Alhambra Nazrid Palaces, Courtyards, Royal Apartments and Walkways

The Alhambra is more than a just a palace; it is an entire walled city within the city of Granada. There are royal apartments, forts, gardens, pavilions, barracks. All this surrounded by an impressive wall.

alhambra nazrid palaces
alhambra royal palaces
A good way to get to know Granada and its history is by taking a tour. There are several interesting free and private tours offered by Civitatis:
Free Tour of Granada: What better way to get to know the hisotric centre of Granada than on a free walking tour with a local expert guide?!
Private Tour of Granada: Discover the hidden treasures and secrets of Granada exclusively just for you and your partner, friends, or family.

The Alcazaba

military part, alcazaba in alhambra The Alcazaba consists of buildings dating from the thirteenth century in grounds used solely by the military.

The first thing you see when you enter is the Plaza de Armas (Armoury Square), which contained lodgings for the troops.

All that remains is the foundations of these buildings, marked with a small wall. In the basement are where the aljibes (water reserves) were kept.

On the left is the Jardin de los Adarves (Garden of the Ramparts) dating from the Seventeenth Century, laid out with cypress trees, flowers and many fountains.

vela tower in alhambra Beyond this are the Torre de la Polvora (Powder Tower) and the Torre de la Vela, so named because the Catholic Kings placed a bell in the tower.

When the bell was struck, it indicated the beginning of a new shift for the irrigation of the plain of Granada.

The best thing about this tower is the view it offers over of the city, from one side, and of the Alhambra from another angle.

If you move around the Alcazaba clockwise, you will reach the Puerta de las Armas, the main entrance to the Alcazaba during the Arab period.

La Casa Real - Royal House

royal house of alhambra This name is given to all Nasrid palaces. It can be divided into three main categories, The Mexuar or Meshwar, the Comares Palace, the Palace of the Lions, and in addition the later Christian buildings.

The Mexuar (photo) was where matters concerning the administration of justice were dealt with.

This is the first thing you will see when you enter the area, and one of the most affected by the Christians following their arrival.

Palacio de Comares - Comares Palace

comares palace in alhambra This palace completely surrounds the Patio of the Myrtles, myrtle being the plant which forms the hedges of this court.

The Palace of Comares is considered one of the jewels of the Alhambra, with a beautiful pond flanked by two rows of hedges.

On the left is the Tower of Comares, the highest tower of the Alhambra (45 meters).

Patio de los Leones - Lions Palace

lions patio of alhambra Upon entering, one is struck by the forest of 124 columns that surround the courtyard.

Everything in this garden has a symbolism representing paradise, surrounded by four rivers, while twelve lions at the centre represent the twelve signs of the zodiac.

The Partal Gardens are one of the most beautiful areas in the Alhambra. This land was occupied by the military quarters.

Palacio de Carlos V - Carlos V Palace

carlos v palace of alhambra This is the great edifice near the entrance to the ticket office, which for many people breaks the delicate harmony of the Alhambra.

Despite the above, it is one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture.
If you would like to know more about the architecture and history of the Nazari Palaces accompanied by an expert local guide you can choose a Alhambra Guided Tour.

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Page Updated: May 14, 2021


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Opinions about Alhambra Palace
The palaces are beautiful
The palaces and the gardens are very beautiful and the views are spectacular. Take the audio guide for 6 euro per person, well worth it, provides a lot of information. When you buy ticket make sure that Nasrid Palaces are included, they are the major attraction.

granada opinion
Guided Tours

alhambra albaicin guided tour
Where and how to buy tickets for the Alhambra and where to collect them, what to do if tickets are sold out.
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