Brief History

The Alhambra was a palace, a fortress and a citadel; the residence of the Nasrid Sultans and top government officials, court servants and the royal guard.

For you interest

  • THE 9TH CENTURY

    The Arabs respected the Roman cities and roads, making them bigger by adding new constructions. In the 9th century evidence from Arab texts points to new constructions inside the Alhambra, although it is thought that some kind of construction was built during the Roman period and even earlier. 

  • THE 11TH CENTURY

    After the Caliphate of Cordova civil war, the capital of the Granada province was moved from Elvira to Granada in the 11th century, promoted by the Zirid Dinasty.  The Ziries settled their court in the Alcazaba Cadima, or Old fortress, located in the Albayzin district and occupied in the 15th century with the construction of King Dar-al-Horra’s Palace. 

    At the slope foot there was an important Jewish settlement, around which the city of Granada started growing.

    Vizier Samuel ibn Nahgralla renovated and rebuilt the abandoned ruins located on the Sabikah Hill and built his palace there.

  • THE 12TH CENTURY

    The successive invasions of Almorávides and Almohades in Granada ended with fierce and bloody battles that took place in the Alcazaba del Albayzin and in the buildings of the Alhambra, which became the refuge for the local Andalusians and at times for the North African invaders.

  • THE 13TH CENTURY

    Al-Ahmar, the founder of the Nasrid Dynasty, took up residence at the Old Alcazaba of the Albayzin in 1238, though he felt attracted by the ruins on top of the Alhambra hill. Thus he embarked on the reconstruction of the building for the residence of his Court as we know it now.

    The Alhambra was a palace, a fortress and a citadel; the residence of the Nasrid Sultans and top government officials, court servants and the royal guard.

    The Nasrid Kingdom became the last Islamic sultanate on the Iberian Peninsula, and its capital Granada progressively received Muslim populations forced to retreat from the Christians. The city grew with the development of new suburbs and extended its walls nearly until it was conquered at the end of the 15th century.

  • TODAY

    During these more than two and a half centuries, the relationship between the Alhambra and the city was that of a Medina and its Alcazaba (fortress). In Granada, besides the Alhambra, preserved as a symbolic mythic icon, we find many surviving testimonies and buildings of the Moors period despite the unavoidable transformations that it has experienced since the Middle Ages.

    It is currently an artistic-historical monumental group with four clearly distinguishable zones: the Palaces, the military zone or Alcazaba, the city or Medina, and the villa of the Generalife, all of them surrounded by woods, trees, gardens, parks and vegetable gardens.