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Alhambra

On the route from the military zone to the palaces, its water supplied the inhabitants of the Alhambra.

The space that separated the Alcazaba from the Puerta del Vino and the Casa Real was originally a deep channel which heightened the functional differences between the military environment and the palace residences. Having gone through the Puerta de la Tahona –today under the Torre del Cubo– the visitor came to a junction from which there were three possible routes: either to continue towards the East to reach the Palacio de Comares, or along Real Baja street, or to go up the road leading to the Puerta del Vino between the drop and a group of houses on the left. Through this gate and going along Real Alta street was the Medina.
The current square is the result of the first significant Christian construction work after the conquest and it came about as a result of an initiative by the first governor, Íñigo López de Mendoza. The aim was to build a large water cistern taking advantage of the drop of up to eight metres in height; the stored water could supply the new inhabitants of the Alhambra in case of drought or siege. The cistern was built in 1494 and comprises two naves under barrel vaults supported by semicircular arches. There is another cistern –apparently Muslim– at the northern end of the square which completes the site. The area was leveled for the construction of the Palacio de Carlos V and the demolition of a southern section of the wall has widened the view. This is where the famous Concurso de Cante Jondo was held in 1922 and in 1927 there was a performance of an auto sacramental which put an end to the ban on this type of performance which had been in place since the 18th century.

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