3 Historic Places to discover in Granada

Casa de los Tiros Granada

Once you have visited the Alhambra palace there are still lots of other interesting places to see around Granada.
Here are three suggestions of lesser known places to see on your Granada trip.

Museum Casa de los Tiros

This house was built around 1540 in a palatial style for the Granada-Venegas family. They were Nazrid aristocrats. The building is known as Casa de los Tiros, House of the shots. If you look carefully you will see at the top of the façade several gun barrels sticking out of the building.
Located on Calle Pavaneras in the Realejo quarter. It is free to visit. Inside there are several temporary and permanent exhibitions about Granada. One of the exhibitions has vintage posters from the Corpus Christi festivals and an old model of the Tarasca figure used in these processions.
Cuadra Dorada Casa Tiros GranadaAs well as the typical Andalusian patio on the inside of the building, the main highlight is the Cuadra Dorada. This is a beautiful wooden ceiling. Large wooden beams and panels are decorated in gold in a chessboard pattern. Intricate carvings of heroic figures appear across the entire ceiling. The people represented here are considered to have been the people who united Spain. Carlos V and the Catholic Kings are included. Each figure has the description below in large letters carved into the wood with the most important achievement recorded.

Madraza Granada

La Madraza Granada

La Madraza was the Koranic School of Granada, opened in 1349. This was the first university in Granada and was opened by Yusuf I.
It was next to Granada´s Main Mosque in the Granada of the 14th century. By 1500 the Koranic school had been taken over by the Catholic Kings and converted into Granada Town hall. Currently La Madraza belongs to Granada University and is open to the public. Opening times: 10am to 7pm daily. Entrance fee: 2€ Madraza
There are two particular highlights inside the building. The wooden detailed ceiling on the first floor is spectacular. Notice the details of the coloured decorations in a deep blue and gold. As you enter the building notice the intricate plasterwork along the walls. This will remind you of the Nazari palaces of the Alhambra.


Carmen de los Martires

Carmen de los Martires

These gardens are just a short walk from the main entrance of the Alhambra palace. Close to the old Hotel Washington Irving. This Carmen has a curious and long history. There is a grand 19th century house on the site. The house is only opened for special events and weddings rather than public visits.
The gardens are a mix of English, French and Andalusian style. There are large terraces which overlook the city of Granada.
From there you can enjoy great views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains too. 


  • The French Baroque Garden has a large pond, a statue of Neptune and magnolia trees.
  • The English formal garden has a central fountain and is located below the terrace at the back of the house.
  • The dense Palm tree Garden has a three tiered fountain in the center and is surround by conifers and palm trees.
  • The Spanish Garden was pulled up in 1960 and substituted with a large pond. Although some lime trees and roses remain in the original layout of the Carmen style Spanish garden.
  • Also of note is the large Cedar tree planted by San Juan in the 16th century. Found at the end of the gardens, near the orchard. This tree is a Cypress tree although it was thought to be a Cedar from Lebanon.
  • The landscape Garden has a lake used for watering. The water feature has been landscaped to appear natural. It has two small islands for swans and ducks and a faux medieval ruin.
  • The Nazari garden to the side of the house has jasmine plants and Calla lilies. The elongated pool emulates the grand pond in the Generalife gardens. At one side of this garden there is a small cave. Inside you will find a stone seat inside from which you can see the waterfall flow over the entrance from the seat.

Carmen de los Martires Granada

You may also see peacocks strutting around the gardens too. It really inside an enchanting place to enjoy a sunny walk.
The history of the place isn´t quite so bright.

History of the Carmen de los Martires

14th century: It was used for jousting and military tournaments. At the time of the Arab rule in Granada it was a food store for the Alhambra fortress. (Alcazaba)
Some years later it was known as the Camp of the Captured "Campo de los Cautivos"  Christians were imprisoned here and forced to work on building Arab palaces.
Up to 7000 could have been held underground in the dungeons here.
15th century: In 1492 when the Catholic Kings took over Granada many would have been killed. Isabel La Catolica ordered a hermitage to be built here commemorating those who died.
16th to 18th century:  In 1573 a convent was founded here and remained until 1842. 
19th century: Ransacked by the Napoleonic invasion in 1810. Early in the 19th century the convent was in ruins and abandoned.
By 1845 Carlos Manuel Calderón bought the site and tore down the convent building to build an elegant summer residence. He managed to keep the layout of the convent garden.
In 1891 the Belgian Huberto Meersmans de Smet purchased the Carmen. He carefully restored many elements of the buildings and gardens. He also added the Art Nouveau fountain near the entrance. 
20th century
In 1934 the garden was declared Monumental Garden. 
In 1972 a 5 star hotel project was underway. The hotel plans destroyed part of the elegant palatial building. In 1974 the romantic labyrinth and wooded area surrounding it were also cleared. Luckily the hotel project was stopped in 1976.
In 1986 the gardens were restored and reopened to the public. Now the site is managed by Granada city council. Entry is Free.

Opening Hours:

Monday to Fridays Mornings: 10am to 2pm and Evenings: 6pm to 8pm 

Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays: From 1st April to 14th October from 10am to 8pm
and 15th October to 31st March from 10am to 6pm