Gardens in Granada

Roses bloom in the Gardens of the Generalife. © Michelle Chaplow
Roses bloom in the Gardens of the Generalife.

Granada City

In Granada city the most emblematic gardens in Granada are those of the Alhambra and Generalife. The traditional Islamic patios of the Alhambra such as Los Arrayanes, the central pond being a typical feature with a border of myrtle bushes, Patio de los Leones has a central fountain supported by lions, this is rare as Islamic architecture did not usually feature animals. There is also the Machuca patio, in Renaissance style, like the Patio de la Reja and Lineraja both with a central fountain. There are several other gardens such as El Adarve in Renaissance style, laid out in a steep slope with splendid views or modern gardens such as El Partal which are the largest, set upon part of the ruins of the old Nasrid Palace imitating the original layout. The San Francisco and El Secano gardens are the most recent additions.

The particularly outstanding garden is that of the Generalife with its lovely Moorish patio of La Acequia and the patio of El Cipres or of La Sultana, that mixes Moorish and Renaissance features.

There are further terraced gardens in Italian style where you can see the Water Steps. The rest of the Generalife gardens are laid out using cypress hedges - not used in Moorish gardens - and countless fountains dating from the beginning of this century, occupying the site of old Moorish orchards.  


A 'Carmen' is typical house of the old quarter of Granada with a walled garden. The word comes from the Arabic word 'Karm' for garden. They became fashionable in the sixteenth century when wealthy Christians purchased 3 or 4 town houses and demolished parts to make a walled garden. They often employed Moorish craftsmen to ornate them. One of the most interesting is Los Cipreses, which has a Moorish pool, also Los Chaplets.

Casa del Chapiz has a patio with pool similar to that of Comares in the Alhambra and has a recently laid out garden in the Renaissance style. Los Martires is the largest Carmen from the beginning of the 19th century where water is abundant but it isn't in the Moorish style. Other worthy Carmens are Acosta - modern - Nuestra Sra. de la Angustias of San Agustin and Manuel de Falla.



Province of Granada

On the road to Sierra Nevada Ski Resort and Siera Nevada National Park is the Paseo del Salon with is long wide avenue.

At Viznar is Cuzco; a Palace with an 18th century garden with French and Italian influence and some Moorish features and is particularly charming, especially in the way it unites the leafiness of northern gardens with the light of the skies; it has a good quantity of fruit trees with two magnificent century old magnolia trees and a marvellous view of Sierra Elvira.

Just outside Loja is the Narvaez garden which has an original Romantic design consisting of flower beds with box tree hedges and laurel galleries. It is possible the garden was designed by one of the last members of the Boutelou family who were the gardeners of Bourbons.


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