Alhambra Palace Complex: Distant context view of the Alhambra citadel
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.