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Alhambra Experiences

It combines the night visit and the visit to the gardens.

Mode that combines night visit to Nasrid Palaces lit and daytime visit to Alcazaba, the Generalife Gardens and Palace on two consecutive days.

With the night visit you can get to know the Nasrid Palaces under special illumination conditions.

The visit commences at the Alhambra Atrium, where tickets are sold and information on the visits is made available. The route continues along a passageway by the walls, looking onto the Torre del Agua (Water Tower), Torre de Baltasar de la Cruz, Torre de los Siete Suelos (Seven-Storeyed Tower), Tower del Capitán, Torre de la Bruja (Tower of the Witch) and Torre de las Cabezas (Tower of Heads), arriving at the Palace of Charles V (on visit) through the gates Puerta de la Justicia or the Puerta de los Carros.

The visit continues through the following areas of the Nasrid Palaces:

01 – Nasrid Palaces (Alcazar) La Dar al-Mamlaka

This is the most famous and visited area of the Monumental Ensemble, composed of the following palaces: Mexuar, Palace of Comares and Palace of the Lions.

Mexuar

There you can visit the Hall, the Oratory and the Court of the Mexuar.

Palace of Comares. Court of the Myrtles

This palace is were the Nasrid sultans established the throne room and the residence of the Sultan and his family.  It was built during the Yusuf I period, and his son Muhamma V completed its splendid decoration. It is accessed through two doors located in the Court of the Golden Room.

It separated the public area of the Palace from the private part. The right door led to family and service quarters. The door on the left leads to the Patio of Comares with a pond, which in every Hispanic-Moorish domestic construction constitutes the centre of family life, around which the rooms are distributed.

Antechamber to the most important space of the Palace of Comares, its name may have come from the cylindrical shape of the dome, like an inverted boat hull, or from the Arab term al-baraka, repeatedly inscribed on the stucco of the walls.

The Hall of Comares is located inside the tower and constitutes the largest room of the Nasrid Alhambra.

Palace of the Lions

During the second mandate of Muhammad V, in the second half of the fourteenth century, a major modification of the internal structure of the Alhambra is carried out. It is the most fecund nasrid period, when most of the spaces we visit today are decorated and redecorated.

The Palace of the Lions, brings new aesthetic concepts that break with the usual architectural scheme and that will also be reflected in the administration of the State.

It is structured around two dwelling nuclei and two ambivalent areas. From the latter, the first one seen was the Hall of the Muqarnas, which was used as a hall or vestibule owing to its proximity to the main entrance of the Palace.

The residential area of the Palace of the Lions, located to the South, develop around the Hall of the Abencerrages. Noteworthy is the eight-point stalactite star of the Muqarna cupola that spreads out into eight trunk-like stalactites, also Muqarna.

The Hall of the Kings is the most representative space of the Palace of the Lions. It was an area used for relaxation and leisure, structured around a large vestibular hall,  that was reserved for receptions and celebrations. Likewise, this space is divided into three square-shaped spaces with the porticos and the alcoves in the centre. These spaces are perpendicularly segmented by large double stalactite arches.

The Hall of the Two Sisters is the second residence of the Palace of the Lions, is structurally similar to the Hall of the Abencerrages. The name is derived from the setting where two large marble flagstones lie with a small fountain in between from which water flows along a canal to the Court of the Lions.

You enter the Ajimeces Gallery  through a large archway opening in the wall. The upper part of the gallery wall is decorated with polychromatic stucco, while the lower part is bare. The name of gallery recalls the locks, fixed to the large side supports that the window pairs originally had.

the Court of the Lindaraja appears behind a Muqarnas arch, culmintating the upper part of the premise by a fake cover with crystals of differet colours.

Daytime visit to Alcazaba, Gardens and Palace of Generalife

The next day:

02 – Alcazaba – La Qasba –

From the 13th century onwards, the Nasrid people gave the Alcazaba its present appearance, adding great towers: the Tower of the Candle (Torre de la Vela) in the west and the Tower of Homage (Torre del Homenaje), the Broken Tower (Torre Quebrada) and Adarguero in the east, with the importan access through the Gate of the Arms.

It is one of the oldest parts of the Alhambra; in this military area you can visit the following spaces: the Terrace of the Tower of the Cube, the Adarve of the North Wall, the Military District, the Gate of the Arms, The Tower of the Candle (Torre de la Vela) and the Garden of the Adarves.

03 – Visit to the Gardens

It includes:

  • Promenade of the Cypress Trees, Secano (“Dryland”), Gardens of the Monastery of San Francisco.
  • Partal: Gallery, gardens and paths of the Palace, Rauda, Palace of Jusuf III, Promenade of the Towers.
  • Palace of the Generalife: Lower Gardens and High Gardens (The Court of the Main Canal, The Sultana’s Court and Water Stairway)

Access to the Alhambra is through the medina artisanal industry quarter, traditionally known as Secano or Dryland. The trajectory includes an archaeological tour of the Royal Canal’s start at the Aqueduct, the remains of shops with kilns, tanneries, and houses, as well as the inner wall and towers. On this tour the visitor will see from outside the wall one of four gates, the main one, known as the Gate of the Seven Floors.

A stroll through this area will take the visitor past a wood of cypress trees trimmed in the shape of arches,  the gardens nearby and the archaeological remains in the area.

On the right there is a partial view of the Monastery of San Francisco, built in the 16th century over a small Muslim palace, which today is a Parador Nacional.

On the left, there are the remains of various Nasrid houses, .

Partal

A small pergola leads to a wide esplanade corresponding to the lower terrace of the Partal. To the left is the architectural structure for which the location is named: the Partal Palace portico. As is customary in these buildings, it is situated, like the Palace of Comares, on the premises wall. The portico, with its five arches, overlooks a large pool in the centre of the garden. Behind the portico is the main room, located inside the tower known as Las Damas.

The Partal was only included in the Alhambra a little more than a century ago,  this is one of the reasons why it stands out from its neighbouring Comares and the Lions, which have maintained their overall structure since the days of the Nasrid

As we leave behind the Gardens of the Partal, we find the Palace of Yusuf III.

Outstanding is the long pool in the central courtyard with a lush garden, structurally resembling the Palace of Comares .

Generalife

It is composed by the Lower Gardens, the Palace of Generalife and the High Gardens.

The visit to this sector begins at the New Gardens of the Generalife.

The Generalife and the Alhambra were connected through gardens that successfully integrated the buildings with nature.

It was divided in three parts, consecutively executed, that currently conform the New Gardens.

Finally, in 1952, the outdoor amphitheatre was built for the Granada International Festival of Music and Dance, which as been held there ever since.

The Generalife was used by the Muslim royalty as a place of rest. Built between the 12th and 14th centuries, the Generalife was used as a place of rest for the Muslim royalty. It was designed as a rural villa in the vicinity of the Alhambra.

The Royal Canal (Acequia Real), the principal hydraulic source for the entire historical-artistic monument complex. The court channel was originally in the shape of a crossing, like the one in the Court of the Lions (Patio de los Leones), supplying water to four oblique parterres.

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.

The second court is located at the top level.

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.

Crossing the side bedroom of the Royal Chamber (Sala Regia) you ascend to an open corridor called the Court of the Sultana’s Cypress Tree (Patio del Ciprés de la Sultana).

The arcaded structure dates back to 1584. In front of it is an intimate court and a garden with a baroque flare to it.

In the centre is a U-shaped pool of water, in the middle of which in the 19th century there used to be a smaller pool, with a stone fountain.

EnTo reach the highest part of the Generalife you take the Water Stairway (Escalera del Agua), leftover—if substantially altered—from an earlier site, famous for its water, which flowed from the Sultan’s Canal through pipes in the walls.

Water once flowed into three circular basins from as many pipes, now lost; however, water from the Royal Canal (Acequia Real) continues to flow down inverted pan tiles along the stairway parapets.

At the end of the Water Stairway is the highest point in the Generalife. From this vantage point Jaime Traverso, the admistrator of the site, built in 1836 the Romantic Observation Point (This space opens once a year during a month, withing the programme “space of the month”.)

The visit continues through the Promenade of the Oleanders, a long path that crosses the upper wall that separates the vegetable gardens, covered with oleander.

This promenade was built in the middle of the XIX century as a romantic access to the Palace of the Generalife.

Approximate time of the visit 1 hour (at night) and 2 hours (gardens)

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The visit includes:

01 – Nasrid Palacies

The Mexuar

Palace of Comares

Palace of the Lions

02 – The Alcazaba

03 – Gardens of Generalife

Cypress Promenade, Secano(dryland), San Francisco Gardens.

Partal

Palace of Generalife

(*) MINORS MUST HAVE THEIR CORRESPONDING TICKETS TO ACCESS THE SPACES.
If you are going to make your visit with children under 12 years of age, you should know that they need their corresponding free child ticket, which CANNOT BE PROVIDED at the ticket office, except for babies under 2 years of age.
As established in Art. 2.3 “Cases out of capacity control” of the Resolution of September 26th, 2016, of the Board of the Alhambra and Generalife, about the rules of visit, commercialization and other public uses of the Monumental Complex of the Alhambra and Generalife and their assigned assets.

This channel is for private tourism and therefore is directed exclusively for the sale of tickets to individuals, in accordance with section 4.3 B) of the Resolution of September 26th, 2016, of the Board of the Alhambra and Generalife, for which the rules of visit, commercialization and other public uses of the Monumental Complex of the Alhambra and the Generalife and its attached assets are.
The Board of the Alhambra and Generalife reserves the right to VOID those tickets that have been acquired for a purpose other than the channel for which they are intended.

  • Booking and purchase of tickets are done online in the system of management and sales of tickets of the Council of the Alhambra, by telephone or on TVRs.
  • These tickets can be purchased through “print at home”, on the TVRs or at the ticket office. The last procedure can cause an unnecessary wait.
  • If your ticket has been purchased through “print at home” you should consider:
    • That all visitors must carry their entry, printed on A4 paper, obverse and reverse and keep it until the end of the visit.
    • The print must be of good quality. Partially printed, stained, damaged or illegible tickets will not be accepted.
      IF NOT, IT WILL BE CONSIDERED NULL
    • To check the good quality of the print, make sure the information written on the ticket, as well as the QR code are legible.
  • Each visitor independent of his age, must carry his own ticket, which may be issued individually and he is obliged to keep it until the exit of the monument visited, he must present it, with a personal identification document issued by the Ministry of the Interior or homologous organization of his country, at the request of any employee, either his own personnel or the security services, as well as the State Security Forces and Bodies, in this case.
    • If the holder of the ticket is different from the person who is to carry out the visit, it must include the name and surname of the visitor in the “ticket” before printing.

IN THE EVENT OF NOT OBSERVING SOME OF THE RULES SPECIFIED ABOVE THE TICKET WILL BE CONSIDERED NULL. 

  • Please note that this ticket is valid for two consecutive days, offerinf the possibility of joining the night visit to Nasrid Palaces and the dayvisit to the Alcazaba, Gardens and Palace of Generlaife, the hext day.
  • Children under 12 have free admission but it must be reserved at the time of purchase and managed with the rest of the adult tickets.

IMPORTANT: the date and the time of access to the Nasrid Palaces, is expressly written on the ticket. The visit to these spaces must be done within the specific time slot indicated on the admission ticket.

The Council of the Alhambra and Generalife will limit to ten the number of tickets that a private individual can acquire in a month, in order to make a better distribution of unorganized individual tourism tickets.

Did you know?

Access to the Nasrid Palaces must be done at at the times indicated on the ticket.

You are kindly requested to keep your flash turned off during the evening visit, since the use of flash bothers other visitors who cannot enjoy undisturbed their visit to the Nasrid Palaces..

With the ticket of gardens you can visit all the spaces of the Alhambra except the Nasrid Palaces.

In addition, it will be possible to visit the place that has been designated “space of the month”, only if it is placed in the itinerary of this type of ticket.

Access to the Palace of Carlos V, the Museum of the Alhambra and the Bath of the Mosque, is free.

All the temporary exhibitions, that the Council of the Alhambra and the Generalife organize inside the monumental enclosure, are free.

  • OPENING HOURS of the night visit
    • 15 October to 31 March
      20.00 h. to 21.30 h. Fridays and Saturdays
    • 1 April to 14 October
      22.00 h. to 23.30 h. Tuesdays to Saturdays
    • With the exception of the 25 of December and 1 of January
  • OPENING HOURS for the Gardens visit the day after
    • 15 October to 31 March
      Mondays to Sundays: 8.30 h. to 18.00 h.
    • 1  April to 14 October
      Mondays to Sundays: 8.30 h. to 20.00 h.
    • With the exception of the 25 of December and 1 of January
  • OPENING HOURS of the ticket office
    • 15 October to 31 March:
      8.00 h. to 18.00 h. Sundays to Mondays
      NIGHT VISIT:
      19.00 h. to 20.45 h. Fridays and Saturdays
    • 1 April to 14 October:
      8.00 h. to 20.00 h. Mondays to Sundays
      NIGHT VISIT:
      21.00 h. to 22.45 h. Tuesdays to Saturdays
    • With the exception of the 25 of December and 1 of January

Gratuity (*)

  • Children under 12