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The park has a multitude of nightingales and is usually filled with the sound of running water from several fountains and cascades.
These are supplied through a conduit 8 km (5.0 mi) long, which is connected with the Darro at the monastery of Jesus del Valle above Granada.
Column arcades, fountains with running water, and reflecting pools were used to add to the aesthetic and functional complexity.
In every case, the exterior was left plain and austere. Blue, red, and a golden yellow, all somewhat faded through lapse of time and exposure, are the colors chiefly employed.
The decoration consists for the upper part of the walls, as a rule, of Arabic inscriptions—mostly poems by Ibn Zamrak and others praising the palace—that are manipulated into geometrical patterns with vegetal background set onto an arabesque setting ("Ataurique").
Much of this ornament is carved stucco (plaster) rather than stone.
Ibn Nasr, the founder of the Nasrid Dynasty, was forced to flee to Jaén to avoid persecution by King Ferdinand III of Castile and the Reconquista supporters working to end Spain's Moorish rule.
The castle was then largely ignored until the eleventh century, when its ruins were renovated and rebuilt by Samuel ibn Naghrela, vizier to the emir Badis ben Habus of the Zirid Dynasty of Al Andalus, in an attempt to preserve the small Jewish settlement also located on the natural plateau, Sabikah Hill.
One of the early Nasrid ancestors was nicknamed Yusuf Al Ahmar (Yusuf the Red) and hence the (Nasrid) fraction of the Banu Khazraj took up the name of Banu al-Ahmar.
The first reference to the Qal‘at al-Ḥamra was during the battles between the Arabs and the Muladies (people of mixed Arab and European descent) during the rule of the ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad (r. In one particularly fierce and bloody skirmish, the Muladies soundly defeated the Arabs, who were then forced to take shelter in a primitive red castle located in the province of Elvira, presently located in Granada.
The palace complex was designed with the mountainous site in mind and many forms of technology were considered.
The park (Alameda de la Alhambra), which is overgrown with wildflowers and grass in the spring, was planted by the Moors with roses, oranges, and myrtles; its most characteristic feature, however, is the dense wood of English elms brought by the Duke of Wellington in 1812.