Discover the secrets hidden in the Alhambra of Granada
The Alhambra of Granada is known worldwide and has been with us for many centuries. It’s more than enough time for it to accumulate a multitude of curiosities, secrets, legends, and mysteries that surround it. It’s a mystery that attracts thousands of tourists every year. In the following article, we will reveal some of these secrets to make your visit a bit different. Let’s get started!
We must go back a few centuries to explain some history about this wonderful architectural complex. The Alhambra was ordered to be built by King Ben-Al-Hamar in the mid-13th century. The oldest area you can visit is the Alcazaba. It was originally conceived as a military building, but later became the residence of the king and the court of Granada in the 13th century. Until the 15th century, it was a highly protected palatial city due to its geographical location, a rocky hill on the banks of the river, situated in the highest neighborhoods of Granada. Later, the Palace of Charles V was built. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1984.
What secrets does the spectacular Alhambra hold?
- The Mystery of the Court of the Lions.
This is undoubtedly the most photographed area by visitors. There are several theories about the origin of this fountain. One theory suggests it has an astrological symbolism, with each lion representing a zodiac sign. Another theory suggests its meaning is political and related to King Solomon, as there is an inscription in the fountain that references him. Lastly, it alludes to a symbol of paradise, like the original source of life and the four rivers of the Quranic paradise. Which one do you lean towards?
- The Alhambra as a sundial.
Many consider this artistic ensemble as a vast sundial. Just as we can track the passing hours of the day with a sundial, in Granada, we could do so through the rooms of the Alhambra. This is a very visible phenomenon at noon since the rooms become divided by the shadow’s effect. Amazing, isn’t it?
- The Red Fortress.
The Alhambra also has a nickname, and it is the Red Fortress. Its name comes from the fact that when it was built, workers labored at night, illuminating it with torches, so from a distance, a red light surrounded the building.
- Una polis
Many of us think that the Alhambra is a single building; however, it is not. It is a palatial city comprised of a series of palaces, gardens, and a fortress that housed a city within the city of Granada, serving as the residence of the monarch and the Nasrid Dynasty court.
- The Most Visited in Spain
Did you know that in 2011, the Alhambra became the most visited monument in Spain? It received a total of 2,310,740 visitors, no less!