The fortress gate is one of the oldest, having been mentioned as early as the 9th century. Its name, bab-Ilvira, comes from the fact that it led to the ancient Medina Elvira, capital of the cora of the same name until the beginning of the 11th century, when Medina Garnata took over this function.
It was built during the 11th century by the Zirid sultans, integrated into the wall that linked it to the east with the Monaita Gate and to the southwest with the Antimony Sulphide Gate, bab al-Kubl, popularly known as the Arch of the Tinajillas (Arco de las Tinajillas). It has undergone several transformations throughout its history, the most important being the one carried out during the reign of Yusuf I of the Nasrid dynasty. At this time it was established as an autonomous fortress with four towers, three barbicans and two gates - in addition to the outer gate - that connected with the Alhacaba slope and Calle de Elvira. In 1612 the three barbicans were demolished, the esplanade before the gate was levelled and twelve houses were built against the wall, which have survived to the present day practically unchanged. During the French occupation, several iron-plated gates were destroyed and walls were demolished, and in 1879 the Iron Gate (bab al-Hadid), also known as the Cuesta Gate (bab al-Aqaba), which had been added in the 14th century to connect the medina with the Albaicín, was demolished.
The outer arch from the Nasrid period, flanked by two rammed-earth towers, all surmounted by battlements, and the abutment on the north side, consisting of three high brick arches supporting the corresponding parapet, are still preserved today. The horseshoe arch, similar to those of the Puerta de la Justicia and Puerta de la Rambla, is formed with voussoirs, which are sandstone slabs, archivolts of the same type and chamfered stone jambs.
Throughout the 20th century, it has undergone various restoration and consolidation works: in 1902 by Mariano Contreras, in 1957 under the direction of Francisco Prieto-Moreno, and in 1990 by Antonio Almagro Gorbea and Antonio Orihuela Uzal. Since 2001, a new intervention project has been underway on the gate and adjacent walls.
It has been declared a National Historic-Artistic Monument since 1896.
In the collection of poems Diván del Tamarit by the Granada poet and playwright Federico García Lorca can be found the poem "Gazelle of the morning market", in which the Arch of Elvira is referred to.Article obtained from Wikipedia article Wikipedia in his version of 08/08/2022, by various authors under the license Licencia de Documentación Libre GNU.