The Gardens Of Feasts

Posted On December 28, 2009 

The Palacio de Generalife was the summer palace and country estate of the Nasrid sultans of Granada. The word “Generalife” can be translated as “garden of paradise”, “orchard” or “garden of feasts”. The garden is sweet, serene and beautiful. This garden is indeed a stunning place which stands high on a plateau with the Sierra Nevada Mountains as a backdrop.

The palace and gardens were built during the reign of Muhammad III way back during the years 1302-1309. They were restored by Abu I-Walid Isma’il (1313-1324). The palace was built to function as a summer palace for the Sultans of Grenada in the 13th Century. The palace has been built around a long main courtyard. It has a mirror pool surrounded by columns, canopies and flower gardens. The Generalife has one of the world’s oldest Moorish gardens.

Generalife palace

The gardens of the Generalife separate the country house from the Palace and Alcazaba. In medieval times they would have contained fruits as well as flowers. Today plants are selected for their aromas and color. The garden has abundance of cool breeze blowing in due to the open terraces. The open terraces also offer spectacular and breathtaking views over the city and the Genil and Darro river valleys.

The original covered walkway between Generalife and the Alhambra, has long since been changed and renovated over the years, and is no longer there. However, the design is simple and tasteful, and the sounds of the water fountains lend a tranquil and serene touch. The shaded courtyards are more restful and relaxing, rather than magnificent.

Generalife gardens

The entire complex is made up of the Court of the Water Channel or Water-Garden Courtyard (also known as Patio de la Acequia). The Water-Garden Courtyard has a long pool framed by flowerbeds, fountains, and pavilions. The Court of the Long Pond in the Generalife is perhaps the most photographed garden feature. The complex also has the Sultana’s Garden or Courtyard of the Cypress (also known as Jardín de la Sultana). The Generalife is one of the oldest surviving Moorish gardens.

Visiting the Garden

Calle  Real, s/n 18009   Granada (Granada)
Tel: +34 958027900/+34 902-44 12 21
Fax + 34 958-22 63 63


General admission: € 6. Evenings: € 12


For group reservations, it is advisable to book tickets at least one week in advance. For advance bookings you can call on: 902 22 44 60

For those calling from out of Spain, you can call on 00 34 91 537 91 78;


Disabled access

Diabled access is available, except in certain section with stairs.


Photos and videos are allowed, however please note that tripod and flash photography are not permitted in certain rooms.

It is estimated that the garden receives around 2 million visitors a year. This makes the Alhambra one of the most popular tourist attractions of Spain. While many of the open areas surrounding the Alhambra can be viewed without a ticket, the highlights of the complex: the Palacio can only be seen with a valid ticket.

Be aware that tickets need to be purchased in advance and have a time of entry printed on them. Only a limited number of tickets are sold each day. Hence it is recommended that you reach the place around 7am to be sure of getting one. If you miss your time, you’ll need to wait until the next day and try again.

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One Response to “The Gardens Of Feasts”
  1. Andy says:

    What an art! Its lookin so beautiful in the picture I can’t imagine how it would be in real! simply stunning!

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