de los Arrayanes is the Torre de Comares. At a height of approximately 148 feet, it is the highest remaining tower in the Alhambra and offers remarkable views of the surrounding scenery. The Torre de Comares is so-called for its stained-glass windows, which illuminate the inside hall.

As a fun fact, it is said that Boabdil, the last Moorish ruler of Granada, decided to surrender the city to the Catholic Monarchs here in the late 15th century.

Alhambra, Spain
Photo by Isak Gundrosen on Unsplash

Connected to the Patio de los Arrayanes by a path is the Patio de los Leones. At the center of this court, a fountain is surrounded by 12 marble lions, each shooting water from its mouth. Interestingly, a poem by Ibn Zamrak is engraved on the fountain’s basin.

One hundred twenty-four marble columns support a gallery that surrounds the patio, along with several elaborately decorated arches. Some of these arches lead to the Sala de las Dos Hermanas.

Sala de las Dos Hermanas, Alhambra
Sala de las Dos Hermanas. Photo by Clark Van Der Beken on Unsplash

Called as such for its two large, identical marble slabs in the floor, the Sala de las Dos Hermanas is home to several impressive architectural elements of the palace. Along with a small fountain and channel that carries water to the Patio de los Leones, the hall has a dome that inspires awe. It features ornate tile work and stucco decoration and receives its lighting from small lateral windows.

When visiting the Alhambra, one can visit the Sala de las Dos Hermanas, along with the other spaces, to experience Spanish history in a unique and fascinating way.

Ray Lewis

Content Editor Associate

Originally from New Jersey, Ray developed a passion for traveling through his adventures in Europe. He created unforgettable memories in Greece and Italy, but is looking to explore more countries in different parts of the world as well.

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