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The word Generalife has been translated as `garden of paradise,` `orchard` or `garden of feasts.`

The promenade leads to the Patio de la Acequia which is the most celebrated spot and the heart and soul of the palace grounds. On the western side there is a gallery of 18 arches. The northern portico is called the Mirador and has five arches in front, slender and stylized and three behind made of marble with stalactite capitals. Through the north portico is the Patio de los Cipreses, with a pool in the center.

The distribution of the small ponds is charming with their frames of oleander and myrtle. A stone step leads to the Upper Gardens which were once olive groves and today boast a handsome esplanade and modern gardens. Here is the unusual stairway with its cascading waterfalls which was described by Navagiero as early as the 16th century.

The Generalife became an UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984.