The Alhambra does not just consist of palaces. This was a complete community or city and over the years of its development it expanded to include all the features of a town. There were mosques, schools, baths, barracks and of course places of residence for all the offshoots of the royal entourage and its servants. The medina was where the other half lived and though very little of it now remains, there were up to 40,00 inhabitants here at one point. Now only a blip on the way to the Generalife it is quite fascinating to stop and try to conjure up images of it as it was during the Nasrid period. It says little for the living conditions that so little remains and I suppose we must be grateful that the Nasrid devoted their time and money to the legacy which they have left behind in the form of their palaces. The Alhambra must have been a wonderful place to inhabit for persons of privelege but for women and workers, it can't have been much fun at all.
Here you can only see the rests of the Old Medina, it is on the way from the Generalife Gardens to the Rest of the alhambra complex
Passing through the Medina at our right we can see more gardens, until we arrive to the area where is the Alcazar in front, and at our right the Palace of Carlos V and after this one the Palacios Nazaries, If we have time we can enter at the Carlos V palace or if we are close to our entrance time to the palaces, just go to the toilets or have a coffee at the building in front of us
pictured is the wine gate, the original entrance to the medina of the alhambra. through this gate you enter the plaza de los aljibes of the alcazaba. this gate separated the more secure areas of the palace from the areas where more common people lived and worked.
After you purchase your ticket at the box office, you walk about 5 minutes to reach the actual entrance to the Alhambra. The area here is called the "Medina". The palace that Carlos V built is here as is the Puerto del Vino (the Wine Gate) ....now instead of wine, tourists go through it. The decorations adorn every inch of the gate and here at the Alhambra you will be experiencing "beautiful" overflow...just too much to take in and look at and just AHHHH at.
pictured is the more ornately decorated interior side of the wine gate looking from the plaza de los aljibes.