Alhambra Palace Complex: Patio de los Arrayanes with the Torre de Comares behind
Also called the Patio de la Alberca (Court of the Blessing or Court of the Pond), from the Arabic birka, "pool." The court is 42 m (140 ft) long by 22 m (74 ft) broad; in the center, there is a large pond set in the marble pavement, with myrtles growing along its sides. There are galleries on the north and south sides; that on the south is 7 m (23 ft) high and supported by a marble colonnade. Underneath it, to the right, was the principal entrance, and over it are three windows with arches and miniature pillars. From this court, the walls of the Torre de Comares are seen rising over the roof to the north and reflected in the pond.
The palaces of the Alhambra and Generalife form the most important architectural ensemble to survive from the Nasrid period (1232–1492). The walled Alhambra city which sits on a steep hill, comprised the Alcazaba (alqaṣaba: 'fortress'), palaces, mansions, two mosques, baths (ḥammams), an industrial zone with tanneries, a mint, kilns, workshops, and some adjacent royal estates such as the Generalife. The Generalife was built on ascending terraces. The sovereign reached the Generalife's royal mansion, the Dar al-Mamlaka al-Sa'ida ('royal house of felicity'), from the Alhambra's Puerta de Hierro, also built by Muhammad II. He ascended through orchards, crossed a first courtyard and entered the second through a guarded south portico, to ascend to a vestibule with a structural bench and up a steep staircase to the Patio de la Acequia. Gardens and fountains are interspersed throughout the palace complex. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.