“(fr Arab kal’-at hamra, “the red castle”) A citadel and palace at Granada, Spain, built by Moorish kings in the 13th century. The buildings stand on a plateau some thirty-five acres in area and are surrounded by a reddish brick wall. Considered one of the finest examples of Moorish architecture in Spain, the palace consists largely of two rectangular courts, the Court of the Pool or Myrtles and the Court of the Lions, and their adjoining chambers. The latter court contains a famous central fountain, consisting of an alabaster basin supported by twelve lions of white marble. While he was an attache at the American legation in Madrid in 1829, Washington Irving spend much time in the Alhambra and wrote a well-known volume of sketches and tales called Legends of the Alhambra (1832, 1852). An admirer of Moorish civilization, he wrote about the clashes between the Spaniards and the Moors.”
Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.