Paseo de los Tristes literally means Promenade of the Sad. This square runs parallel to the River Darro and owes its name to the fact that funeral corteges used to pass through here on their way up to the cemetery behind the Alhambra. It is also called "Paseo del Padre Manjón" after the priest who founded a school for poor children in the Sacromonte (Ave María school) and it is his bust which can be seen on the other side of the fountain, which is not the original one.
Both the square and the original fountain were built in 1609 when the area was redesigned and it has always been a very lively place. In times gone by, fiestas and celebrations would be held here and at one time the River Darro itself was covered over with boards to act as a stage for small bullfights, games, plays, etc.