The Alhambra, historically the most visited monument in Spain and one of its tourist icons, has lived this Tuesday the second reopening to the public so far in 2020 after the improvement in rate of coronavirus infections in Granada have allowed relax the severe restrictions imposed.
An exceptional ringing of the bell of the well-known Torre de la Vela has announced the “good news” to the city early this morning, as happened on June 17, when the Nasrid enclosure again allowed visits after three months of closure prolonging due to the first confinement of the pandemic.
Although with a capacity limited to 65 percent, about 4,200 tickets per day available and maintaining its winter daytime hours between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., the Alhambra faces this ‘new return’ in a special way because it can only be visited at the moment by residents and residents of Granada capital when the perimeter closure in all the municipalities of Andalusia.
Rocío Díaz, director of the public board that manages the venue, has told Efe that, from responsibility, prudence and complying at all times with all the rules that marked by the health authorities, from today opens a new “unique opportunity” to visit the main monument of Granada.
“To relive with more serenity its history, many centuries later, settled on a hill, that of the Sabika, which radiates wisdom, beauty and sensitivity“said Díaz, who explained that all the spaces have been adapted to the safety and hygiene conditions to guarantee the safety of personnel and visitors and in terms of the organization of the visit.
With the vnight visits suspended due to restrictions marked by the competent authorities, as of this week the program of free visits on Saturdays and Sundays for residents of Granada has also been resumed, upon reservation of entry on the Alhambra website or in the Corral del Carbón.
The few visitors who could be seen first thing in the morning in the vicinity of the monument have highlighted to Efe the exceptional opportunity that it represents from these days. “I am very sorry that there are no people. I selfishly like that there are no people, but I also think that Granada needs tourism “, commented a visitor from Murcia who is passing through the city for a personal matter.
Gone are the summer months in which the Alhambra has sometimes sold out all its available tickets, mainly for national tourism, and the last three weeks of mandatory closure that, since last November 10 and until this Monday, have forced to the board of trustees for the return of a total of 832 tickets for an amount of almost 10,000 euros.
According to data provided to Efe, for the next few days there are already more than half a thousand tickets sold from General Diurna and from Alcazaba and Generalife.
During this recent closure, the Board of Trustees has carried out own maintenance work in El Partal and the connection of swimming pools in the gardens of San Francisco, among others, in addition to repairs of walls in the Torre del Homenaje, windows of the Mirador de Lindaraja or the drain of the Arrayanes pool.
As to restoration has been carried out in the ceiling of the bedroom of the Puerta del Príncipe, carpentry of the Casa de las Pinturas, the balustrade of the north pavilion of the Generalife, plasterwork of the Sala de los Reyes and the Patio de Arrrayanes, and works have been put out to tender to restore the roof of the Torre de las Cabezas and to install of new lights in the courtyard of the Palace of Carlos V.
Although the president of the Granada Guides Association, Miguel Campos, has acknowledged to Efe that the arrival of visitors to the Alhambra is still “very timid” and that, in fact, they do not have any contracted service for these first days of reopening due to the perimeter closure of the city, has valued “very positively” that the monument reopens its doors.
“The Alhambra is the spark for a tourist spark plug. If it is open we keep alive a very powerful claim “, commented the representative of the group of guides, who also highlighted the exceptional opportunity and the unique experience of visiting the monument these days” in a calm way, almost in silence, without queues, noises no crowds “.