Alhambra

A UNESCO world heritage site, the Alhambra (meaning the red fortress), has been the subject of poems, songs, operas, books, films and reveries and continues to draw people from around the globe.

The Alhambra is a glorious example of Moorish architecture and a monument to how a structure as magnificent as this has evolved, adapted, and maintained its allure and magic through the ages. The Alhambra invites visitors time and time again to explore its many facets and periods of development - from the North African Moors in the early 14th century to Catholic Conquistadors in the late 16th. Many artists, poets and dignitaries have lived and visited its grounds and palaces over the centuries.

The Alhambra stands as a lasting testament to Islamic art and architecture and the palace's beauty. Its reverence and impact on those who visit is everlasting and is simply one of the most magical places we can think of.

The Alhambra is one of the finest architectural sights in Europe, and is the top tourist attraction in Granada.

History

Described by Moorish poets as “a pearl set in emeralds”, the Alhambra is a gorgeous palace situated in the densely-wooded hills of Granada. It dates back to the 9th century when it was a fort, then was rebuilt in the 11th and became a royal palace in 1333. The Palace of St Charles V was added in 1527 but the Alhambra subsequently fell into disrepair until it was rediscovered and renovated in the 19th century.

Today, the Alhambra is an enduring testament to the beauty of Islamic art and architecture. Each room of the palace is decorated in its own style and is palpably different from the last. Light, pattern and color combine to create a dazzling effect. The decorations are typical of Andalusian art and feature many geometric and tessellating shapes all over the walls, ceilings and floors. Typically, Islamic art doesn’t contain images of nature. As such, these pieces transcend a single subject category. They are an embodiment of mathematics, religion and aesthetic design. The Alhambra has striking artistic and architectural features such as horseshoe arches, arabesques and calligraphy. The Hall of Abencerrajes has a domed ceiling with 5000 cells of “honeycomb” vaulting. This magnificent golden ceiling is lit by sixteen skyward windows and the name of the hall is derived from a legend according to which the father of Boabdil, the last sultan of Granada, invited his chiefs to a banquet then massacred them here. However, if the serenity of the palace is anything to go by, it’s probably just a legend! The exterior reflecting pools are used to mirror the palace and effectively double its grandeur.

A photographer’s favorite, the Court of Lions, sits to the East and features 124 irregularly-placed white marble columns and an alabaster fountain supported by twelve lions. The Alhambra is a uniquely spiritual place and is as beautiful as it is culturally significant.

For equally unique accommodation on the doorstep of the magnificent palace, look no further than El Ladron de Agua – our award-winning Arts Hotel.

 

How To Buy Your Alhambra Tickets

Due to the many thousands of people who come to visit the Alhambra every day, we strongly recommend you book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. There is great demand for tickets on the day, and unfortunately never enough to satisfy the number of people wanting to visit this magnificent palace.

Below are the ways you can book yours:

Buy tickets online - in advance  (our recommendation to avoid disappointment):

Buying tickets online is very straightforward and we suggest you reserve these at the time you confirm your stay with us. Simply visit the Alhambra Ticketmaster page and select the time and date you wish to visit the palace. 

Buy tickets on the day of your visit:

If you haven't been able to book tickets in advance, you may be able to purchase them in person at their ticket office. We suggest you arrive there before 8AM, and the queues are usually very long. Tickets may or may not be available.

* If you think that you may benefit from any discounts (Seniors or students) and you can prove it at the ticket office of the Alhambra, please contact us.

 

Understated Elegance and Comfort

A short walk from Plaza Nueva.

Our Hotel

This 16th century noble house has been skilfully restored into a beautiful hotel with fifteen guestrooms. El Ladron de Agua, meaning "The Water Thief", is taken from the title of a poem by Juan Ramon Jimenez in Olvidos de Granada and is a showcase for local and regional art.

Our Legacy

On his visit to Granada, Juan Ramon Jimenez was taken by Granada's beauty and wrote a poetry collection drawing on his many Grenadine experiences; a collection now housed in the hotel library.

What's On

Find out about events and exhibitions running in and around our Arts Hotel.

Exceptionally Beautiful Place to Stay

We spent 4 nights at El Ladron de Agua, and enjoyed almost every minute of our stay there. The hotel's employees were pleasant and helpful. Our room was excellent with a comfortable bed and large bathroom. The downstairs courtyard was designed in a m…

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