The Alhambra was so called because of its reddish walls (in Arabic, («qa’lat al-Hamra’» means Red Castle). It is located on top of the hill al-Sabika, to the west of the city of Granada.
The Alhambra was built chiefly between 1238 and 1358, in the reigns of Ibn al-Aḥmar, founder of the Naṣrid dynasty, and his successors. After the expulsion of the Moors in 1492, Charles V, who ruled in Spain as Charles I (1516–56), rebuilt portions in the Renaissance style and destroyed part of the Alhambra in order to build an Italianate palace designed by Pedro Machuca in 1526.
In 1812 some of the towers were blown up by a French force under Horace-François-Bastien Sébastiani during the Peninsular War (War of Independence). An extensive repair and rebuilding program was undertaken in 1828 by the architect José Contreras and endowed by Ferdinand VII in 1830. Additional restoration and conservation work continued through the 21st century.
Some of the main structures include Royal Complex, Courts of the Lions and Fountains and the Court of the Myrtles.