While the fortress lived up to its intent having deterred any attempts by the amassed Christian forces of Aragon’s King Ferdinand II and Castile’s Queen Isabella I to take the building, their overwhelming numbers however easily took control of the surrounding territory and eventually forced Muhammad XII of Granada to surrender the Emirate on January 2, 1492. Locals even claim that the two royal monarchs received Christopher Columbus at the Alhambra when they agreed to support his planned crossing, but it wouldn’t be long before the conquerors and their successors began making alterations to the complex. Charles I (1516-1556) for example had portions rebuilt in the Renaissance style of the period and was responsible for destroying a great part of the winter palace, while Philip V (1700-1746) would Italianize rooms and complete his palace in the middle of one the original Moorish buildings. As you can imagine these centuries of renovation caused untold damage to the site until the architect Jose Contreras was able to undertake steps to restore the fortress in 1828 with an endowment from King Ferdinand VII encompassing what would become a multi-generational sixty-year effort. Thanks to the many Christian influences that have been introduced into the Alhambra’s architecture it resembles many of the medieval strongholds throughout Europe known for their threefold arrangement of castle, palace, and residential annex for subordinates.

alhambra-bridge

alhambra-walls

alhambra-trees

alhambra-gardens

alhambra-mazegarden

walkway-mosaics

alhambra-monastery

lion-gate

summerhouse-arches

alhambra-church

alhambra-valley

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ambassador-entryway

alhambra-ceiling

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ambassador-interior

passage-lookout

detail-closeup

ceiling-detail

alhambra-door

alhambra-arch

philip-ceiling

roman-ceiling

roman-carvings

store-doorway

alhambra-street

church-closeup

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