Puerta de las Granadas
City Gate and City Walls in Granada
The Puerta de las Granadas or the Gate of the Pomegranates is an gateway or entrance to the Alhambra, located in the Alhambra Complex, in Granada, Spain. The road starts in the city centre at the Plaza Nueva, and continues up the Cuesta de Gomérez, after the Gate you walk through the Forest of the Alhambra to the Nasrid palace.
What does the Puerta de las Granadas look like?
The gate consists of three arches: a central one for the cavalries; and two lateral ones for people. This renaissance gate replaced the Moorish gate that was already on the spot, and it became the main entrance to the walled enclosure of the Alhambra.
The new gate was constructed in the style of Roman triumphal arches, with a classic front façade, on its tympanum it’s shown the Imperial shield, with allegorical figures of Peace and Abundance, and crowned by three pomegranates.
The gate is made out of bonded stone carved with Florentine designs without roughing, which highlights the ashlarsashlars of the construction. The central arch is surrounded by Tuscan semi-columns.
Where does the name of the Puerta de las Granadas come from?
The gate is popularly known for the over-sized, bursting pomegranates which are carved in stone and which stand on its massive lintel. The pomegranate became the symbol of the city because of the similarity of this Spanish word and one of Granada’s prehistoric names, Granata.
History of the Puerta de las Granadas
The original Moorish gate that should here was called Bib al-Buxar also known as Bib al-Jaudaq. It was a defensive tower that protected the valley located between the hill of the Sabica and the Mauror Mountain. It was placed at the bottom of the Alhambra forest, on a street known as the Cuesta de Gomerez, and would also be called Door of the Gomérez. Parts of the original Moorish gate can be seen on the right side of the new gate.
Under the Moors, the slopes around the castle had to be kept stripped bare of vegetation for military purposes, and the shady trees which now grace the hill were not planted until after the conquest, by the Christians. It was located near the Sabika cemetery, where the first Nasrid sultans were buried.
In 1536 the Renaissance Alhambra Gate of the Pomegranates was built. It was designed by Pedro Machuca, who was also the architect of the Palace of Charles V. The gate was constructed to commemorate the visit of Charles I of Spain to Granada after his wedding with Isabel of Portugal.
On the 10th February 1870, it was declared Bien de Interés Cultural as it was deemed an integrated part of the original wall surrounding the Alhambra.
Where is the Puerta de las Granadas located?
Behind the gate is the Alhambra Wood, with a road and two side trails; the one on the right leads to the Crimson Towers, the Manuel de Falla Auditorium, and the Martyrs’ Walled Villa; the trail on the left, once known as “The Paved Slope”, starts at the marble Cross, dating back to 1641, and leads to the south side of the Alhambra wall, where its various access points are located.
The Alhambra Forest can be seen behind all arches of the gate with the right arch leading to Torres Bermejas, the Manuel de Falla Auditorium and the Carmen de los Mártires, while the left side, formerly called Cuesta Empedrada, leads to the southern border of the Alhambra where the Puerta de la Justicia and Puerta de los Carros can be found.
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