27 Oct 2016

Where the Darro and Genil Rivers pass through Granada

Museo Casa de los Tiros de Granada

Views of Granada where the Darro and Genil rivers play important roles.

Paseo de los Tristes
The sheer number of pictures of this area produced over the years demonstrates just how special it is.

Everyday life in the Paseo de los Tristes neighborhood beside the River Darro, circa 1636.

The same area of Paseo de los Tristes as depicted by William Westall two centuries later.

Detailed view of the Aljibillo Bridge with El Carmen del Granadillo on the right (a typical Granada house with an orchard or garden belonging to an owner named Granadillo).

Torre del Cubo [the Turret Tower] at the entrance to the citadel (Alcazaba), Alhambra Palace.

Barely half a century later, this photograph faithfully reflects how the area had changed.

A more recent view of El Carmen del Granadillo which Westall’s picture had somewhat distorted. It also shows some millstones.

The queen’s dressing table and the Comares Tower. In the foreground are the young trees which now form the wood surrounding the grounds of the Alhambra.

Carrera del Darro
Vestiges of the Andalusian and Christian civilizations can be seen along the Darro; for example bridges, grand houses, churches, and convents.

In the foreground, we can see the remains of what was once the Cadí’s Bridge over the stretch of the river between Paseo de los Tristes and Plaza Nueva. On the left, the facade of Casa de Castril.

Almost a hundred years later, we can see that the view had changed very little.

One of the many noble houses built along the Darro in Christian times.

Following the course of the river, a view of the Chirimías Bridge and the rear facade of Iglesia de San Pedro y San Pablo [the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul].

The Darro where it passes through the town center
The uncovered river, later culverted for health and traffic reasons.

This illustration shows the system which released waste water directly into the Darro; one of the reasons why the river was culverted.

View of the old Carbón Bridge. When the Darro was culverted, the stretch starting at Plaza Nueva became what is now Calle Reyes Católicos. On the left, what was known as the Riberilla, now no longer there.

The open River Darro near its confluence with the River Genil.

The towers of the Basílica de la Virgen de las Angustias [Basilica of Our Lady of Sorrows], the city’s patron saint.

The River Darro flowing beneath the Castañeda Bridge. It disappeared in a further culverting operation during the 20th century. The Fuente de las Batallas [Fountain of the Battles] now stands in the resulting town square.

Today, the river flows beneath the roadway.

The Genil
From its source high up in the Sierra Nevada, the River Genil glides through the city of Granada. This picture shows it flowing through the Paseo de los Basilios area.

The monastery of San Basilio, founded in 1616. Napoleon’s invasion of Spain and secularization spelled its demise. All that remains is the church, built in the 18th century.

The monumental surroundings of the River Genil. To the left, the Hermitage of San Antón el Viejo and the Basílica de la Virgen de las Angustias.

The cathedral to the left. The Bermejas, de la Vela, Homenaje, and Adarguero towers stand at the top of the hill.

This is the view looking upriver in the opposite direction to the previous picture. In the middle, the Hermitage of San Antón el Viejo, demolished in 1845, soars high above the tree-lined avenue.

Landscape with the peaks of the Sierra Nevada in the background.

The confluence of the River Darro in the foreground and the River Genil to the right.

The scene changed considerably with the culverting of the Darro and the construction of a new bridge over the Genil, although the viewpoint is almost exactly the same.

Uses of water
The value placed on water and its abundance in the city necessitated adequate systems for its storage, distribution, and use.

Water originating from springs and underground water cisterns was brought to the city to sell by water-carriers who transported their demijohns on donkeys.

The springs, wells, and cisterns in the citadel of the Alhambra were supplied with water carried from the River Darro by canals and aqueducts like the ones in this picture.

Granada has a large number of various types of cisterns. The one pictured here is remarkable for its monumental door.

Like Granada’s public fountains, these cisterns also became meeting places for people.

In addition to the city’s cisterns, fountains like this one, situated in the De la Vela Tower in its day, supplied people with water.

A decorative basin, now in the Alhambra Museum, depicts a scene of lions and gazelles framed by an epigraph.

A blue and white Fajalauza ceramic jug, customarily used to collect and contain water.

In addition to the water-carriers, another job related to water was that of the “lañaor” [clamper] who used to repair broken jars using metal rivets known as “lañas”.

Water-carriers also obtained supplies from the Carlos V water tank situated beside the Alhambra’s Gate of Justice.

The tank was the work of the great Renaissance master Pedro Machuca who also created the Palace of the Emperor Charles V.

The bañuelo, or bath house, facilitated two of the main concepts associated with water in the Muslim world: cleansing both the body and the mind.

In Christian times, it ceased being used as a place for personal bathing and became a place where the public could wash their clothes.

This picture of a garden adorned with water fountains illustrates another way in which water was used – for decoration.

Museo Casa de los Tiros
Credits: Story

Where the Darro and Genil rivers pass through Granada

Organised by:
Museo Casa de los Tiros
Consejería de Cultura de la Junta de Andalucia

Curated by Aurora Mateos Pablos, Lucía Águila García.
Texts: Mª Vicenta Barbosa García, Aurora Mateos Pablos.

Museo Casa de los Tiros

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions (listed below) who have supplied the content.
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