Monuments of Grandeur: Spain’s Ten Most Spectacular Architectural Gems

The Alhambra monument in Granada, Spain, was built in the mid-thirteenth century under Muhammad ibn al Ahmar, Emir of Granada, to serve as the palace and fortress complex of the Moorish Nasrid dynasty. It was designed as a military zone at the beginning and served as a fortress, a palace, and a small medina, all at the same time. The first palace was constructed by the founding king Mohammed ibn Yusuf Ben Nasr, better known as Alhamar, and the construction continued during the reign of his son, Muhammed V, who completed the beautification of the palaces with the Hall of Lions, in addition to other rooms and fortifications.

Here are the ten most beautiful monuments in Spain according to various sources:

The Alhambra (Granada)

The Holy Family (Barcelona)

The Cathedral of Santiago (Santiago de Compostela)

Giralda in Seville

Roman Theatre in Mérida

Cathedral of Palma (Mallorca)

Zaragoza Cathedral

Alcazar in Segovia

St. Mary’s Cathedral in Seville

Royal Palace of Madrid

Note that some sources may list different monuments, but the Alhambra and the Holy Family are consistently mentioned as the top two most beautiful monuments in Spain.

The Alhambra became the royal residence and court of Granada in the mid-13th century after the establishment of the Nasrid Kingdom. The Alhambra is the most important surviving remnant of the period of Islamic rule in the Iberian Peninsula (711–1492) and was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1984 due to its universal beauty and exceptional expression of Moorish and Andalusian culture as well as for its ability to convey the history of the changes to the region over time through its architecture and decorative campaigns. After the Spanish Christian monarchs defeated the Moors and captured Granada in 1492, they used the Alhambra as their own palace, adding sections and destroying others, including a significant chunk of the Palacio Nazaries.

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