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Sunday, 27 November 2011


Leaving aside the Alhambra Palace, the carmenes are one of the biggest attractions when you visit the city of Granada.

The question of foreigners when they come to visit the city is to know the reason of the name of carmen. What does it mean? The general opinion is that the term derives from the Arab word carmen, karma, which in a broad sense meant in Spanish colloquial Arabic, "vineyard", ie a greater or lesser extent of land planted with vines. A carmen represents a closed house with a garden.

They were born after the expulsion of the Moors, in just two years, from 1568 to 1570, the Albaicín district went from populous neighborhood to neighborhood in ruins. And little by little, the carmenes were occupying the space left by the overthrow of Moorish houses.

Usually you can find the typical carmenes in the historic districts of Granada, they are in the Albaicin, the Realejo and on the slopes of the hill of the Alhambra. Mainly the carmenes are located in the high Albaicín resulting in unique perspectives and beautiful sights. In the part of the Albaicín carmenes try to follow the norm and are distributed in two or three terraces and they are surrounded by high white walls.

They have all the charm of a mansion in the countryside and are yet in the city. It is a combination of housing and nature that blends inspiration from the Renaissance villas and gardens of love for the Nazari. Nowadays some of them are Museums like the Carmen de los Mártires, others have been converted into restaurants and others have been restored as private villas. Really in some ways they reminds me of the Riads, the typical Moroccan houses in Marrakech.

The carmen has something of a little garden and an orchard, but it is not only a garden nor is only an orchard. It is intertwined with flowers and vegetables in a harmonious marriage. The trees do not only play an ornamental function, they decorate, they provide shade and coolness, and, in time, produce optimum fruit delight of eye and palate. The carmen is sucked by penetrating parfum of lilies, roses, jasmine, carnations, lilies, the violets, honeysuckle, valet and at the same time, collect shells, plums, figs, apricots and strawberries.

As Chateaubriand considered them “Carmenes are the everlasting garden, a sample and a remain of the paradise, one of the few privileged places still on earth."



  1. Granada has an impressive histoty, everyone who visits advises otrhes to visit it for it,s beauty and its history.
    It´s a very cheerful place to live for , its people open, food, sun and the historical monuments.
    Nieves when your retire, you,re going to live in Granada, one season there and another in Madrid.

  2. Thank you for your piece. Granada is truly a wonderful city! I try and visit her every few months.

  3. Hermoso lugar con una rica historia. Gracias, que podría visitar su blog. Viajar con tu blog es muy interesante. Muchos de conocimiento para mí. Les deseo una nueva semana agradable. / Peter.

  4. MADRILEÑA, Granada is so beautiful that I would not mind at all to live there when I retire, and I would not mind at all to do it as soon as possible, even if I win the Christmas lottery jackpot next month jejeje! Kisses my friend,

  5. Lenox, thanks to you for appreciating the piece and for your visit and comment. Welcome here and kindest regards,

  6. Petr, muchas gracias a ti por tus visitas a mis blogs y por dejar tus amables comentarios, me alegro de que viajar por ellos te resulte tan agradable y de que a través de ellos puedas conocer más cosas sobre mi pais. Un fuerte abrazo y que tengas una gran semana,

  7. I would not mind having a carmen house. Especially if it had a nice view :) Hope you have a great week, Nieves!

  8. Nieves, how are you?

    I'm wrapped with the new computer, so I'm not up time with visitations and even posts.

    My mother knows about and always knows just how beautiful this city. Actually, seeing the pictures is to fall in love. A perfect place to holiday.

    Cheers and besos.

  9. Ivanhoe, I would not mind either jejeje! Have a great rest of week!

  10. Hi Sissy my friend! I am fine but just a little too busy and with not much free time for the blogs, I am afraid! I hope you can manage well with the new computer. Take care and lot of kisses!

  11. I must visit Granada again ,last time we only had time to go to the Alhambra.I really wanted to visit the Albaicin but there was no time left. Lovely post!

  12. Thanks Angela! I always say Granada is one of my most favourite and beloved cities in Spain, even I could have fallen in love with it just only because of the Alhambra Palace, but it happens that besides there are many more and beautiful places to be visited there. And I hope you will see them in the future! Kisses,

  13. My name was originally Carmen, and my parents changed it to Laura before they left the hospital. So I have a thing for 'Carmen' :) Thank you for your tour and explanations. You keep adding things onto my long 'to see' list!

    Thank you for linking to POTM Club! It is great to have you there :) XOL

  14. Hi Laura! how interesting to know your original name was Carmen, which is certainly a very Spanish and popular name, though Laura is a very nice name, infact, I think is nicer than Carmen jejeje! And thanks to you for having the great idea of creating the POST OF THE MONTH CLUB! Kisses and have a lovely Sunday,


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