The Alhambra (the complete form of which was Calat Alhambra ( الْقَلْعَةُ ٱلْحَمْرَاءُ , Al-Qal'at al-Ħamrā , "the red fortress"), is a palace and fortress complex of the Moorish rulers of Granada in southern Spain ,known as Al-Andalus when the fortress was constructed during the mid 14th century. Islamic architecture, together with Christian 16th century and later interventions in buildings and gardens that marked its image as it can be seen today. Within the Alhambra, the Palace of Charles V was erected by Charles V ,Holy Roman Emperor, in 1527.
The terrace or plateau where the Alhambra sits measures about 740 m (2430 ft) in length by 205 m (674 ft) at its greatest width. It covers an area of about 142,000 m². The river Darro passes through a ravine on the north and divides the plateau from the Albaicín district of Granada.
Completed towards the end of Muslim rule in Spain by Yusuf I (1333-1353) and Muhammed V, Sultan of Granada (1353-1391), the Alhambra is a reflection of the culture of the last days of the Nasrid emirate of Granada. The Alhambra mixes natural elements with man-made ones, and is a testament to the skill of Muslim craftsmen of that time. The last sultan of Granada was Boabdil. The Alhambra was the residence of the sultans of Granada.
The Muslim rulers lost Granada and Alhambra in 1492 without the fortress itself being attacked when King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile took the surrounding region with an overwhelming force of numbers.
Damage produced in Later Era After the Christian conquest of the city in 1492, the conquerors began to alter the Alhambra. The open work was filled up with whitewash, the painting and gilding effaced, and the furniture soiled , torn, or removed. Charles V (1516–1556) rebuilt portions in the Renaissance style of the period and destroyed the greater part of the winter palace to make room for a Renaissance-style structure which has never been completed. Philip V (1700–1746) Italianised the rooms and completed his palace in the middle of what had been the Moorish building; he had partitions constructed which blocked up whole apartments.
There is a legend about the door of justice, related to the construction it in the Alhambra. It spoke about the dedication in the construction of the Alhambra, because of its decorations and architecture. It says that the very sturdy construction that was attacked by thousand armies, would never fall. So the day that the key to the inner arc of the Gate of Justice and the hand of his arch outer join, ie whether the Alhambra falls, will that has reached the end of the world. Another legend talks about the Arc of Justice, because it was the magnificent entrance to the Alhambra, which ensured that no knight on horseback, could not touch the top of the outer arc with his lance.
Abencerrajes. The name comes from the surname of a noble family of that time, who lived inside the Alhambra. According to the legend this family had a political rival called Zenetes. They wanted to kill their opponents by a conspiracy. So, they made up a relationship between the wife of the Sultan and one man from the Abencerrajes family to arise jealousy and anger in the Sultan ... The Sultan, blinded by the shock, during a feast in the hall that has the name of the family, beheaded 37 gentlemen who had the name Abencerrajes. It is said that the reddish color that even today can be seen in the basin of the fountain and in its water canal leading to the fountain of the Patio de los Leones, is due to the blood stains of the men who were killed. ..
After the Catholic Monarchs snitched the last stronghold of Muslim rule Boabdil, the Moorish King and his followers were expelled from Granada and they were given a small territory in the Alpujarras, where he stayed for many years. The fall of Granada was due to the carelessness of the defense Boabdil of Granada and its love for parties and entertainment. On the way to exile, Boabdil dared not turn his eyes towards Granada, and only when he was far away, on the hill known as The Moor's Sigh he stopped and when seeing his palace he sighed, and began to mourn. And it was his own mother who told him: "Weep like a woman because you did not know how to defend it like a man".
Parts of the following novels are set in the Alhambra:
Washington Irving's Tales of the Alhambra . It is a collection of essays, verbal sketches, and stories. Irving lived in the palace while writing the book and was instrumental in reintroducing the site to Western audiences.
Salman Rushdie 's The Moor's Last Sigh
Amin Maalouf 's Leo Africanus , depicting the reconquest of Granada by the Catholic kings.
Philippa Gregory 's The Constant Princess .
Federico Garcia Lorca 's play Doña Rosita the Spinster , mentioned by title character Dona Rosita in her song/speech to the Manola sisters.
Pop star Charjee Von-Varjee released a song called "Let's Rock at The Alhambra" in 2001.
Alhambra has directly inspired musical compositions as Francisco Tárrega 's famous tremolo study for guitar Recuerdos de la Alhambra (Memories of the Alhambra), Claude Debussy 's piece for 2 pianos Lindaraja (composed in 1901) and the prelude La Puerta del Vino (in the 2nd book of preludes, composed 1912-13).
In pop and folk music, Alhambra is the subject of the Ghymes song of the same name. The rock band The Grateful Dead released a song called "Terrapin Station" on the 1977 album of the same name . It consisted of a series of small compositions penned by Robert Hunter and put to music by Jerry Garcia; a lyrical section of this 'suite' was called "Alhambra".
From 19th-century Romantic interpretations until the present day, many buildings and portions of buildings worldwide have been inspired by the Alhambra: there is a Moorish Revival house in Stillwater, Minnesota which was created and named after the Alhambra. Also, the main portion of the Irvine Spectrum Center in Irvine, California , is a postmodern version of the Court of the Lions.
The Alhambra it is one of the most important monument of Spain, because it’s very beautiful, and it receives a lot of visits from all sites. It was declared World Heritage in 1984. In 2006, it received 2,153,491 visits. In 2009, it received 2,931,599 visits. It was a record in his history.