Alcázar Genil Overview

Alcázar Genil is a Muslim-era Almohad palace that served as a recreational house for the Nasrid dynasty during the 13th century. It features a royal Moorish architecture with an ornate qubba, a fountain and a flower bed on the exterior and a beautifully decorated interior with sculptures and carvings. The palace is now an important cultural site that also houses the Francisco Ayala Foundation.

Located along the south shore of River Genil outside the city walls, is the Alcazar Genil Palace which was used as a recreational house and country villa by the Nasrid kings. It was first built in 1218 by Sayyid Ishaq of Almohad dynasty and was later renovated in the 14th century. After the conquest of Granada by Christian Catholic monarchs, the palace was handed over to them by the last Moorish king Boabdil in the 15th century. Alcazar Genil flaunts a wonderful and authentic Moorish architecture that was dominant in the Islamic Age of Spain.

The palace has a central square chamber like a ‘qubba’ in the front which is a pretty and decorated room with lace interiors, lattice windows and horse-shoe arches. It also has a small ribat which is a religious retreat for Sufis built like a simple square hall covered by a sixteen-sided cupola. The interiors of the palace are embellished with carved stuccos on the walls, a square wooden cupola with paintings of geometric motifs on the ceiling and floorings made of stone and glazed ceramic. Today only the pavilion of the palace remains which is now home to the Francisco Ayala Foundation that portrays the life of this great writer from Granada.

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• Explore the Alcázar Genil Palace and witness its authentic Islamic architecture featuring a lavish courtyard, charming qubba, two alcoves and twin arches.
• Learn about the history of the palace and its restorations during the Islamic dominance in Granada as well as the condition of the palace after the conquest of the city by Catholic Monarchs.
• Walk through the several rooms of the palace and see the carved stuccos and inscriptions of Holy Quran on the walls.
• Visit the Francisco Ayala Foundation and take part in its exhibitions, award functions, book clubs, courses and conferences and other activities like music concerts and book presentations.

How To Reach

By Bus: Buses on Line 5 stop at Cno. Ronda 4 station from where you can walk to Alcazar Genil Palace in a minute. Or, you can board a bus on line 11 to reach Plaza De Las Américas bus station from where you can drive or walk to the palace in 3 minutes. You can also take the line route 21 and alight at Fernando De Los Ríos and walk to the palace. 

By Metro: Take a metro train on transit line M to the Recogidas Metro Station from where you can walk to Alcazar Genil Palace in 10 minutes.

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Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Alcazar Genil Palace is during the morning hours as soon as the palace opens so that you get enough time to discover the history, architecture and several rooms in the palace. Tourist crowds are also less during this time and hence you can explore the palace at your own pace without hustle. It is advisable to visit the palace on weekdays as the palace tends to be crowded on weekends and public holidays.

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Other Essential Information

Tips to Visit Alcázar Genil

  1. Arrive early in the morning as soon as the Alcazar Genil palace opens or towards the end of the day to avoid the tourist crowds who flock after 11 AM.
  2. Opt for weekday visits as the place is heavily crowded on weekends and public holidays
  3. Keep your belongings safe as there are no locker facilities available in the palace.
  4. The palace can be easily accessed via public transportation and has many other attractions nearby for the tourists to visit.

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Day Wise Timings
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Point of Interest for Alcázar Genil


Qubba is a room that measures twenty-five square metres and is ten metres in height. The space was lavishly embellished during the Nasrid period with plasterwork, muqarnas and a wooden roof. The foundation residing at present keeps this central space open for visits.

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The Right Pavilion

The Right Pavilion

In the right pavilion of the palace the foundation has established administrative and management offices in addition to a library and a meeting room.

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The Left Pavilion

The Left Pavilion

The left pavilion of the palace is dedicated to the painter from Granada and also works today as an activity room. It is one of the prime centres of attraction in the palace that houses Francisco Ayala's personal library and the Luz García-Duarte room.

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The Gardens

The Gardens

The Gardens are one of the loved points of interest of this place where a community of cats used to live in the past. The garden is home to plants which are from the typical Andalusian gardening species including myrtle, lavender, pomegranate, hackberry, etc.

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