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1. The Mexuar

2. The Serallo

3. The Lions' Court

4. The Harem

5. Ladies' Tower

6. Alcazaba


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Alhambra Palace

The Alhambra Palace overlooking the city of Granada, stands out as the most famous example of Moorish architecture, and perhaps it is the most known Muslim construction all in all.

Alhambra, Granada, Spain

The Alhambra seen from east. The round structure is the 16th century Palacio of Carlos 5. To the far left of it lies the Torre de Comares, part of the Serallo, and where the Salón de Embajadores lies. In between is the Lions' Court and the Mexuar. In the back from this lies the Alcazaba, overlooking the city of Granada. Photo: Tor Eigeland/Saudi Aramco World/PADIA

Alhambra, Granada, Spain

Photo: Tor Eigeland/Saudi Aramco World/PADIA

This palace structure was started after the Reconquista, the reconquering of Spain performed by the Christian kings, started. This adds to its aura. While the illiterate Christians were advancing, Spain reached its highest cultural level ever, but under the Muslim rulers. The slender structure of Alhambra, the breathtaking details, the celebration of life, the mixture of nature in men's design, all underline what tragedy the return of Christianity in Spain was to be for centuries to come.
Alhambra was started as late as 13th century, but Alhambra consists of palaces built by several rulers, each had his own. The carrying idea behind several of the buildings of Alhambra is nothing less than an attempt to create a duplica of Paradise on earth. The romantic design is made up of a mixture of slender columnar arcades, fountains, and light-reflecting water basins. Most prominent is the Lion Court.
Granada was lost to the Christians in 1492, and when the Reyos Católicos, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella died some years later, Granada was chosen for their burial. Perhaps the Muslim dreams of Paradise moved even the cold hearts of the two?
The Alhambra consists of 3 parts: The Royal Palace, which is the most famous, which in itself consists of 3 parts: The Mexuar, the Serallo and the Harem, where the Lions' Court is the centre. In addition to the Alhambra comes the gardens of Generalife and the fortress of Alcazaba.

By Tore Kjeilen