Discovering Granada is an adventure, perhaps because of the fascinating Arab legacy that still surrounds it, or perhaps because of the narrowness of its streets and hidden treasures. It always has been thought to be an amazing place to visit, and as the popular saying goes: “Give him alms, woman, because there is nothing in life as painful as being blind in Granada.”
Granada is the capital of the province. The city is based on the confluence of the Río Darro and Río Genil, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada opening up towards the plain. Underneath the Alhambra, its most famous sight that is visited every year by more than two million people, it is a city filled with fun and history.
It is an Arab and Christian city and both cultures can clearly be seen. The Arabs enriched it over many centuries, whilst the Christians gave the city unique monuments that reflect their culture and their interest in the arts and sciences.
The Río Darro passes through the Plaza Nueva (with the Real Chancillería and the Mudejar Iglesia de San Gil y Santa Ana) and flows along the Paseo de los Tristes, flanked by the Bañuelo (an Arab bath from the 11th century), the Casa de Castril, now the headquarters of the ArchaeologicalMuseum, and passes plenty of other interesting buildings.
In front of the Alhambra lies the Albaicín distict, with its winding alleys. It is the last corner of the Islamic city and used to be the main city centre in the Zirid and Nasrid periods. The Cuesta del Chapiz rises from the Río Darro towards its interior. In this area you will find the Iglesia de San Juan de los Reyes, with the minaret of a mosque from the 13th century. In the highest part, you can see the Iglesia de San Nicolás and the Mirador de San Nicolás, where you can get splendid views of the Alhambra, and the Iglesia del Salvador, built on the site of the town’s main mosque whose porticoed courtyard from the 13th century still stands.
You enjoy the Andalusian atmosphere when crossing the Albaicín through the Plaza Larga and the Arco de las Pesas, the gate in the Cuesta Alhacaba, at the end of which the Puerta de Monaita is located. Another interesting monument here is the Convento de Santa Isabel La Real, which is connected to the Palace of Dar al-Horra, (which literally means the ‘House of the Queen’). This was where the mother of Boabdil, last Nasrid king of Granada, lived. By going down the Calle Calderería Nueva and the Calle Calderería Vieja you reach Calle Elvira, which connects the Albaicín with the medina.
You can walk down the Calle Reyes Católicos, the Plaza del Carmen and Puerta Real, and pass by the Mauror, an ancient Jewish neighbourhood, the Antequeruela, and the popular Campo del Príncipe. You can see the Realejo, San Matías and so many other interesting places, finishing at the Carrera del Genil and the streets near the river. Here there is a former Muslim prayer room that was turned into the Ermita de San Sebastián, next to which the Palacete de Alcázar del Genil, the most important Almohad monument in Granada, is located.
Christian Granada is represented in buildings like the Hospital Real and the Monasterio de San Jerónimo, built in the 16th century, the Baroque Iglesia and Hospital de San Juan de Dios, the Iglesia de los Santos Justo y Pastor and the university buildings. The Gran Vía de Colón is at the heart of the former Muslim medina and the mosque is today replaced by a shrine and the Gothic-style Cathedral. Diego de Siloé later transformed the Cathedral into a Renaissance masterpiece, and in the 17th century Alonso Cano designed its Baroque façade. The Capilla Real, pantheon of the Catholic Kings, is directly next to the Cathedral. It was built by Enrique Egas in Flemish Gothic style between 1505 and 1521. The Madraza, the centre for learning set up by Yusuf I, is directly opposite. Very near are also the Alcaicería, a 14th-century market for the trade of silks and other merchandise, the Zacatín, commercial artery of the medina, and the Plaza de Bib-rambla. On the other side of the Calle Reyes Católicos you will see the Corral del Carbón, a Muslim warehouse where merchandise was stored.
Granada, a city of great historical importance, is also a young and modern local capital (of its 236,000 inhabitants, 65,000 are university students). The Parque de las Ciencias is a clear example of this.
Granada is overflowing with culture, entertainment and delicious local food. Going out around the historical town centre and eating tapas, which are usually offered as a free accompaniment when ordering a drink, are a real pleasure. It is also an ideal place for those who want to enjoy nature and outdoor sports. It is only 25 minutes away from the best ski resort in Spain. Granada is a city that welcomes tourists and offers them a wide range of exciting activities.
The town districts that make up Granada are: Albaicín, Beiro, Chana, Centro, Genil, Norte, Ronda and Zaidín.
Granada has been lived in for many thousands of years. It was the site of a settlement of the Turduli, an Iberian tribe, as well as of the Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Greeks. During the Roman period it was called ‘Ilíberis’, and during the occupation of the Visigoths it remained an important religious, civil and military centre. A Hebrew community formed a settlement near Ilíberis which they called ‘Gárnata’. These were the people who helped Tariq take Ilíberis. In 1010 the city was destroyed from within, due to internal fighting between different ethnic groups. In 1013, with the arrival of the Zirid dynasty, Granada became an independent kingdom. At the end of the 11th century the people had already spread out over the hill that today occupies the Albaicín district as well as on the area extending from the Río Darro to the Alhambra.
In 1238 the Nasrid monarch Ibn al-Ahmar established the Kingdom of Granada, which extended from the mountains of the Sierra Nevada to Gibraltar. It occupied what today are the provinces of Granada, Málaga and Almería and much of Sevilla, Jaén, Córdoba and Cádiz. During this time the most interesting and impressive building works in the Alhambra took place and in the lower part of the town the Madrasa was built. A tax system was set up and industry thrived.
During the 15th century the kingdom weakened due to internal wars amongst the families of the Court, until Granada fell into the hands of the Catholic Kings in 1492. Boabdil was the last Muslim king of the Kingdom of Granada. Treaties were signed between the Arabs and Christians stating that each side would respect the different languages, religions and traditions, but these terms were soon broken. Over time, the Moors were forced to be christened in the Catholic faith and to adopt Christian clothing and customs, and the Arabic language was banned. This untenable situation exploded in 1568 with the revolt of the Moors, starting in the Albaicín. Once the revolt was suppressed in 1571, the Moors were expelled and new Christians arrived in the city.
The city fell into decline in the following centuries, and even the Alhambra served as the headquarters of the Napoleonic troops when they invaded Spain in the 19th century. Following the confiscations that began to take place throughout the 19th century, interesting urban and industrial changes took place here. The layout of the town was redesigned with the Gran Vía being built as an axis through the city, and many squares and gardens were created inspired by the English and French models.
Granada is famous for its excellent tapas, which are served as free accompaniments to a drink in most cafés.
The local cuisine has been heavily influence by Arabic cooking. It uses many spices, and includes many rich soups and stews. Local products are used from the surrounding area to make tender fried beans with ham, stuffed chard, the Cardos, Remojón, Pipirrana and, of course, the famous gazpacho.
The excellent bread from Alfacar often accompanies all these delicacies. Another speciality is the Sacromonte omelette, made with brains, testicles and eggs, so it is not for the faint-hearted.
Programación Cultural Verano 2006 en el MUSEO CUEVAS-CENTRO DE INTERPRETACIÓN DEL SACROMONTE. Todas las actividades empiezan a las 22 horas en el Centro de Interpretación – Museo Cuevas del Sacromonte PRECIO: 10 € Flamenco, 3 € Cine. PROGRAMA [...]
Concerts and flamenco sessions of multitude of artists, many of them from Granada, who during several days meet in the Isabel the Catholic theatre. At the same time, flamenco nights are celebrated in diverse clubs of the city. Date: December: [...]
The International Week of Organs is an event in which the most prestigious artists, investigators and constructors of this instrument come. During one week they perform in as propitious places as the Cathedral of Granada or the Monastery of the [...]
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The International Festival of Music and Dance of Granada is one of the most attractive and one of the oldest festivals of Spain. Artistic activities of great quality are celebrated in the most symbolic corners of the city. The concerts [...]
Contest organized by the City council of Granada, the Delegation of Granada and the Junta of Andalucia. In it, the tapes presented could be awarded in three different categories: short format cinema, experimental and animation. The Andalusian short films are [...]
It is one of the oldest and important of Europe and is the only Spanish festival of the European network of jazz festivals (Europe Jazz Network). Since 1980, great figures like Miles Davis, Tete Montoliu or Dizzy Gillespie have been [...]
It was started up by the prestigious magician from Granada Miguel Puga, “ Magomigue”, and gathers together in the city the best international spectacles of hand tricks and illusions. In addition to the performances in diverse scenes of Granada, parallel [...]
This festival welcomes year after year the most important people of the international scene of the tango world. Diverse performances follow one another in the Isabel the Catholic theatre and in the Auditorium Manuel de Falla. Also dance classes are [...]
On 2nd January the feast of the Capture of Granada is celebrated. It marks the moment when the monarch of the Kingdom of Granada, Boabdil, handed over the city to the Catholic Monarchs in 1492. The celebrations begin with a [...]