Alhambra Granada Spain: The most amazing castle in Europe


The Spanish FlagThe Spanish Flag
The Alhambra Granada Spain is, by head and shoulders, my favourite castle in the world. It's got a magic feeling to it - a raise-the-hairs-on-the-back-of-your-neck kind of buzz that envelops you from the moment you begin the steep climb to its entrance-way. The entire place rustles with incredible Arabic myths, and is filled with the whispers of ghosts from times gone by. It's staggeringly beautiful, and feels like a creation from an old story-book, miraculously brought to life.
To help you picture it in your mind, the Alhambra Granada Spain stands proudly atop of one of the steep vantage-points in the city, a hill called La Sabika. The castle lurks behind blood-red boundary walls, and is framed against the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountain-range, some distance behind.
External view of AlhambraThe Alhambra at sunset, perched upon the hill named La Sabika, and surrounded by cypress trees. The Sierra Nevada lurks in the distance. Credit: Melenama (CreativeCommons).
"Alhambra" is a Spanish rendering of the Arabic words "qa'lat al-Hamra", meaning "red castle". The significance of the "red" part is easy to see, as it comes from the dusty red stone that was used to build the thick walls around the castle.
Discovering the magic of the Alhambra Granada Spain...
  • Uncovering the history of the Alhambra
  • Visiting the gem at its heart: the Palacio Nazaries
  • The impressive Alcazaba castle, the Palace of Carlos V, and the Generalife
  • Important tips to make the most of your visit

A potted history of the Alhambra Granada Spain

Due to the exceptional strategic potential of the Alhambra's site, it's been used as a location for a fortress since about the 9th century. The most glorious part of the Alhambra's history, though, was its time under the Nasrid emirs of the c13th-14th - when the Moors (Muslims from North Africa) still reigned in this part of Spain. Yusuf I and Mohammed V built the most beautiful sections of the complex, the Palacio Nazaries, intended for living and accommodation.
Generalife, Alhambra