The legends that enclose the walls of the Alhambra

Mimetized to perfection with the natural enclave of Granada, dominated by Sierra Nevada, The palatine city of the Alhambra is the most recognized monument of Nasrid art. Its striking construction, unique decoration and architectural greatness attract visitors from all over the world every year.

Leaving technical aspects aside, One of the biggest attractions is the countless legends and myths that flood it. Some of them inspired Washington Irving to write his renowned work Tales of the Alhambra.Do you want to know these stories?

The Courtyard of the Lions of the Alhambra

Courtyard of the Lions

It is, perhaps, one of the most photographed and emblematic corners. But nevertheless, the legend that hides this space about its origin is not as beautiful as its architecture.

It is said that the Arab princess Zaira arrived at the palace, accompanied by his evil father, the king. The girl kept a talisman from her late mother. In love with a young man who visited her in secret, one day they were surprised by the sovereign.

Condemned his beloved to die, the princess enters the royal chambers to ask for mercy. But find a diary. Its pages reveal the truth about the murder of his parents at the hands of the false king and his eleven men.

Zaira, invaded by hate, calls the monarch and his men to the courtyard. There, the magic of the talisman turns them into twelve stone lions and revenge is fulfilled.

The Tower of the Infantas

Interior of the Tower of the Infantas - Salvador Fornell /

Another of the most enchanted places in the Alhambra. One of his best known fables tells that Muhammad VII, the sultan who built this tower, had three beautiful daughters: Zaida, Zoraida and Zorahaida.

Warned by his astrologers about the future of princesses, he held them in the castle of Salobreña. One day, after landing a group with imprisoned Christian gentlemen on the beach, the sisters instantly fell in love with three of them. Then, they return to the palace by mandate of their father, who locks them in the tower.

Distressed by the remoteness of their loved ones, who had managed to escape, receive news to escape with them. The night of the flight, Zaida and Zoraida go down the balcony. But when Zorahaida's turn comes, she regrets leaving her father and finally remains alone.

However, the Sultan, due to the escape of his sisters, discharges all his fury against the youngest of his daughters. It does not allow you to leave the tower again. The young woman died of grief and her spirit was trapped there.

This is one of the most beautiful spaces of the Alhambra, since it has an extremely delicate decoration. Visiting it is transporting to another world.

Zorahaida is the protagonist of other beautiful legends, such as the Rose of the Alhambra. In her, it appears to a girl who cries for love next to the fountain of the tower. Zorahaida's ghost advises her and gives her a silver lute.

The maiden acquires fame thanks to her instrument and reaches the Court, where she is known as the Rose of the Alhambra. There, he meets again with his beloved.

The Abencerrages Hall

«The Slaughter of the Abencerrajes», Mariano Fortuny - Wikimedia Commons

A bloody legend that runs through this famous hall of the Alhambra. Under his spectacular dome of mocárabes it is said that the noble family of the Abencerrajes lived. They had as enemies the family of the Zenetes, which warped a ploy to end their rivals.

They spread the word of a loving relationship between the sultana and one of the Abencerrajes, awakening the sultan's anger. East, during a party, he ordered the 37 knights of the family to behead. Some say that the reddish color of the fountain cup is the spots of spilled blood.

He also showed us some large reddish spots on the pavement, signs of his blood, which, according to popular tradition, will never be erased.

-Washington Irving-

Other legends of the Alhambra

Candle Tower

The myths that enclose its walls are very numerous. It is believed to be a great solar clock and that you can follow the hours of the day through your stays. Another refers to the hand sculpted at the Gate of Justice, which if someone managed to knock would conquer the palace.

While, single young people keep ringing the bell of the Candle Tower on Take Day to get married. And, of course, there is the legend of Boabdil on the hill that today bears his name sighing for the lost and hearing his mother's words: "Cry as a woman what you have failed to defend as a man."

Loves, heartbreak, revenge, power struggles, massacres, etc. This is a unique place in the world., full of magic and stories that can only come alive when walking through the Alhambra.

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