The woods and Tajo de San Pedro cover the northern and western area that surrounds the fortress of the Alhambra, bound by the wall connecting the Alhambra to the Tower of the picos and the general wall that surrounds the complex and which starts with the bastion of the Promenade Towers and which follows the bank of the river Darro.
To the east and west two gates were built in the 16th century, one below the Partal, next to the mill that was powered by the water from the stream in the ravine of the Cuesta de los Chinos hill or the Cuesta de los Molinos hill and the other on Cuesta de Gomérez, near the Pomegranates Gate , by the house of the Marquises of Cartagena, today called the Carmen de San Juan de Dios.
In the woods lies a wall which went down from the Gate of Arms until the bab al-Difaf (Puerta de los Adufes or Tableros en el Darro), although we do not know when it was demolished, it was rebuilt using brick. This fragment of the wall has two towers running to the east until Baba al-Difaf.
The hill of the Alhambra, as the location of the military fortress, lacked vegetation beyond the walls in order to aid in its defence, but upon Charles V’s arrival poplars were planted along the paths. It was not until the start of the 19th century when other types of trees were planted, such as horse chestnut trees, elms, plane trees…. which are still there today for visitors to enjoy.
TAJO DE SAN PEDRO
In Arabic times there must have been a defensive wall in this area, running along the river, which went around a cliff much smaller than it is in its present form.
The Tajo (cliff) is around 65 metres high and is located 24 metres from the walls of the Alhambra, abruptly cutting the hill and being a geological phenomenon similar to the Tower of Pisa.
Most of the damage was caused in 1590 when a powder keg exploded which was in the church of San Pedro and affected a number of dependencies of the Alhambra fortress, although over the centuries this “bite” out of the hillside has been increasing due to earthquakes, moisture and erosion of the Darro river.