A feat of architecture dating back hundreds of years, Granada’s Alhambra Palace, in Andalusia, is one of Spain’s most popular tourist attractions. Famed for its beauty and historic importance, this is one sight you won’t want to miss. Here are 11 reasons to visit and what you can expect.
1. It’s Number One
Welcoming over two million visitors in 2014, this palace was declared the most visited monument in Spain. That’s even more impressive given the country’s other sights.
2. The Jaw Dropping Location
Built as a stronghold by the Arabs, the Alhambra sits in a hilltop location overlooking Granada. Expect awe-inspiring views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the rolling hills of the Andalusian countryside.
3. The Way it’s Been Preserved
Considering the palace was built during the middle of the 13thcentury, its beauty remains remarkably intact. Marvel at the buildings intricate designs, detailed mosaics and hand-carved cedar wood.
4. It Was Once Home to Royalty
Although it began as a military fortress, the construction of the palace was eventually commissioned by the Nasrid dynasty. It was then home to the royal family before Catholic monarchs took hold during the Reconquista of 1492.
5. The Gardens are Stunning
Aside from the palaces and architecture, visitors can stroll through the Generalife Gardens. Dating back over 750 years, this oasis of tranquillity is sure to leave a lasting impression.
6. It’s a UNESCO Listed Site
Regarded as one of the finest palaces from its era, Alhambra was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.
7. It’s an Incredible Museum
Considered to hold the best collection of Nasrid and Mudejar art in the world, the Museum of Alhambra shouldn’t be missed. Seven halls hold a variety of exhibitions where you can learn more about the Alhambra’s fascinating past.
8. It Has Magnificent Monuments
As you navigate the labyrinth of passageways you’ll come across some impressive monuments. The Fountain of the Lions is arguably the most beautiful — 12 marble lions sitting at the centre of courtyard for the equally mesmerizing Palace of the Lions.
9. Romance and Literature
It’s no surprise that the romance and grandeur of this royal retreat has inspired the works of many artists. The American author Washington Irving even wrote about the palace in ‘Tales of the Alhambra’.
10. And Outdoor Concerts
During the summer months open air concerts are held at the palace. The Granada International Festival of Music & Dance in July offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to enjoy unforgettable performances in the serene gardens of the Alhambra.
11. It’s in Granada
After exploring the splendour of the palace, there’s no better place to unwind and contemplate your visit than the winding streets of Granada. It’s one of the last cities in Spain to serve free tapas with every drink.
All inclusive holidays to Spain have never been so affordable. It’s the perfect excuse to visit this spell binding palace, feast on tapas and explore the other attractions of Andalusia.