Walking around La Alhambra spurs the imagination. The gorgeous architecture of the old palace complex, located in Granada, Spain, is like taking a step back in time. In fact, quite a few steps. Spain was part of the Roman empire, and the Alhambra sits atop ancient Roman ruins. However, sources say that the architectural wonder was largely ignored until it was rebuilt in the twelfth century by an emir. Later, the complex would become the royal court of Ferdinand and Isabella. It was indeed these two monarchs that sent Christopher Columbus on his merry way to the Americas, and it was in 2011 when I visited the site while studying in Spain.

The photo below shows the magnificent view of Granada from the complex.

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Here are Roman ruins visible to this day.

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Many people consider the Court of the Myrtles (Patio de los Arrayanes) to be the icon of La Alhambra. This long pool, pictured below, reflects several columns and arches.

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Architectural details–from ornate tiles to arabesques– can be found everywhere at the Alhambra.

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There is also a formal courtyard at La Alhambra called the Courtyard of the Palace of Charles V that was obviously built during a different era from the Court of Myrtles. Both areas of the complex have cool, restive courtyards, but given Spain’s diverse architectural history, we can see Moorish architecture juxtaposed with a completely different style.

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Finally, there are meticulously maintained gardens. Southern Spain can get quite hot in the summer, so I am sure that they have offered many a nice, relaxed retreat. La Alhambra is well worth a visit if you ever have the opportunity to go.

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La Alhabra's walls.
La Alhambra’s walls