The Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. The complex was begun in 1238 by Muhammad I Ibn al-Ahmar, the first Nasrid emir. It was built on the Sabika hill, an outcrop of the Sierra Nevada which had been the site of earlier fortresses and of the 11th-century palace of Samuel ibn Naghrillah.
Later Nasrid rulers continuously modified the site. The most significant construction campaigns, which gave the Comares Palace (or Court of the Myrtles) and the Palace of the Lions their definitive character, took place in the 14th century during the reigns of Yusuf I and Muhammad V.
After the conclusion of the Christian Reconquista in 1492, the site became the Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella (where Christopher Columbus received royal endorsement for his expedition), and the palaces were partially altered in the Renaissance style.
In 1526, Charles I of Spain commissioned a new Renaissance palace better befitting the Holy Roman Emperor in the revolutionary Mannerist style influenced by humanist philosophy in direct juxtaposition with the Nasrid Andalusian architecture, but it was ultimately never completed due to Morisco rebellions in Granada.