Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Carmen de los Mártires - Granada

Any of you who know me in person know that I LOVE the Romantic style of gardens. My favorite garden in the world is Parc del Laberint d'Horta in Barcelona (previous blog post link), and I am afraid that I compare all romantic gardens, even the Generalife of the Alhambra to the Parc d'Horta  So when my husband said that there was a Romantic style park right by the Alhambra, we made a point to see it. I loved it so much, I am going give it a post of it's very own.

You are greeted at the gate by this dripping grotto 

 The park is called,Carmen de los Mártires and it is located within a 10 minute walk from the front gates of the Alhambra. If you love gardens, do not miss the chance to see this one. "Los Mártires" means "the Martyrs" and according to this article it (I roughly translate) "...The place from which Boabdil left to hand over his beloved city to Christians. (Queen) Isabella built a chapel at the site in memory of that day. Later she built a convent and, on its ruins, a small palace. " The same article also goes on to describe the gardens like this: "...Pieces of history, splendor and ruin, ordered chaos. Garden, kitchen garden, island, lake, courtyard, a garden of gardens." Which I think is a beautiful way to describe a romantic style garden.

I must own a light like that one day

If for some reason you can not get tickets to the Alhambra, you could enter in the small courtyard in this Palace to get an idea of the splendor.

The courtyard
Romantic style gardens give the wonderful feeling of old grandeur, of simple lines marked here and there with pieces of exquisite detail.

A serene "room" in the garden

Click to enlarge, this door is beautiful

The little boxwoods formed tiny mazes!

Madroño, one of the symbols of Madrid
Palms with a distant peek of the mountains
This garden was also on a hill and afforded beautiful views of the city and the distant mountains.

Another view of the city, a view of another lookout point
 What is a romantic garden without an ornamental river? It was feed by a working aqueduct! 

For a while we had an honor guard as we walked
 One of my favorite things about these types of gardens is the contrast. Around the house the gardens are highly structure and manicured, but there is always an area more natural where one can just walk at peace.

There are grand entryways where you can almost see the past's guest in their finery.

You can come across little surprises in these gardens too.

If you have two or more hours to spare and you like gardens and parks you will not want to miss this one. Have you been here before?

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