In southern Spain, majestically yet mysteriously, the legendary Alhambra proudly rises above Granada’s atmospheric old town.
After Córdoba, former centre of power of the caliphs, had fallen into the hands of the Christians in 1238, Granada became the country’s new capital city. Mohammed The First ordered the construction of the Alhambra’s massive walls and 24 watch towers above the remains of a comparatively modest fortress.
King Charles The Fifth deliberately built his palace at this location, as it had once been the last bastion of Muslim power in Spain. It thus symbolized the triumph of the Christian world.
In addition to the external splendor of the Christian palace, the full beauty of its Moorish architecture is only fully revealed by exploring its glorious interior.
Thus the despair of the last Nasrides ruler strikes a poignant chord today for, according to legend, when he was forced to abandon his palace to the Christian armies without a fight, his eyes filled with tears as he glanced back at his beloved Alhambra.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.