Carmens are a type of house, typical of the city of Granada and its immediate surroundings, that are characterised by the incorporation of a garden area separated from the world outside by a wall, and including vines and fruit trees as well as flowers and other decorative plants. There are often fountains and small water features as well, so that the garden is cool and shaded and filled with the sound of running water. The houses are too small to be considered as palaces, although their owners would normally have been moderately wealthy.
The name Carmen comes from the Arabic Karm, meaning dwelling, and they had their origins in the early 17th century, when the city had been depopulated by the flight of the Muslims and Jews during the previous century, and there was space available for them, particularly in the Albayzin and Realejo districts.
Nowadays only a few are still maintained as private family dwellings. Others have become boutique hotels, restaurants, or apartments, and the views of the Alhambra and the Sierras which many of them have have made them much sought after by businesses involved in tourism. Our Casa Carmen holiday apartments are located on the Alambra Hill with magnificent views of the Albaicín.
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