The Alhambra is a complex of buildings in Andalusia, Spain that was built during the time of the Moors. It is known for its elaborately detailed architecture.

Located on Assabica hill, southeast of Granada, Alhambra means "the red one."  The name comes from the red clay of the region, which was used in the Alhambra's construction.

The buildings of the Alhambra were originally panted white and surrounded by forest. This led poets to refer to the Alhambra as "a pearl among emeralds."

The Alcazaba, the first building to be constructed on the hill, is a fortress that was built in the 9th century. Most of this structure is now in ruins.

However, the luxurious palace and gardens within the Alhambra as we know it are still intact.

AlhambraMohammed I, who reigned during the 13th century, was the founder of the present Alhambra and the first of the Moorish Emirs to live there.

He and his successors added buildings to the complex.

The Alhambra was not designed according to a plan, and the buildings tend to be jumbled together, with corridors and courtyards connecting them.  Beautiful gateways and columned arcades act as entrances to the courtyards.

In addition to the luxurious palaces and gardens, there are beautiful harems, buildings where the wives and consorts of the Emirs would have lied.

Yusuf I and Mohammed V, his son, basically completed the construction of the Alhambra in the 14th century.

The Comares Palace, which has a huge tower looking over Granada, was built under Yusuf's orders.

Yusuf was also responsible for the construction of the main gateway into the Alhambra.

Muhammad V made improvements to the Comares Palace and built the Palace of the Lions, known for its beautiful Courtyard: the Court of the Lions.  The Court of Lions has yellow, gold and blue tiles and enameling on the walls and is paved in white marble.  124 white marble pillars support the domed roof.  The magnificent white marble Fountain of Lions is in the center of the courtyard.

After the reign of the Moors ended, and Andalusia became Catholic, , some new structures were added, for example, the Church of Santa Maria the palace o King Carols V.

The Alhambra is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site that also includes the Generalife, a collection of outlying summer homes and gardens for the Emirs, and the Albayzin, a medieval Moorish town located on the next hill.