The Alhambra is the most visited monument in Spain. It is a unique place full of legends that still preserves thousands of secrets. It is a huge walled complex which is accessed through various doors. At the time they served to protect the sultan who lived inside the Nasrid fortress and are loaded with symbols. Do you want to know the secrets of the doors of the Alhambra?
What do the doors of the Alhambra hide?
The Alhambra is a palatine city which was made up of a citadel, a palatial area and a medina. The sultan who ruled the Nasrid Kingdom, the royal family and his entourage, the army and the servants resided in it. In addition, hundreds of people came to her to bring the products that supplied the table of all of them or to ask the sultan for justice in the event of a problem.
Thus, it was the most important space in the city of Granada, and it was vitally important to protect it with a wall. But the Alhambra could not remain isolated, so several monumental gates were built to show the power of the sultan and to protect him from possible attacks. These fabulous doors keep some secrets. Do you want to meet them?
1. Gate of Justice
It is, without a doubt, the most monumental of all. Currently, it continues to serve as the entrance to the Monumental Complex of the Alhambra. It dates from the mid-14th century and is double-bend. On its external facade it has a double arch with a free space that was used to throw stones and boiling oil at possible attackers.
What has generated more intrigue is a mysterious key and a hand of Fatima that are found in both arches. Legend has it that when the hand touches the key, the Alhambra will collapse and the treasure hidden under it will appear.
These symbols contrast with a Gothic Virgin over the entrance arch and an altarpiece from the 16th century. What is inside. This is located in the place where the first mass was held in a Nasrid enclosure.
2. Puerta de las Armas, one of the oldest gates of the Alhambra
It is one of the most unknown doors of all those that make up the enclosure of the red fortress. Paradoxically, it was the busiest gate of the Alhambrasince the population entered through it.
It is located at the foot of the Torre de la Vela, in the Alcazaba area. It was a first zone of control because there were members of the army, who gave way or prevented those who tried to enter the Alhambra to ask the sultan for justice or to sell and buy products.
3. Gate of the Seven Floors
Located on the south side, It is the door through which Boabdil left on his way to exile. It is a huge structure that, according to the story, was walled up so that no one else could pass through it at the wish of the last Nasrid sultan. Composed of various basements, one of Washington Irving’s stories unfolds there, narrating that a treasure is hidden there.
During the French invasion it was reopenedHowever, when they were expelled, they destroyed it. Currently, it is one of the spaces that the Board of Trustees of the Alhambra and the Generalife occasionally open to the public.
4. Wine Gate
It is a monumental door with direct access that separated the area of the citadel from the residential area. It is located near the palace of Carlos V and inside the wooden benches for the guardhouse are still preserved.
It is one of the oldest and its name comes from the evolution of its primitive name in Arabic and the use that was given to it in Christian times: apparently, there the population could buy wine tax-free.
5. Gate of the Suburb
One of the less visible gates of the Alhambra is this one, located on the Cuesta de los Chinos. It was used by the sultan to leave the Alhambra and enter the Generalife, his summer residence. It is at the foot of the Picos tower.
Its original configuration is very transformed, since when it passed into Christian hands the Count of Tendilla ordered to add a new body that would serve as a bastion. Therefore, what we see on the outside is the Christian part. This was built in limestone and has a lowered arch with a shield at the top with the emblems of the Catholic Monarchs: the yoke and arrows.