The name Dismounting Yard, the first courtyard of a tour of the Generalife, comes from the supposition that it was here that riders left their horses. It certainly has the appearance of a rustic corral in its simplicity, shaded by vines and climbing roses. It has a drinking trough, a stone bench and an outbuilding with twin arches (the old stable).
Here in the outlying courtyards, before seeing the Water Garden Courtyard, grapevines and climbing roses provide a canopy to shade the visitor from the harsh sun.
Crossing the new bridge from the Alhambra, the main entrance is a long, narrow, slightly sloped lane of soft cypress trees, planted so closely together that they now form a soft dark green wall. The trees to the right have more distance between them, allowing a glimpse of seedbeds, fish ponds, and scenic gardens.
The lane ends after 325 feet (100 m) more or less. To both left and right are squares of flat stones through which trees and bushes grow. The view looks more like the ruins of an old architectural monument as its covered in trees that have forced themselves through the piles of stone. There follows an amphitheatre built from narrow, red, partly overlapping stones. Because the trees are spaced widely enough, you get the impression that the scenery behind them will be part of the stage set for an actual performance.
I climb a final flight of narrow steps and then both sides are the smoothest hedges I've ever seen. They feel like velvet, their color a soft green. About 5 feet (1.5 m) wide and about 20 feet (6 m) high, these hedges are the green walls that divide the garden into its many different rooms.
Here and there are small corners where you can sit down, elsewhere passages lead to other natural rooms. Low, neatly cut box hedges cover the floors with complex shapes. The squares are filled with perennials, the colors contrasting with the greenery.
Sometimes double hedges make up corridors. Every area is different. From ground level it is difficult to discern that the Generalife is built on a series of terraces laid out on the hill. What you are really walking through is a green palace with the sky for a roof and the rooms and halls created by living walls of shrubs. It is breathtaking once you realize that!
The picture shows one of the long tunnels of the richly scented, climbing rose-bush arches through which one meanders as you take in each special area that this garden has to offer.
The Generalife was built independently from the Alhambra. Its name comes from the Arabic djennat (meaning garden, orchard or paradise) and al-Arif (meaning architect or master builder), and was built sometime around the 1200s AD. Despite its age, it appears that the Generalife is well preserved.
Following the traditional path from the Alhambra to the Generalife through the Puerta del Arrabal and then along and up the steep, walled alley outside the city walls, a visitor arrives at a huge door beneath a pointed arch, opening onto the Dismounting Yard. It is the first courtyard of the tour of the Generalife. This courtyard eventually leads into the Patio de la Acequia which has a view of the ravine separating it from the Alhambra and a view of more garden terraces leading up to the highest point-- the Sultana’s Mirador Pavilion.
Here I am along the western edge of the Generalife gardens. In the background, looking west and north, you can see an assortment of beautiful roses that line this walkway leading up to the Water Garden Courtyard, the Alhambra Citadel and the old Moorish quarters nowadays called the Albaicin.
For most of you who are going to visit in warmer weather, check out the Generalife. We did, but due to the freezing temperature & the cold flooring we tried to pass this area as fast as possible. Brrrr... At this point in time, my camera's battery was flat too. So no photos, sorry, guys...
Generalife was the summer residence of the Nazaries’ monarchs. It was built in the XII and XIV Centuries.There are spectacular gardens with beautiful fountains leading to the palace. The Moorish Kings that lived here came from the North of Africa, where water is a precious treasury and you can see it here.
GENERALIFE, PATIO DE LA ACEQUIA
The Generalife is the most charming corner of Alhambra, mainly thanks to its gardens and fast-flowing water. Patio de la Acequia (Courtyard of the Water Channel) is the name of the main courtyard.
The promenade of the Oleanders stretches for quite some distance under the shady trees of the many oleanders land line it. When in flower, the trees make quite a colourful showing.
The Court of Machuca was named after the architect of the Charles V Palace, Pedro de Machuca who worked developing this court and lived in the tower during the 1550’s.
This is a stairway where all the way down the banisters there is running water.
It is a great piece of architecture.
This walled garden with fountain is the highlight of the Palace of the Generalife, centrally located. Additional images of the Alhambra gardens are included here
Paradise for the fortunate ones according to the Koran is a leafy shaded garden. That's pretty much what this part of the Alhambra is. Very pretty, and good views over the city too.