21 Curious Alhambra Facts About The Royal Palace For Kids | Kidadl


21 Curious Alhambra Facts About The Royal Palace For Kids

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The Alhambra was built in the mid 13th century by Muhammad ibn al Ahmar, Emir of Granada, Spain, to function as the Moorish Nasrid dynasty's palace and fortress complex.

Even now, the famed palace in Granada, Spain, is significant. It is still one of Spain's most famous historical places, with thousands of visitors each year. The Alhambra complex is by far the most important remaining vestige of the Iberian Peninsula's Islamic sovereignty.

The Alhambra has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace was initially established as a modest castle in 889, but it was restored and remodeled in the 13th century by Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar, the creator of the Nasrid dynasty of the Emirate of Granada. The Emirate of Granada was a monarchy in southern Iberia, and it was the last Muslim-held territory in the Iberian Peninsula. Many inscriptions include statements such as 'There is no victor except Allah', which appears often. Throughout the palace, there are several reoccurring phrases such as 'happy' and 'blessed.' These phrases exist to safeguard the monarchs who are honored within every courtyard.

'Steps Volume 3: Arabesques' (2008-2012) is an extended piano cycle by British composer Peter Seabourne, and 'El Suspiro del Moro' is a piece from his 'Steps Volume 1' inspired by the legend of the deportation of the last Moorish King of Granada.

Where is the Alhambra located?

  • The Alhambra is a palace and castle in Granada, Spain, built by the Moorish emperors. The word Alhambra, which means 'red' in Arabic, most likely originated from the reddish color of the Tapia (rammed dirt) used to construct the outside walls.
  • This palace can be found in the Spanish province of Andalusia, in the city of Granada, Spain. It was erected around 899 and serves mostly as a palace and a fortification. In Granada, Spain, the Alhambra is a royal palace and castle complex.
  • The heritage of the Alhambra is associated with the city of Granada's geographical location. On a rocky slope with poor access, on the bank of the river Darro, guarded by the mountain range and surrounded by forest, among the city's oldest districts, the Alhambra rises like an imposing palace with reddish shades in its walls that hide the intricate beauty of its interior to the exterior.
  • Following the formation of the Nasrid dynasty and the building of the first palace by the founder monarch Mohammed ibn Yusuf Ben Nasr, also known as Alhamar, the Alhambra thus became the royal residence as well as the royal court of Granada in the mid-13th century.
  • People go from all across the globe to view and visit the Alhambra, one of the world's most beautiful structures. This palace, which dominates the sky above the city, was the crown jewel of the Moorish rule in Spain. With over two million visitors each year, it is currently the most popular monument in the country.


History Of Alhambra

  • The Alhambra was constructed mostly between 1238 and 1358, during the reigns of Ibn al-Amar, the originator of the Nasrid palaces, and his successors, on a plateau overlooking the city of Granada, Spain. In the 11th century, while it was only a small fortress, the Moorish King restored it.
  • The name Alhambra comes from an Arabic phrase that means 'red castle or vermilion'. This is perhaps because of the color tone of the towers and walls that entirely encompass the hill of La Sabica, which is silver in hue under the stars but golden in the sun.
  • Although the Muslim chroniclers tell of the Alhambra's building 'under the light of the torches', there is a more elegant explanation.
  • The Alhambra was indeed a castle, a palace, and a tiny medina all at once, having been built for military objectives. This triple character aids us in comprehending the monument's multiple aspects.
  • Although fortifications have remained since the 9th century, the Alhambra is not mentioned as a king's home until the 13th century. The early monarchs of Granada, the Zirtians, built castles and palaces in Albaicin's hills, of which little remains. The Zirtians were most likely the emirs who began the construction of the Alhambra in 1238.
  • Ysuf I, who died in 1354, is credited with the magnificent interior decorations. Most of the interior was obliterated once the Moors were expelled in 1492 when the furnishings were destroyed or taken.
  • The palaces (known as Casa Real Vieja) were built between the 14th and 15th centuries by two renowned monarchs, Yusuf I and Muhammed V. The Fourth Comares, the Gate of Justice, The Baths, and various towers are among the rewards for the first. Muhammed V finished the palaces' embellishment by adding the Hall of Lions, as well as additional halls and fortifications.
  • When Catholic monarchs invaded Granada in 1492, the Alhambra became a Christian building. Several facilities, including military barracks, a church, and a Franciscan monastery, were afterward constructed to accommodate notable individuals.
  • In order to create an Italianate palace planned by Pedro Machuca in 1526, Charles V, who governed Spain as Charles I (1516–1556), a holy roman emperor, reconstructed sections of the Alhambra in the Renaissance style and demolished other parts.
  • Even during the Peninsular War (War of Independence) in 1812, parts of the towers were destroyed by a French army led by Horace-François-Bastien Sébastiani, and the remainder of the fortifications barely escaped the same fate. The structure had been severely damaged by an earthquake in 1821.
  • In 1828, the designer, José Contreras, began a major restoration and reconstruction project, which was funded by Ferdinand VII. Contreras' son, Rafael, carried on his father's work for over four decades after his death in 1847.
  • Rafael's son, Mariano Contreras Granja, succeeded him when he died in 1890. Throughout the 21st century, further rehabilitation and conservation efforts were made.
  • Muhammed Al-Ahmar, the dynasty's founder, began the repair of the ancient fort. His son Muhammed II finished his work and his direct successors resumed the restorations.


The Alhambra has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Palace Details About The Alhambra

  • Serallo, Mexuar, and the Harem are the three major portions of the royal palace complex. The Mexuar has a simple design and has the necessary spaces for performing commerce and management.
  • In Mexuar, strapwork is utilized to embellish the surfaces. The dark wood ceilings, flooring, and trim contrast sharply with the white plaster walls. The Patio de Los Arrayanes is located in Serallo, which was erected during the rule of Yusuf I in the 14th century (Court of the Myrtles).
  • Its oldest section, the Alcazaba or citadel, is located on an isolated and steep foreland that ends the plateau to the northwest. The Nasrid Palaces or Alhambra proper, which lies beyond the Alcazaba, is the Moorish rulers' palace, and above that is the Alhambra Alta (Upper Alhambra), which was initially occupied by officials and courtiers.
  • The Salón de los Embajadores (Hall of the Ambassadors) is the Alhambra's biggest chamber, taking up the whole Torre de Comares. With towering domed and trellised windows at its base, the hall of the ambassadors is a perfect square.
  • Palacio Comares, with its three arched windows commanding the city, served as the royal audience hall and throne room.
  • Dado panels of azulejo, yesera, cedar, and artesonado were used in the brightly colored interiors. Artesonado ceilings, as well as other woodwork, are exceedingly ornate. The Harem is ornately furnished and houses the living quarters of the Arab rulers' wives and mistresses.
  • A bathroom featuring running water, bathtubs, and pressured water for showering is located in this section. To let the light and air in, the restrooms were left exposed to the outdoors. The Alhambra tiles are unique and it is a one-of-a-kind achievement in world architecture.
  • The Patio del Mexuar (Court of the Council Chamber), the Patio de Daraxa (Court of the Vestibule), the Peinador de la Reina (robin room of Queen Isabella), and the Palacio del Partal palace are among the Alhambra's other attractions, all of which have comparable construction and ornamentation.
  • Partal Palace is the earliest of the palaces erected along the complex's northern borders.
  • Baths, rows of dormitories and summer palace, a snickering hall and labyrinth, and domed sepulchers may all be found in the palace and Upper Alhambra.
  • The Acequia Real brought water to both Alhambra and the Generalife and still remains in considerable part today. It gets its fresh water from the Darro river, which is located upwards in the Sierra Nevada foothills, about 3.7 mi (6 km) east of the Alhambra.
  • A minor tributary known as the Acequia del Tercio breaks out from it many kilometers upstream and travels along with higher land before reaching the Generalife's palace and lawns.
  • The major branch, which follows the lower terrain, also leads to the Generalife palace, where it gives water to the famous Patio de la Acequia.
  • Although most of the canals flowed along the surface, some of them passed via tunnels carved straight into the bedrock. The canals curve southeast after landing at the Generalife and flow past the gardens. The water reaches the Alhambra via an arched aqueduct close to the Torre del Agua (water tower) on the Alhambra's eastern point.
  • The Alhambra is located in an area of exceptional natural beauty. It was erected on a terrace that overlooks Granada's Moorish old city's Albaicn (Albayzin) sector. The Darro river flows through a steep ravine on the north side of the plateau near its base.
  • The Moors planted roses, oranges, and myrtles in the area outside of the palace (Alameda de la Alhambra). The dense wood of English elms brought there by the Duke of Wellington during the Peninsular War in 1812 is its most distinguishing feature.
  • The Patio de la Acequia (Court of the Irrigation Channel), named for the channel that feeds its water, combines terraced gardens, ponds, and fountains to create a beautiful impression. International music and dance acts are held in a theater within the Generalife. In 1984, the Alhambra and the Generalife were classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


What is the significance of the Alhambra?

  • The Alhambra Palace, which is situated upon the Sabika hill, offers a spectacular perspective of the whole city of Granada. The complex is accompanied by a number of gardens, one of which is the well-known Generalife Gardens, which were designed in Persian style.
  • When you enter the Alhambra palace, you'll see that it has an uneven shape and is made up of several buildings and smaller structures. It's complimented with flowing fountains, reflecting pools, and column arcades, all in line with the 'heaven on earth' motif.
  • Furthermore, for a natural feel, the palace was created so that the sun and breeze could easily pass through.
  • The palace's walls are covered in Arabic writings that contain songs written in appreciation of the palace and that touch on the Nasrid dynasty's lyrical, religious, and political worlds. Geometrical designs and complex arabesque motifs are used to organize them.
  • The Alhambra Palace reflects the civilization of Al-Andalus, or the Iberian peninsula, in the last centuries of Islamic rule. Over the years, it has amassed the abilities of Christian, Muslims, architects, Jewish craftsmen, and artisans, and it is a genuine tribute of Granada's cultural appeal.
  • Aside from its architectural and visual splendor, the palace is filled with tales and legends, adding to its mystique. Although the Alhambra palace's name is often linked to what it is composed of (red brick walls), the history of the word is still debated. The name is said to have been given to the palace's creator because of his flaming red hair, which gained him the moniker al-Ahmar.
  • Another well-known mythology surrounding the palace concerns the Gate of Justice, which is one of the primary entrances of a small fortress.
  • The hand is frequently a sign used to guard off the evil eye. The Alhambra's final blooming of Islamic palaces was erected for the last Muslim emirs in Spain, who were increasingly subordinate to the Christian rulers of Castile.
  • The gothic figure of the Virgin Mary complements the Islamic architecture in terms of aesthetics, demonstrating that despite numerous cultures and religions claiming ownership of the sprawling Alhambra Palace, they work well together.
Written By
Lydia Samson

<p>A diligent and driven mass communications graduate from Caleb University, Lydia has experience in media and a passion for digital marketing and communications. She is an effective communicator and team-builder with strong analytical, management, and organizational skills. She is a self-starter with a positive, can-do attitude.</p>

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