Sunday, 24 November 2013

Carmen de los Martires

So far all the carmenes I introduced had something special about them. The Carmen de la Victoria is the oldest and the Carmen de los Geranios is a carmen and a museum at the same time. The Carmen of the Martyrs gets a prize in three aspects: it’s the biggest (according to surface area), has the most horrible past and has the most spectacular views over Granada.

You can find this place on the other side of the Alhamra, right next to it. It has a huge harden, just over seven hectars, designed in Englsh-French style. It is full of trees, fountains and benches. It is a perfect place to bring a book and a bottle of wine here, sit on a bench and read away from the noise of the city.

Even though nowadays it’s a peaceful, quite area it wasn’t always like this, as the name suggests. During the Muslim rule lots of pits were dug here in order to store salt and bread. When the Catholic Kings have arrived to take back the city the Moors put the captive Christian soldiers in these pits. When later Isabella found this out she ordered a convent to be built here in memory of the Christian martyrs who suffered under the Muslims thus founding the first Christian church of Granada after the Moorish rule. Later this was demolished and the palace was built in its place.

As soon as you step in the garden the first thing you notice is the views. This carmen has the advantage of not only showing the Alhambra but also the other side of Granada and the Sierra Nevada. On clear days you can see all the mountains that surround this gorgeous city. Don’t forget to look for the peacocks!

The Carmen de los Martires is open to the public every day from 10am. It’s on a road that was named after itself, on the Paseo de los Martires.

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