Carmens, or cármenes in Spanish, is a term “carmen” that refers to traditional houses with beautiful gardens that are characteristic of Granada, especially the neighborhood of Albaicin.
These houses were often built on elevated terraces to make the most of the stunning views that the city has to offer, with high white walls to protect privacy.
Introducing Carmen de la Victoria
Carmen de la Victoria is located in a building complex owned by the University of Granada and enjoys a privileged location overlooking the Alhambra and Albaicin.
The information on the history of the carmen is pretty non-existent on the official website, and they don’t even bother stating the opening hours for the public.
In fact, the opening hours were wrong in many places online, and it was one of the reasons why I never made it inside – always arriving when it was closed.
The garden dates back to the 19th century and was built on the remains of an old convent (Convent of Victoria), which was also a burial ground for friars. During the reconstruction of the flamenco cave here, several skeletal remains were found here.
There were some unusual events documented, most notably in the book ” Enigmas enigmas and places of power in Granada ” written by Rafael Casares.
Fermín who lived in the 70s of the last century in Carmen de la Victoria, woke up in the middle of the night seeing a human head was suspended in the air. In 1972, Fermín saw three people dressed in tailcoats and hats at the entrance to his room, sporting carefully trimmed beards that turned off the light.
In the 1980s, he caught a glimpse of a silvery-white, elongated and feminine silhouette, who walked as if sliding, floating along the ground, but without actually touching it. (source)
Don’t let the stories put you off from visiting thought!
While Carmen de la Victoria is not as extensive as Carmen de los Martires (which I liked more), it has a unique appeal thanks to its location and pretty garden features.
Carmen de la Victoria: Photo Tour
Below you will find a few photos from my visit in July. It was just after the opening hours after siesta (check the tips for visiting at the end of the article).
There are two flights of stairs that lead to the reception area, and from there you can continue browsing around. The most notable feature you shouldn’t miss is the ‘Dancer’, made from eight Cypresses located at the crossroads of the garden, with a fountain in the middle of it.
There are sections that are off limits and are the private residences, but it wasn’t very clearly indicated anywhere, as to where the Carmen ends and the residences start.
Most of the parts of the garden also felt pretty neglected and not maintained at all.
Is Carmen de la Victoria Worth Visiting?
In my opinion, there are much nicer places to enjoy the views of Alhambra and beautiful serene surroundings.
If you’re on a tight schedule and consider visiting, I would recommend choosing Carmen de los Martires instead.
If you’re somewhere nearby, you will also get stunning views and a pretty garden at Casa del Chapiz, which is right across the road from here.
Visiting Carmen de la Victoria
The entrance to the Carmen is not very advertised from the street, it’s just an unsuspecting door on a long white wall. You need to ring the bell for the receptionist to let you in.
There are no informational leaflets or maps for the Garden.
Location: Cuesta del Chapiz 9
How to get there: head up the hill from Paseo de los Tristes until you reach the turn towards Sacromonte. The house has a small iron gate with a bell next to it.
Opening Times: every day from 10am to 2pm – this is the info I found online, but on the spot it said they do take siesta breaks in the summer, so they open again at 5pm.