The history of the Alhambra The Alhambra was a palatine city, Christian Royal House, General Captaincy of the Kingdom of Granada, and military fortress until its declaration as a Monument in 1870.

Granada, capital of the Nasrid kingdom, gradually received Muslim populations due to the advance of the Christian conquest. The city grew, adapting, creating NEW quarters and expanding its walls practically until its conquer at the end of the 15th century. From 1492, the Alhambra was established as a Royal House. Emperor Carlos V decided, in 1526, on the construction of the palace which bears his name, along with other very significant constructions in a Roman Renaissance style. With the revolutions of 1868, the Alhambra was disconnected from the Crown and became owned by the State, being declared in 1870 as a “national monument”.


The Alhambra is the main enclave of a complex territorial structure,
which reveals its importance due to the domain over the city of Granada.

Granada matches the historic model of the hilltop city, surrounded by mountains and irrigated by the Darro and Genil rivers, the former dividing the land into two opposing faces which would affect the construction of the medieval city. The hills around the Darro are San Cristóbal (760m) on the right bank of the river and Sabika (790m) on the left bank. The Alhambra stands on the latter.

It is not unusual that Muhammad I(1237-1273) would select such a privileged place due to its geographic conditions, also taking into account the existence of important previous fortified constructions. The elevated locations of cities have special characteristics and are due to geopolitical decisions very consistent with medieval mentality.

The predominance of the location and the control of the territory were everything in the organization of a kingdom in the 13th century, in which both military power and administrative organization required an enclave that safeguarded the physical presence of power of the city, while keeping it separate from it.

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Discover every corner that the Alhambra and Generalife offer to evoke its history, and enjoy its marvelous surroundings. A unique experience for all the senses.

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For the conservation of the Monument, it is essential to establish a preventive conservation strategy, applying criteria based on respect for authenticity, the development of analysis techniques and the application of suitable, reversible treatments.

The current intervention on the Monumental Complex requires contributions from different interdisciplinary teams.


The Monumental Complex of the Alhambra and Generalife represents a valuable cultural landscape, a great environmental unit, formed by different units of vegetation capable of accommodating a rich and varied biodiversity.

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