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Home / Virtual tour / Generalife

Court of the Sultana’s Cypress Tree

The chambers already mentioned are to the left and to the right is the Court of the Sultana’s Cypress Tree (Patio del Ciprés de la Sultana). This patio has a central pond surrounded by a myrtle hedge and in the middle of the pond there is another little pond with a stone fountain. The patio is so called because of the old cypresses that are in the verandas, the most famous of which is the Cypress of the Sultana (Ciprés de la Sultana) in which, according to the legend, Boabdil's wife used to meet a knight of the Abencerrajes family. This triggered the death of the people of this noble tribe, whose throats were slit.

A big 19th century stone staircase with a portico and two lions made of glazed pottery of Granada leads to the high part of the gardens, which go from the Hill of the Sun (Cerro del Sol) to the street Rey Chico. These gardens are hanging gardens that include simple vegetable gardens, myrtle clumps, trimmed boxes or hundred-year-old cypresses. 

One of the staircases that are in these gardens, the Water Stairway, is especially beautiful because of its beauty and originality. It is supposed to be the oldest staircase in these gardens (it already existed in the Muslim period). The staircase is divided in three flights, each with a fountain and handrails that are channels with running water. The staircase is surrounded by laurels that join their crowns and form a vault. The sun shines through this laurel vault and the light contributes to the extremely beautiful scene.

Two regal pleasure palaces, Palace of Dar al-Arusa and Palace of the Alixares, stood on the lands covering the area between the valley of the river Darro and that of the river Genil. They were abandoned and the passing of time has ended up destroying them. Recent excavations discovered them and showed their richness and magnificence, as well as the beautiful decorative elements that have been found.

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