Alhambra fortress in Granada, Spain

Photo: Jiuguang Wang/Flickr

Fortress with a view

The fortress and palaces of Alhambra have sat atop the hills of Granada for hundreds of years, yet they still bring amazement to all who visit. Over 200 years of work went into creating this amazing structure and its surrounding gardens on Sabikah Hill — and no time is better for a visit than the warm summer months. The photo above shows the Alhambra from the Saint Nicholas Observation Point in the Albaycin district.

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Inside Alhambra

Photo: Vaughan Williams/Flickr

Detailed Islamic carvings cover the palace buildings. The building, as it is seen today, was largely reconstructed by orders of Al-Ahmar of the Nasrid Dynasty.

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Fountains at Alhambra

Photo: Martchan/Shutterstock

The Generalife gardens are among the most beautiful in the world. Initially built as a place for Muslim royalty to relax, the gardens feature beautiful courtyards and fountains. The Court of the Main Canal, shown above, is one of the more private areas, featuring low windows for visitors to sit back and enjoy the view.

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Courtyard with a pool at Alhambra

Photo: Marques/Shutterstock

The mirror-like pool of the Partal Palace is surrounded by lush vegetation. Alhambra's oldest structure, this building was most likely built during the rule of Muhammad III in the early 14th century.

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Detailed wall at Alhambra

Photo: Gustavo Marin/Flickr

Intricate designs and writing cover the walls of the palace.

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Tree tunnel at Alhambra

Photo: ivan bastien/Shutterstock

The expansive gardens host countless opportunities for exploration. This pathway within a tree tunnel is the perfect site for a romantic walk.

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Anna Norris is an associate editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

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