The Alhambra and the Generalife in Granada were declared “World Heritage” by UNESCO in 1984. The Alhambra features in this souvenir sheet depicting one of its beautifully decorated rooms, whilst the circle-shaped stamp resembles a 2 € coin with an image of the Patio de los Leones in the centre. In 1994 the declaration of World Heritage was extended to the neighbourhood of the Albaicin.
The Alhambra is located on the hill of al-Sabika, on the left bank of the Darro River, east of Granada. It is recorded that in 889 Sawwar ben Hamdun seeked refuge in his fortress from the fighting going on all over the Caliphate of Cordoba, which then belonged to the kingdom of Granada. In the 13th century with the arrival of Mohammed I, the first Nazari monarch, the Alhambra became a royal residence, marking the beginning of its splendour. The consecutive monarchs expanded and enrich the compound with the construction of new palace rooms, baths, towers, gates and extensions of the walls.
The complex of the Alhambra, Generalife and Albaicín forms a complete and unique heritage which is especially representative of the architecture that emerged during the long period of the Arab rule in Spain. The Alhambra besides the Alcazaba, includes within the city walls the Nazaríes palaces defended by the towers of Vela, Armas, Pólvora, Sultana , Homenaje, Damas, Oratorio, Picos, Cadí, Infantas, Cautiva, Siete Suelos, Agua and many others. Within the complex, there are other important buildings such as the Palacio de Carlos V, a magnificent example of Renaissance architecture, designed by architect Pedro Machuca and built over the ruins of part of the previous buildings. It was commissioned by Emperor Charles V so that he could admire and enjoy the spirit and wonders of the Alhambra.