Alhambra forest

Behind the Puerta de las Granadas (Pomegranates Gate) are Las Alamedas, the Alhambra forest, which are found on the edge of the Alhambra starting at the gate and continue until the Torre del Agua (The Tower of Water), including the new walkways, Torres Bermejas (Vermillion Tower) and hill up to the Generalife.

They were not designed until the 17th century and it was in 1729 when they were created with three walkways as a part of the preparations for Philip V’s visit in 1730. The three walkways were adjusted for the arrival of Infante Don Francisco de Borja Borbón and his wife, lowering the main walkway to make it easier for carriages to go up.

The great cemetery of the Sabika, the Maqbarat al-Sabika was in this area in Muslim times, although there is no archaeological evidence regarding its location. It was in this cemetery where they buried the first Nazari Sultan, Ibn al-Ahmar or Muhammed I and Sultans Muhammad III and Nasr, as well as Yusuf I’shayib or general in chief Ridwan and other Medina courtiers over the Nasrid period.

The majority of the trees are poplars, blackberries and elms.

A walk thorugh the Alhambra Forest

The walkway on the left-hand side, Norte, is pedestrian only and begins at a marble cross paid for by Leandro de Palencia, artilleryman for the Alhambra. This cross was toppled one night in 1932 and erected again by Leopoldo Torrés Balbás. The walkway heads up through the woods until reaching the Pilar de Carlos V (Charles V’s Pillar) and the Justice Gate or the Explanada.

The walkway on the right, Sur, is also pedestrian and goes up through the woods until Campo de los Mártires and via a side walkway goes to Torres Bermejas. At the start of this walkway, just beside the Puerta de las Granadas, there is a stone with a panegyric to al-Ahmar, the founder of the Nasrid dynasty. A large dungeon was discovered in Campo de los Mártires in 1928 with served as a jail in Muslim times.  It was re-excavated and studied in 1990.

The central walkway or carriage walkway is divided into three stretches leaving you at the place where you can go up to the Generalife from where the Hotel Washington Irving is; the first part starts from a small Renaissance pillar built in 1938, the second part, after the first small square, has us pass by the Arco de las orejas (Arch of the ears) built in 1933 to save what was left of the bab al-Rambla, the Puerta del Arenal, which was located at the entrance to Plaza Bibrambla and was demolished between 1873 and 1884 by City Hall. The Ángel Ganivet Monument was placed along the third part as well as a lean cross a little higher up, done in 1641.

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