The Generalife

The Generalife was the sultan’s summer residence. In my language, Al Jannat-al-arif, means the Architect’s Gardens. You reach them after a gentle walk – although we used to ride there on horseback. As you can see, it is slightly removed from the Alhambra itself, and a little higher up, so it enjoys cooler air. My sultan used to come here to get away from the intrigues and envy of the court, and the poverty of the common people. And here, he surrounded himself with beauty.

While we go up, look at the elegant silhouette of the grounds. In the Christian period, they were given to the Alcaide del Generalife, who was a noble Morisco gentleman related to the Nazrids, Don Pedro de Granada-Venegas. His descendants owned the Generalife until little over ninety years ago, when, after long legal battle, it was returned to the State.

Ay habibi, now look to our left. You like looking at Kings and Queens, but now look at the orchards of the Generalife. Since my time, in the 15th century, these orchards have continued to be gardened using the same techniques, passed on down the generations, from father to son, from son to grandson. Men and women who, over six hundred years, have preserved the ancient knowledge of their forefathers and have sustained it until today.

When people dig their roughened hands into the earth, there is no distinction to be made between religions, empires or riches.

(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Carlos Madrid (2012)

Source: Own work
Author: Julián Hernández Martínez (2013)