The winds of history have long blown through the beautiful halls of the Alhambra. Though it had been the location of fortresses as far back as the 800s, construction of the Alhambra (Arabic for 'red castle') began in 1238 under the rule of Muhammad I Ibn al-Ahmar, founder of the Emirate of Granada. Ensuing leaders would continue construction of the complex, turning it into one of the finest examples of architecture from the historic Islamic world. The palace was the final hold of the Moors before the completion of the Christian Reconquista in 1492, when the Alhambra became the royal court of Ferdinand and Isabella. They greeted Christopher Columbus there later that same year.