Granada, Andalusia, Spain; 1338–90

At the heart of the Alhambra is a carpet of water – a reflecting pool, with a row of myrtle trees on each side. The stillness and coolness of the place were a preparation for entry to the throne room of the Nasrids, the last Muslim dynasty to rule al-Andalus (Andalusia). This part of Spain was under Muslim control from 715 until 1492, when it was conquered by Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon.

In the sixteenth century, the emperor Charles V (known as Carlos V in Spain), the grandson of Isabella and Ferdinand, built his own palace next to the Nasrid palace in Granada’s citadel. It appears on ...

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