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Native name
Arabic: جَنَّة الْعَرِيف‎‎
The Generalife viewed from the Alhambra
Location Granada, Andalucia, Spain
Built 14th century
Governing body Ministry of Culture
Official name: Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada
Type Cultural
Criteria i, iii, iv
Designated 1984 (8th session)
1994 (18th session – Extension)
Reference no. 314
Region Europe

The Palacio de Generalife (Spanish pronunciation: [ɾa.ˈli.fe]; Arabic: جَنَّة الْعَرِيف‎‎ Jannat al-‘Arīf, literally, "Architect's Garden") was the summer palace and country estate of the Nasrid Emirs (Kings) of the Emirate of Granada in Al-Andalus, now beside the city of Granada in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain.


The palace and gardens were built during the reign of Muhammad III (1302–1309) and redecorated shortly after by Abu I-Walid Isma'il (1313–1324).

The Court of la Acequia.
View of the Court del ciprés de la sultana.


The complex consists of the Patio de la Acequia (Court of the Water Channel or Water-Garden Courtyard), which has a long pool framed by flowerbeds, fountains, colonnades and pavilions, and the Jardím de la Sultana (Sultana's Garden or Courtyard of the Cypress). The former is thought to best preserve the style of the medieval Persian garden in Al-Andalus.

Originally the palace was linked to the Alhambra by a covered walkway across the ravine that now divides them. The Generalife is one of the oldest surviving Moorish gardens.[1]

20th century[edit]

The present-day gardens were started in 1931 and completed by Francisco Prieto Moreno in 1951. The walkways are paved in traditional Granadian style with a mosaic of pebbles: white ones from the River Darro and black ones from the River Genil.[2]

The Generalife is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Granada, along with the Alhambra palace and gardens, and the Albayzín district.

There is an imitation of part of the Generalife at Roundhay Park in Leeds, UK.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Burton, Rosemary and Cavendish, Richard (2003). Wonders of the World: 100 Great Man-Made Treasures of Civilization. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., ISBN 1-58663-751-7, p.27.
  2. ^ Núñez, J. Agustín (Ed.). (2002). Muslim and Christian Granada. Edilux. ISBN 84-95856-07-7.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°10′37″N 3°35′07″W / 37.17694°N 3.58528°W / 37.17694; -3.58528