The Alhambra

The Alhambra is a citadel located on the Red Hill, southeast of the city of Granada. It is a complex settlement, formed into several parts and built mainly during the Nasrid dynasty, although it has some Islamic precedents and some Christian purposes.

In Arabic sources, there seems to be mention of a fortress on the Albayzín hill, during the period of Ibn al-Khatib. There is also mention of an Alhambra in Medina, built by Sawwar b. Hamdun at the end of the 9th century. We also have references to the Alhambra in the memoirs of King Abd Allah, the last ziri dethroned by the Almoravids in 1090. He speaks of the construction that his grandfather had planned with a palace on the Red Hill, to escape people who hated him.

The configuration of the palatine city is the work of the Banu al-Ahmar dynasty. The creation of proper space for political power, separated from the rest of society, is a reality that has occurred with some frequency in the Islamic world. This is linked to the fact that political authority is not exercised by interfering in the problems of citizens, but simply by maintaining the balance between different groups.
The Alhambra is a territory that can be divided into four parts, and it was built in different phases: the military zone or citadel, the palaces, the zone corresponding to the city itself, and the peri-urban space with its orchards and its almond trees, in particular the Generalife.

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