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El Paseo de los Tristes

The city of Granada is full of beautiful and very characteristic places. Today iNMSOL is going to talk about the Paseo de los Tristes, a romantic and bohemian place, which is located between the Alhambra and the Arab neighborhood of Albaicín.

Do you know why it is called that? Actually in the past the name given was “Paseo del Padre Manjón” but they changed it and added this “sad” because in the nineteenth century it was used as a road to the cemetery of San José.

The grounds where the Paseo is were originally from the lords of Castril, where in fact there was a construction in the seventeenth century. But after an explosion everything was destroyed, so in 1609 it was decided to build this promenade in order to also facilitate access to the Sacromonte.

The river that crosses the Paseo de los Tristes is called Darro; the name derives from the Latin Dauro which means “of gold”, because there was gold in its channel.

There are 14 bridges that cross the river, among which the Puente de las Chirimías stands out. It is an old Arab bridge rebuilt in 1882. The chirimía is a wind instrument made of wood similar to the oboe and double tongue, formerly worked in a rude way and carved with nine side holes. There is also the Aljibillo Bridge, of Arab origin, which was built on the original with a semicircular arch. It is named for the small cistern that was when crossing it.

You can see the sculpture of a very famous dancer and choreographer made in 2014, Mario Maya, who, despite being from Córdoba, developed his career in the flamenco tablaos of Sacromonte.

In Carrera del Darro we can find a Renaissance-style house that has a boarded balcony where you can read “Waiting for it from the sky”. Legend has it that this house belonged to Hernando Zafra, secretary of the Catholic Monarchs. He lived alone with his daughter Elvira and had bad relations with the people of Granada. Elvira fell in love with Alfonso de Quintanilla, the son of one of his enemies. They looked secretly in the girl’s room. But one night Hernando entered the room. Alfonso was hanged from the balcony … while the page was asking for mercy, the father said: “You will hang up, waiting for her from heaven.” And so he did. They say he covered the balcony and sculpted the phrase as a warning to those who pretended to “dishonor” their daughter. Elvira took his life poisoning himself. It is also said that when Hernando de Zafra died, it rained so much that the Darro River took his coffin and never appeared … hence a very Granada expression: “It rains more than when they buried Zafra.”

On the other side of the river, an abandoned building known as the dollhouse is striking. It is the Hotel Bosques de la Alhambra, built in 1910. Its location was not beautiful because it was in a wet terrain and was difficult to access, so people stopped going. When they closed it became a hospital, but they could not go to the sick and in the end it was abandoned. Of course he has his own legends of “spirits of the sick” who wander there.

Today the Paseo de los Tristes is a place where people go to relax, buy things at craft stores, have tapas or just see the Alhambra from below.

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