6 reasons to visit the Alhambra gardens in Spain

Alhambra-gardens-Spain

Visit the Alhambra gardens in Spain to be completely blown away by their beauty.

The gardens of the Alhambra are also popular as the Generalife gardens of Granada. The Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain.
The best and most famous late-medieval castle gardens in Europe stand on a fortified plateau. Across a valley from the Generalife and surrounded by the Sierra Nevada mountains. Before reaching Spain, the Moors saw and occupied Roman villas. Muhammad I (1230-72) made the Alhambra his palace. But, Yusuf I (1333-54), during his reigns did most of the work. The overall plan of the plateau resembles that of Hadrian’s Villa. In Arabic, Alhambra means Red Castle.

Generalife gardens of GranadaThe Lion Fountain, from which the brilliant Court of the Lions takes its name, dates from the eleventh century. The Court of the Pool is with beautiful proportions and rich in Islamic detail. The palace windows frame views of the surrounding landscape, as though they were oriental minatures. The importance of the Alhambra in garden history is quite evident. It is a distillation of the East Mediteranean tradition of garden-making. Furthermore it is the prime example of garden design from the period. And it is a great work of art, which inspired the knot and parterre gardens of northern Europe. Charles V added a renaissance palace (1527-68) with a marvellous circular courtyard. He made it because his young Portuguese wife disliked Moorish architecture. But after his reign, it was not in use for centuries and sits uneasily with the older structures.

East Mediteranean tradition of garden-makingThe Alhambra gardens in Granada, Spain.

Some changes have been made to the gardens since their Moorish occupation. Francisco Prieto Moreno in 1951 started and completed the gardens now growing. He paved the walkways in traditional Granadian style with a mosaic of pebbles from nearby rivers. No one really knows what the Generalife originally looked like, because it has been rebuilt numerous times throughout the Christian period. These changes were at first necessary because of deterioration and neglect that was the result of the late Muslim period. So, later on they changed its layout and revamped many of its features. The Generalife is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Granada, along with the Alhambra palace and gardens, and the Albayzín district in which they reside.

The outer parts of the gardens include fruit trees (figs, pomegranates, walnuts, and more) along with a vegetable garden (I saw lots of eggplant!). The higher level also had a vineyard.

So welcome to the Alhambra gardens.

 Read about other famous gardens and parks around the world.

 

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