Generalife Palace

The Generalife, built between s.XII and s.XIV, is the palace used by muslim kings as resting place.

The entrance to the Generalife is interesting for two reasons. On the one hand, its exterior part is rural, befitting a country house more than a palace; on the other hand, various courts had to be traversed at different levels in order to reach the interior of the Alhambra palace itself. The entrance is currently denominated the Court of the Dismount (Patio del Descabalgamiento) owing to the presence of footrests that facilitate horse riders in their dismount. Also on hand are two side buildings, which were probably used by stable hands.

Once entrance was gained, the visitor would have to climb a stairway past the security guard benches, toward a room above, with a control window. The second court, which underwent changes, is located at the top and surrounded by arched galleries, except for in the front, where access to the interior of the palace is gained.

Entrance to the palace itself is through a tiny door, today partially hidden by undergrowth and embedded in traces of marble, with a tiled lintel and the ever present arch-key marking. From there, a steep narrow stairway leads to a residence, connected to the Court of the Main Canal (Patio de la Acequia), called the North Pavilion (Pabellón Norte), which in turn leads to an arcaded gallery, with five arches and bedchambers, and on to the Royal Chamber (Sala Regia) and the observation point of Ismail I.

The Royal Chamber (Sala Regia) is noted for its plasterwork, niches and lovely stalactite capitals. The often repeated interior layout includes bedchambers framed by arches. Of particular note is the stalactite outset cornice supporting the ceiling.

The Generalife Palace Low Gardens

Beneath the Palace North Pavilion lies a small closed garden that dates back to the period of Arabic rule. In 1526 Andrea Navagero described its walls as being covered with ivy and having a fountain that shot water ten fathoms into the air.

To the west of the garden a staircase leads slightly above to a garden beneath the Palace West Gallery. The garden was designed in 1928 by Torres Balbás, after the building adjacent to the North Pavilion had been demolished. West of that, and slightly lower, covering the entire length of the Main Canal Gallery Court (Galería del Patio de la Acequia), lie the gardens that, though somewhat altered now, in the 19th century were depicted in an engraving by the French archaeologist and traveller Alexandre Laborde.

Relate Posts

Ten beautiful villages of Malaga to bet everything on white

Ten beautiful villages of Malaga to bet everything on white

Whitewashed houses, historical monuments, natural sites and places of marked cultural interest put the icing on a landscape of sun and color. From the six natural sites that cross Malaga to its lively and warm Mediterranean Sea, this province presents the image of...

Top Islamic Heritage Site in Seville, Andalusia

Top Islamic Heritage Site in Seville, Andalusia

The travel giant Lonely Planet announced in 2018 the quintessentially Andalusian city of Seville as its top travel city. Home of the flamenco, bullfighting, tapas, and over 500 hundred years of Muslim history. So here are our top five Muslim heritage sites you simply...

Sintra: the perfect get away from Lisbon

Sintra: the perfect get away from Lisbon

With its various palaces, the ruins of an Arab castle and the beaches surrounding it, Sintra stands out for looking taken from a fairy tale. Just 30 kilometers from Lisbon is located this town catalogued by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site under the special category of...