Alhambra Eras in 3D

Discover how the iconic Alhambra in Granada, Spain has evolved over the centuries

By Google Arts & Culture

Afterglow - The Alhambra and Sierra Nevada, Granada (1901/1913) by Albert Moulton FowerakerRoyal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery

One of the most majestic buildings in the world, the Alhambra in Granada, Spain has actually evolved over more than a thousand years. The clues to this evolution are there for all to see - if you know where to look. Scroll on to examine the many eras of the Alhambra in 3D.

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This is the oldest part of the Alhambra structure and the main part of the original defensive system of the building. The main towers stands 26m high, with the interior of the walled building housing soldiers and communal living spaces. It dates to the 11th century.


Built as the administrative center of the complex, including the chancery and treasury, the Mexuar consists of two courtyards and a main hall area. It is located right behind the Comares tower on the western side of the complex.

Comares Palace

By the 13th century this was the main hub of activity in the Alhambra, extensively refurbished about this time by Yusuf I and Muhammad V. The palace is designed around the Court of the Myrtles, a courtyard measuring 23 metres wide and 37 metres long.

Palace of Charles V

This large square palace with central circle courtyard was conceived in a contemporary Renaissance style. The innovative design reflects the architectural ideals of the mid 16th century when construction began. Believe it or not, this is actually one of the more modern additions.

The Alhambra, Austin Gardner, 2017-12-09/2017-12-09
[Court of the Lions in the Alhambra (Patio de los Leones en la Alhambra)], October 11-13, 1862, From the collection of: The J. Paul Getty Museum
The Alhambra, Isak Gundrosen, 2017-11-04/2017-11-04
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Three internal views of his incredible and unique building.

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Palace of the Lions

The Palace of the Lions is one of the most famous pieces of Islamic architecture in the world. It is a stunning example of Nasrid architecture, as carried out during the reign of Muhammad V in the 14th century. The stunning courtyard is a must see. 

Partal Palace

This pavilion on the edge of the Alhambra walls was built by Muhammad III at the very beginning of the 14th century. This makes it the oldest surviving palace in the Alhambra, although not as old as the Alcazaba fortifications. 

Church of Santa Maria and the Alhambra Mosque

Standing on the site of the former Alhambra Mosque, this church was built between 1581 and 1618, making it one of the last major additions to the complex. The original mosque that stood on the site is thought to have dated to around 1305.

Alhambra/Grenada, Spain, David Lees, 1967-05, From the collection of: LIFE Photo Collection
Baños Reales, Palacio de Comares, Alhambra de Granada, 2005, Bleda y Rosa, 2005, From the collection of: Fundacion MAPFRE
Alhambra/Grenada, Spain, David Lees, 1967-05, From the collection of: LIFE Photo Collection
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Some more interior details. 

The Alhambra (2019-08-01/2019-08-01) by Jorge Fernández Salas

Want to know more?

You can read more stories about the world famous Red Castle here.

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