Alhambra of Granada


It is the name given to a citadel built by the Muslims in Al-Andalus, as it was known in the Iberian territory dominated by this city in the Middle Ages.

Located on the al-Sabika hill, next to the Darro river, the Alhambra is located in the eastern part of the city of Granada. Its location is strategic since it allows to see the region.

The construction of this citadel was developed in different historical stages. The first records of its existence date back to the 9th century, although scholars believe that, before the arrival of the Muslims, there were already buildings on the hill.

When Granada became the capital of the Taifa Kingdom in the 11th century, the Alhambra began to grow. In 1283 it became a royal residence and later palaces and other luxurious buildings were erected.

The history of the Alhambra is closely linked to the entry into Granada of Muhammad-Ben-Nazar (or Nasr, Banu-Nasr dynasty), called Muhammad Al-Ahmar the Red. Ben-Nasr was the founder of the Nasrid dynasty in Granada and would be the new capital of Ben-Nasr, proclaiming him king with the name of Muhammad I.

Upon his arrival in the great city in 1238, the people acclaimed him: “Welcome the conqueror by the grace of Allah”, to which he replied: “Allah alone is victorious.” This phrase would become the motto of the Nasrid coat of arms and would also be written throughout the Alhambra, castle and royal palaces that it and its descendants built throughout the entire dynasty, until the beginning of its decline during the reign of Yusuf III ( 1408 -1417).

During the reign of Muhammad I, Granada was strong intellectually and culturally, as there were many intellectuals: poets, thinkers, who passed by. It was not like a dominant empire, because Muhammad almost always had to pay tribute to the Castilian Crown in his battles, he even became a vassal of some king of Castile to obtain some stability and remain as Nasrid king until his death in 1273.

Muhammed I will go down in history as the initiator of the construction of the Alhambra, specifically the Alcazaba and its geographical location, since it is necessary to clarify that the previous dynasties established their palaces on the opposite hill, in the Albaicín.