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Granadian Carmines, Granada

Carmen de la Victoria

9 Cuesta del Chapiz
Spain 18001
Tel: 34 958 223 122

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Carmen de los Martires

Paseo de los Martires
Spain 18009
Open daily 10 am to 9 pm.'s insider take:

The Albaicín is full of carmines, houses with walled gardens hidden from public view. The Carmen de la Victoria is a residence for guests of the university, but its gardens, which date from the 19th century, are open to visitors. Halfway up the road that marks the northern edge of the Albaicín, look out for a beautiful gate with intricate ironwork, offering a glimpse of the lush greenery inside. An expert in Islamic gardens planted Carmen de la Victoria with flowers and bushes dating from Nasrid times (from 1232 to 1492), although there are also more recognizable species, including bamboo, palm, honeysuckle, and wisteria, as well as the city's namesake, granada (pomegranate). Arranged along terraces facing the wooded hill topped by the Alhambra and the Generalife, this peaceful place has small fountains, cobbled pathways, and hidden pergolas where you can escape the hordes.

Another respite from the crowds can be found in the extensive and ornamental Carmen de los Martires, situated on the other side of the Alhambra's hill, just up from the Alhambra Palace Hotel. Very few people know about this place, which has spectacular views over the city toward the Sierra Nevada and is dotted with baroque fountains, statues, and grottos, and populated by peacocks. Carmen de los Martires is where the Christian prisoners who were forced to build the Alhambra were held captive, so it also forms an integral part of the city's rich history. Bring bottled water, as there's no café and it's a steep climb up the hill.

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