Named for its reddish walls (from the Arabic word for ‘red castle’, qa’lat al-Hamra), this beautiful palace has seen the rise and fall of many powerful dynasties since the first records of its existence in the early ninth century A.D. In the thirteen century, it became the royal headquarters of the Nasrid dynasty. The palace underwent serious construction in the 1300’s and added many buildings to the luxurious palace that is so well known today. After the decline of the Islamic powers in Spain, the Alhambra Palace became a popular seat of power for Catholic monarchs. This ornate palace with its detailed arches and beautiful dome are fortunately pretty well preserved, despite its lack of use for parts of the 1700 and 1800’s.