I want to see the Alhambra but I haven’t booked the tickets on time
If you haven’t got tickets to the Alhambra and visiting it was one of the main reasons why you wanted to come to Granada, you will be happy to know that there is a part of it that can be visited for free and without tickets.
For this, I advise you to go to Plaza Nueva and look for the street “Cuesta de Gomerez”. If you climb the whole hill you will reach the beautiful Puerta de las Granadas (photo).
It depicts the Imperial shield of Charles V crowned by three grenades, hence its name. It consists of three arches, one central for the passage of horses, and two others, smaller, intended for the passage of people.
If you follow the pedestrian path on the left, you will find on the left the magnificent Pilar de Carlos V (photo), a masterpiece of the Spanish Renaissance.
In the monumental complex we find a fountain with three mouths of water that are believed to represent the three rivers of Granada: Beyro, Darro and Genil. The imperial shield of Carlos V presides over the monument. On this side, you enter the walled enclosure through the wonderful Puerta de la Justicia (photo).
This door has two arches: in the largest one you will see, at the top, an Arab hand, the hand of Fatima, whose five fingers represent the fundamental principles of the Islamic religion: divine unity, prayer, alms, fasting and pilgrimage to Mecca . In the inner arch there is, also in the upper part, a key, which represents the power that God granted to Mohammed to open and close the gates of Heaven.
Once inside, on the right, we will see the beautiful Puerta del Vino (photo) which was the main entrance to the Medina of the Alhambra.
The Puerta del Vino leads to the Palace of Carlos V (photo). This exceptional palace can be accessed without tickets and here we can see the Museum of the Alhambra and the Museum of Fine Arts (the latter free for citizens of the European Union).
If you want to continue exploring the treasures of the Alhambra and the Generalife, I recommend you to follow the walk along Calle Real (photo) and enter the Church of Santa María de La Alhambra (photo).
If you continue up this road you will find the Convent of San Francisco, today National Tourism Parador (photo).
This former Nasrid palace of Muhammad III (1303-1309) was donated to the Franciscan order by the Catholic Monarchs to build the first convent of the city, which was installed in 1495. Queen Isabel the Catholic was buried here until the Royal Chapel was over.
Returning to the Palace of Carlos V, the walk can continue through the Puerta de los Carros (photo), which was built in the sixteenth century to open a path in the wall that gave way to the cars that participated in the construction of the emperor’s palace.
You will find yourself again on the Cuesta de Gomérez, here you will find the Monument to Ángel Ganivet, illustrious writer from Granada, and a little further down the Bib-Rambla Gate (photo), from the Muslim-medieval era. This door was part of a wall that was demolished in 1894 and which is also known as the door of the ears and hands, since the hands and ears of those condemned for justice were hung on it.
To the left along this road we will reach the Manuel de Falla Auditorium, and the historic Carmen de los Mártires (photos), which can be seen for free and which I recommend you do not miss. It is a perfect example of the typical 19th century houses of rest in Granada. His usual schedule is from 10 AM to 2 PM and from 4 PM to 8 PM.
I hope you enjoy this walk very much!
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