When you think of the Alhambra, you probably imagine the stunning Moorish palace in southern Spain. What you might not know, however, is that you can find a little piece of the Alhambra right here in Barcelona. Edificio Alhambra, or the Alhambra Building in English, is a little-known architectural jewel in Barcelona. Modeled after the famous Alhambra palace, the building will transport you straight to Granada in its style and Moorish influence.
Related article: The Old and the New: Barcelona’s Most Stunning Architecture
Located in the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi neighborhood of Barcelona, the “Alhambra Building,” as it has come to be known, was designed by architect Domènec Balet i Nadal in 1875 and later restored by architect Albert Crispi in 1920.
The building gets its name for its distinctive neo-Arabic style that reminds everyone who sees it of the Moorish architecture of southern Spain. Inside, the main hall is a reproduction of the beautiful Courtyard of Lions inside Granada’s Alhambra. From outside the building, passersby can see the Islamic arches and stained glass windows that make it stand out from the surrounding architecture.
According to the story, the Alhambra building’s design with its intricate Islamic decoration was influenced by original landowner’s wife who felt a deep nostalgia for her home city of Granada, although the official inspiration for the building’s Alhambra design is unknown. Today, the Alhambra Building is home to several members of the same family and entirely residential.
Although the building was modeled after one of the most famous building’s in all of Spain, it’s still a bit of a secret in Barcelona among both locals and visitors today. Located outside the main tourist areas, few people actually know of its existence. It’s a rare architectural beauty that stands alone, far separated from the typical architecture of Barcelona.
Related article: Casa Vicens, a Jewel of Architecture in Barcelona
How to get there
While you cannot formally visit the building, it’s an impressive sight to see from the outside facade. To get there, take the L7 train from Plaza Catalunya towards Av. Tibidabo and get off at Pàdua where you’ll be just five minutes walking from the Alhambra Building. The journey takes just fifteen minutes from Plaza Catalunya and is well-worth making if you want to see one of Barcelona’s most unique buildings.
Location: Carrer Berlinès, 5, 08006 Barcelona