The Alhambra is the most visited monument in Spain. It is a unique place full of legends that still holds 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 the doors of the Alhambra hide
The Alhambra is a palatine city that was made up of a citadel, a palatial area and a medina. In it resided the sultan who ruled the Nasrid Kingdom, the royal family and its entourage, the army and the servants. In addition, hundreds of people came to it to bring the products that were stocked to 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 be isolated, so several monumental gates were built to show the power of the Sultan and to protect him from possible attacks. These fabulous doors hold some secrets. Do you want to know them?
1. Door 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-fourteenth century and has a double bend. Its external façade has a double arch with a free space that was used to throw stones and boiling oil at possible attackers.
These symbols contrast with a Gothic Virgin on the entrance arch and a 16th century altarpiece inside. This is located in the place where the first mass was held in the Nasrid enclosure.
2. Puerta de las Armas, one of the oldest doors of the Alhambra
It is one of the most unknown gates of all those that make up the enclosure of the red fortress. Paradoxically, it was the busiest door of the Alhambra, since the population entered through it.
It is located at the foot of the Torre de la Vela, in the area of the citadel. It was a first zone of control because members of the army were located there, who gave way or prevented those who wanted 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 request of the last Nasrid sultan. Composed of various basements, one of Washington Irving’s tales takes place in it, which tells that there is hidden treasure there.
During the French invasion it was reopened, however, when they were expelled they destroyed it. Currently, it is one of the spaces that the Board of the Alhambra and the Generalife open to the public occasionally.
4. Wine Gate
It is a monumental gate with direct access that separated the area of the fortress from the residential area. It is located near the palace of Carlos V and inside the wooden benches for the body of guard are still preserved.
It is one of the oldest and its name comes from the evolution of its original name in Arabic and its use in Christian times: apparently, there the population could buy wine tax-free.
5. Puerta del Arrabal
One of the less visible doors of the Alhambra is this one, located on the slope of the Chinos. The sultan used it to leave the Alhambra and enter the Generalife, his summer residence. It is at the foot of the Torre de los Picos.
Its original configuration has been greatly transformed, since when it passed into Christian hands, the Count of Tendilla ordered the addition of a new body to serve as a bulwark. 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 the arrows.