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Water ponds

The construction of the Alhambra was linked to the need of develop a hydraulic system for the water.

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The hydraulic system in the Alhambra depends on the Sultan’s Canal, which carries water from the Darro River to the Generalife, and from there, by aqueduct to the Alhambra.

The Nasrid sultans left various areas for agriculture and livestock breeding, of which the Generalife, with its large vegetable gardens and a palace, was nearest to the Alhambra.

The irrigation channel ran parallel to the walls of the vegetable gardens. At one point the water was conducted through a perpendicular underground gallery, a deep well, a waterwheel and a large pool, in order for it to reach the highest cultivation area.

The underground gallery ends in a well below a tower, called Tower of the Ladies (Torre de las Damas), which was built to protect it and to support the waterwheel. Brick platforms surround the pool, and there is a stairway to a terrace that must have been an observation point or a pavilion over the Water Pond (Albercón).

As a result of the recovery of the Alhambra and its heritage in 1926, a new Water pond (Albercón) was built beside the Nasrid structure in order to increase the water pressure along the entire circuit. In the 1960s, with the increase of tourism, a third Water pond (Albercón) was built.
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