The Alhambra, a monument of Granada for Spain and the world.

La Alhambra was so called because of its reddish walls (in Arabic, («qa'lat al-Hamra'» means Red Castle ). It is located on top of the hill al-Sabika, on the left bank of the river Darro, to the west of the city of Granada and in front of the neighbourhoods of the Albaicin and of the Alcazaba.

The Alhambra is one of the most serenely sensual and beautiful buildings in the world, a place where Moorish art and architecture reached their pinnacle. A masterpiece for you to admire, and it is in Granada, a city full of culture and history. Experience the beauty and admire this marvel of our architectural heritage. Let it touch your heart.

Granada is the Alhambra and the gardens, the Cathedral, the Royal Chapel, convents and monasteries, the old islamic district Albayzin where the sunset is famous in the world or the Sacromonte where the gypsies perform flamenco shows in the caves where they used to live...Granada is this and many more things.

The Alhambra is located on a strategic point in Granada city, with a view over the whole city and the meadow ( la Vega ), and this fact leads to believe that other buildings were already on that site before the Muslims arrived. The complex is surrounded by ramparts and has an irregular shape. It limits with the valley of the river Darro on its northern side, with the valley of al-Sabika on its southern side and with the street Cuesta del Rey Chico on the eastern side. The Cuesta del Rey Chico is also the border between the neighbourhood of the Albaicin and the gardens of the Generalife, located on top of the Hill of the Sun (Cerro del Sol).

Visiting the Alhambra

You may choose among several means of transport. You must always take into account that it is located on top of a hill. The different ways to get to the Alhambra will be now explained, but we strongly recommend going by foot and enjoying the natural and artistic aspects of the surroundings, which many not be seen when taking other means of transport.

By foot - There exist basically two different paths to get to the Alhambra by foot from Granada city centre. The most beautiful and historically interesting of them is the one taken from Plaza Nueva into the street Cuesta de Gomérez.

The Gate of the Pomegranates (Puerta de las Granadas) is the first monument that you will see and it marks the beginning of the tree-lined avenues of the Alhambra . Pedro Machuca built this gate under the orders of Charles V around the year 1536 on the «Bib al-Buxar» or «gate of the glad tidings», a defensive tower that was one of the gates of the city. This gate leads to the tree-lined avenues of the Alhambra and to the area within the ramparts.

Once on the other side of this gate, you will be walking along the tree-lined avenues of the Alhambra , which was a poplar grove during the Christian period and which has modified its appearance with time. The tree-lined avenues you may see nowadays are the result of the redesign carried out in the 19th century.

Further up, to the left and next to the esplanade of the Justice Gate (Puerta de la Justicia), entrance to the complex of the Alhambra, you will find Charles V Pillar. It´s a three-spout fountain that Pedro Machuca built in the 16th century under the orders of the Count of Tendilla and which was restored in the 17th century by the local architect Alonso de Mena.

It is also possible to get to the Alhambra by foot via the street Cuesta del Rey Chico, which means the Little King's Slope, so called in honour of the last Nasrid king, Boabdil «el Chico», that is «the Little King». This street is popularly known as the Cuesta de los Chinos, or Pebble Slope, because of its paving.

The street starts from the left bank of the river Darro, at the end of the Paseo del Padre Manjón, popularly called the «Paseo de los Tristes», which means Sad People's Avenue, because it was part of the road that the funeral processions took to the old cemetery. The slope goes along the ramparts and comes to an end at the Mimbre, next to Fuentepeña, (Generalife's esplanade).

This second path is less interesting from the historical and artistic points of view, but it is instead a very romantic walk, a lot more pleasant when going down back to the city after visiting the Alhambra , between the walls of the citadel and the hill's vegetation.

Using public transport - Two bus routes reach the Alhambra Palace, routes 30 and 32, which start their route at Plaza Nueva and drive up the Cuesta de Gomérez.

Taxis may also drive to the Alhambra with no restrictions, which means that you may use accesses that may not be used by private transport, like the street Cuesta de Gomérez.

By car - If you would rather drive your own car to the Alhambra , we recommend taking the Ronda Sur (the city's ring road), following the direction of Sierra Nevada. You may leave your car under surveillance at one of the two car parks in the Generalife while visiting the Alhambra .

Nowadays

Granada is an important cultural reference at international level. Its University, already 475 years old, has a great reputation. Students are an essential element of the city, as they are one of the driving forces of its economy and its culture. Granada is a modern city that preserves its extremely rich historical and artistic heritage and integrates different cultures. This has been possible thanks to the city's geographical and historical link with the Islamic world, the University's exchange programs and the great number of visitors who come to Granada every year.

Important information:

* Access to the Alhambra monument has an insurmountable limitation of visitors daily so early booking tickets is recommended to ensure your visit.
* Total duration of the visit to Alhambra has approximately 3 hours. The final pass ends one hour before closing time.
* Confirmed tickets are spending 100% change or cancellation.
* Alhambra is closed on December 25th & January 1st
* The visit to the Nasrid Palaces is strictly limited to the half-hour indicated on the ticket due to the restrictions on maximum capacity in this area (300 people each thirty minutes). Visitors will be refused admission to this area outside this time slot. Admission to this area will finish one hour before closing time.
* Nazari Viajes is an official authorised agent for sales of tickets for the Alhambra palace and Generalife in Granada.

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