Urban Distribution

Andalusian and Islamic, the Alhambra was conceived as a city built for the royal court.

For your interest

  • Gates

    There are four main gates in the wall, two on the north side, -the Gate of Arms and the Gate of the Arrabal, and two on the south side,the Gate of Justice and the Gate of the Seven Floors.

  • The Alcazaba

    It was the residential area of the royal guard in charge of the security of the palatial city

  • Tower of the Candle

    la Torre de la Vela, nombrada en época nazarí torre Mayor y durante el siglo XVI puerta del Sol ya que se refleja en la fachada de mediodía actuando como un reloj de sol para la ciudad.

  • Palace of Charles V

    The decision to build the Palace in the Alhambra symbolized the triumph of Christianity over Islam.

  • Museum of the Alhambra

    The tour of the Alhambra also includes a visit to the museum, with its collection of Nasrid Art, which was found in archaeological excavations or restoration works in the Monument.

  • St. Mary Church

    With Latin-cross floor design and side chapels, outstanding is its Baroque altarpiece framed by large Solomon-style columns from the 17th century

  • Museum in Honour of Ángel Barrios

    Drawings, paintings, musical scores and letters of the Grenadian composer, Ángel Barrios, form this collection

  • The Court of Machuca

    Two round fountains with water flowing into a pool in the centre of the court are its main feature.

  • The Mexuar- Oratory

    Counsel of Ministers meetings and worship took place in these rooms.

  • The Golden Room

    The beautiful woodwork ceiling gives its name to this room, whose original decoration is attributed to Muhammad V.

  • The Façade of Comares

    The Sultan received his vassals at the foot of the Façade of Comares, which separated the administrative and familiar sectors inside the Palace.

  • The Court of the Myrtles

    The Main Canal acts as a mirror that reflects the building structures and breaks the structural horizontal lines of the court.

  • The Room of the Ship

    There are two possible origins of its name: its cylindrical vault or the Arab term “al-baraka”, which is repeatedly inscribed on its walls.

  • The Chamber of the Ambassadors

    This Throne Room is the largest room of the building, flanked by nine small rooms, one of which was reserved for the Sultan

  • The Bath of Comares

    The baths being essential Moorish urban elements, it is easy to understand why each palace in the Alhambra has its own baths.

  • The Hall of the Muqarnas

    One of the rooms in the Palace of the Lions was used as a hall or vestibule owing to its proximity to the main entrance of the Palace

  • The Court of the Lions – Fountain – Water Jet

    The Court of the Lions – Fountain – Water Jet . Alhambra of Granada

  • The Hall of the Abencerrages

    A spectacular vault decorated with eight-point star-shaped stalactites that open out on eight elephant-like trunks is the most remarkable ornamental element of the hall.

  • The Hall of the Kings. Paintings

    Five alcoves that flank a large hall were used for receptions and celebrations. Their domed ceilings are its most remarkable feature.

  • The Ajimeces Gallery

    It got its name from the ajimeces, wooden balconies with latticework that are found in this room.

  • The Hall of the Two Sisters

    The vault, which has a central star motif made up of stalactites, is the masterpiece of the second main chamber of the Palace of the Lions.

  • The Court of the Vestibule or Observation Point of Daraxa

    The delicate tile decoration and the well-proportioned Nasrid architectural style make this one of most beautiful of the Alhambra Palaces

  • King Charles V’s Chambers

    His visit to the Alhambra impressed him so much that he decided to build an “imperial suite” near the Moorish palaces.

  • The Queen’s Robing Room

    An open gallery overlooking the Tower of Abu-I-Hayyay that breaks with the conventional wall patterns.

  • The Court of the Grated Window

    A balcony occupies the upper part of the south loft serving as a corridor between the rooms and protecting them

  • The Court of the Lindaraja

    Though structurally similar to the Court of the Grated Window, it is more cloister-like. It bears the name of its balcony.

  • The Partal

    A large central pond faces the arched portico behind which stands the Tower of the Ladies

  • The Rauda

    Rawda means cemetery. It was here, beside the Palace of the Lions, where the royal family interred its deceased family members

  • The Palace of Yusuf III

    Outstanding is the long pool in the central courtyard with a lush garden, on the sides of which are the ruins of some rooms.

  • The Promenade of the Towers

    Several towers can be found along the route from the Partal Gardens to the Generalife and the Upper Alhambra.

The Nasrid Alhambra was a courtly city, conceived and built to serve the royal court. The urban layout, strictly in line with Andalusian and Islamic tradition, was clearly organized during the two and a half centuries of its development, and marked by the changes caused by sultanate instability and the variable polities stemming from pacts and vassalage.   

A military base for the royal guard in the Alcazaba provided security on the inside to the Sultan, his family and the governing bodies. A military centre, strategically situated with easy access to the rest of the Alhambra, the Alcazaba housed the guards and their families. Like any other municipality, it had a cistern and places for bathing.

There was a palatial zone reserved exclusively for the Sultan and his kin. It also had administrative offices, which were situated in accordance with protocol, the more private and courtly ones taking precedence. There were also areas where people came together for readings of the Surah or to hold Counsel of Ministers meetings.

In this courtly zone palaces were built during various periods, either by adding structural or decorative changes to the original building, or by constructing a new one. A road providing access to the various palatial locations was also separated from the rest of the Alhambra and off limits to unauthorized citizens.

The Alhambra Medina inhabitants served the court and the Palace. The quarter, with a slightly inclined main street that ran west and east, had public baths, a mosque, and shops.

Adjacent to the Mosque were the Rauda, or Cemetery of the Sultans, and a school, or Madraza. In the low lying area, behind the Gate of Wine, the main gate, there were houses, some of which were important, where functionaries and servants to the Court resided. There were small wells and public gathering places. About halfway down, on either side of the street, were two large buildings considered to be veritable palaces: the Abencerrages and the building that later became the Monastery of San Francisco.

The upper part of the city was where small artisanal industry was established: glass blowing, ceramics, tanning, water mills and even coin minting.

In this area the King’s Canal entered the Alhambra through an aqueduct and a conduit. The channel, parallel with the Royal Road, flowed downward, sending water through a maze of canals covering the entire area.

The Alhambra was unassailable, it being totally surrounded by an impregnable wall that was joined to the wall that protected Granada. The Alhambra wall had four main gates: the Gate of Arms and the Gate of the Arrabal, on the north side, and the Gate of Justice and the Gate of the Seven Floors , on the south side.