The Alhambra: From Ruin to Restoration

Built of perishable materials, the Alhambra was never intended to last but to be forever replenished and replaced by succeeding generations. By the early 17th century, ruin and decay had set in, and the Alhambra was abandoned by all but tramps and stray dogs. Napoléon's troops commandeered it in 1812, but their attempts to destroy it were, happily, foiled. In 1814, the Alhambra's fortunes rose with the arrival of the Duke of Wellington, who came here to escape the pressures of the Peninsular War. Soon afterward, in 1829, Washington Irving arrived to live on the premises and helped revive interest in the crumbling palace, in part through his 1832 book Tales of the Alhambra. In 1862, Granada finally launched a complete restoration program that has been carried on ever since.

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