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The National Geographic likes the Alhambra


“The beauty and variety of Granada still astonish me after 40 years of visits.” The “magical” palace and gardens of the Alhambra comprise “one of those rare must-see destinations that lives up to the hype.” The Alhambra is an innovator in managing tourist numbers; visitors are”absorbed into the urban milieu with little overt impact.”

Here is a representative sampling of additional anonymous comments from the panelists. They are not necessarily the views of the National Geographic Society:

“The Alhambra is one of the most significant cultural and historic treasures in the world. Its location on a hill in the medieval portion of Granada provides stunning views. Wandering up to the former Muslim palace and gardens along winding streets through the old town provides a perspective that has great aesthetic appeal. Visitor numbers to the palace are controlled daily by a quota system.”

“Incredible is the word for this magical place. We were, however, quite concerned to see that many, many decorative and plastered wall surfaces and painted surfaces were not protected in any way. Evidence of repeated, prolonged touching had worn away both paint and actual decoration, at some places down to the substrate. The site is extremely heavily visited, and it’s apparent that this is taking a toll.”

“The Alhambra, beyond being the best example of Nazari architecture, has been developing fairly well for such an important heritage attraction. Over the past few years there has been a trend to value the place and preserve it from previous, undesirable developments.”

“The beauty and variety of Granada still astonishes me after 40 years of visiting the place. The city seems to be very serious about its integrity and environment and it shows in the care of the monuments.”

“One of those rare ‘must see’ destinations that lives up to all the hype. Few places as heavily touted as the Alhambra can match their advance billing, but the Alhambra doesn’t disappoint—it is magical, all the more if you can book a visit when it’s less crowded, and take it all in slowly, preferably over a few days. The rest of Granada is pleasant, especially the Albaicin, from which the views back to the Alhambra are the stuff of dreams.”

“Several features stand out immediately. First, the number of tourists is controlled, and their movement within the attraction is timed to avoid crowding, thus preserving the environmental quality and maintaining the aesthetic appeal. Second, the condition of the built heritage is very well preserved; the structures remain almost in their original condition. Third, the town and local population, although removed from the attraction, benefit from the tourists that come to the Alhambra.”

Fuente: National Geographic Traveler