People have asked us which of the Wonders has been our favorite or most surprising. Alhambra is high on both lists. I didn’t expect much from Alhambra prior to visiting, I didn’t even know it existed before Civ. I was thinking it would just be some large fort or castle and I was happily wrong.
Alhambra is indeed a large castle complex but what really sets it apart in my mind are its amazing gardens. While walking through the gardens I actually felt like I was transported to Medieval Spain. I imagined myself forging alliances for war, negotiating trade agreements, discussing philosophy, or courting fair maidens. These gardens were by far the most beautiful I have been in. The actual castle was not really that impressive but I would go back just for the gardens.
In Civ I try to build Alhambra for the 20% culture bonus. While Alhambra’s other bonuses (automatic Drill promotion and a free castle) are pretty good it’s the culture that I care about. However having visited the Wonder I’m not sure why it has such a large culture bonus, though it has served as a source of inspiration for many artists throughout the ages from Washington Irving to the Grateful Dead.
Alhambra was built by the Islamic Moors and served as the center of their empire in Spain which explains the beautiful arabesque designs adorning its walls. After Catholicism took hold of Spain Alhambra became the royal court of Ferdinand and Isabella and later Charles V. Each made their own additions to Alhambra fitting of their time and religion. Because of all these additions the complex is now quite large so be prepared for a lot of walking.