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The Palacio de Generalife was the summer palace and country estate of the Nasrid rulers of the Emirate of Granada in Al-Andalus, now beside the city of Granada in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. The palace and gardens were built during the reign of Muhammed II (1273-1302), Sultan of Granada, and later by Muhammed III (1302–1309). They were redecorated shortly after by Abu I-Walid Isma'il (1313–1324).he complex consists of the Patio de la Acequia (Court of the Water Channel or Water-Garden Courtyard), which has a long pool framed by flowerbeds, fountains, colonnades and pavilions, and the Jardím de la Sultana (Sultana's Garden or Courtyard of the Cypress). The former is thought to best preserve the style of the medieval Persian garden in Al-Andalus. Originally the palace was linked to the Alhambra by a covered walkway across the ravine that now divides them. The Generalife is one of the oldest surviving Moorish gardens.
Generalife Visit and Tours
Patio de la Acequia is 48.70 meters long and 12.80 wide and is the most important part of the Generalife, although the appearance of its buildings and gardens has changed since the Arab period. A channel that carries the water from the irrigation ditch of the Alhambra divides it lengthways. The channel is surrounded by several little jets and has a stone basin at each of its ends. The rest of the patio is occupied by different vegetal species that have been changed according to the moment's tastes. Nowadays there are myrtle bushes, orange trees, cypresses and rosebushes. This is a must thing to do at Generalife.
This patio has a central pond surrounded by a myrtle hedge and in the middle of the pond there is another little pond with a stone fountain. One of the staircases that are in these gardens, the Water Stairway, is especially beautiful because of its beauty and originality. It is supposed to be the oldest staircase in these gardens (it already existed in the Muslim period). The staircase is divided in three flights, each with a fountain and handrails that are channels with running water. The staircase is surrounded by laurels that join their crowns and form a vault. The sun shines through this laurel vault and the light contributes to the extremely beautiful scene. Two regal pleasure palaces, Palace of Dar al - Arusa and Palace of the Alixares, stood on the lands covering the area between the valley of the river Darro and that of the river Genil.They were abandoned and the passing of time has ended up destroying them.Recent excavations discovered them and showed their richness and magnificence, as well as the beautiful decorative elements that have been found.
Another thing to do at Generalife is to see the music and dance festivals. You will find the Lower Gardens and the open air theatre which is now venue for the Granada International Festival of Music and Dance. This is a real fairy-tale setting where you can stop and listen to the music provided by criss-crossed water jets, and stroll down the long corridor that runs alongside: it was built in the Christian period and its arches offer stunning views. From the palace viewpoint there is a different perspective. You may well be surprised by the low level of the windows. They were designed in this way to be able to admire the view while sitting on the floor, as is the norm in the Arab world.
How to Get Tickets?
You can purchase your tickets online, there are several sites that sell tickets to Generalife. Generalife is a part of Alhambra, it is recommended to purchase Alhambra general tickets so that you can see other sites in the area with just one ticket. There are two types of tickets: morning and afternoon. You must respect the pass indicated on your ticket.Tickets may not be resold – use the correct names when booking and carry identification when visiting the Alhambra.
How To Get Around?
You can get around Generalife by walking. It is a big area and it is beautiful to explore. Make sure you walk around all the area and enjoy the architecture and garden.
What Should I Wear?
Most visitors wear t-shirts, jeans, and sneakers. You can wear shorts in the summer, it could be pretty hot during the day.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Generalife is in the morning, so make sure you purchase the morning tickets. Generalife is often overcrowded so avoid high season.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, you do not need a guide to visit Generalife. Just make sure you get a map or a guidebook at the ticket office and you're good to go.
How To Get There?
You can take the red minibus Alhambra Bus C3, which leaves every 10 minutes from Plaza Nueva to the Alhambra. The stop where you need to get off is called 'Generalife'. You can buy the bus ticket directly on the bus. Once you arrive in Alhambra area, you can walk to Generalife.