Granada

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Granada was once the grandest city in Spain, the site of a powerful and self-sufficient Moorish kingdom which was the last to fall during the Catholic Reconquista (reconquest). Here the importance of the reign of the Catholic Monarchs is evident, from the unification of the Spanish states and the discovery of the Americas, to the less glorious events of the expulsion of Jews and the creation of the Spanish Inquisition.
 

The north side of Granada encompasses the newer neighborhoods with wide boulevards, grand classically-designed buildings and the modern bus station, train station, government buildings and the university.
 

Granada's two grand  boulevards, Gran Via and Calle Reyes Catlicos meet at the Plaza Isabel La Catolica which displays a statue of Queen Isabel granting Columbus his commission to travel to the new world.

Granada's cathedral, begun in 1518 on the site of a Moorish mosque, combines Gothic and Renaissance features in its richly decorated altarpieces and statuary.
 

The Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabel, commissioned the Chapel Royal as their burial place. In addition to their mausoleums, there is a significant collection of artwork of the period.

The Sacromonte is known as the old settlement of the Roma people. It is very picturesque with white-washed caves used as residences carved into the rock.

Lying across from the Alhambra, Albayzn is the best preserved Moorish quarter in Spain. It had its main development during the Nasrid era and was the residential area for craftsmen, industrialists and aristocrats.
 

Albayzn maintains the urban fabric of the Al-Andalus. With mysterious lanes arranged in an intricate pattern, colorful corners, and Moorish arches, Albayzn is fascinating to wander through.

Alcaicera is the former silk market, an area of tiny lanes lined with shops selling Arabic and North African merchandise. It is reminiscent of a Moroccan souk.
 

 

The Nasrid palace-city, the Alhambra, occupies a plateau on the southeastern border of Granada. Part fortress, part palace, part government city and part garden, it was the last Moorish stronghold in Spain.

 

The Carrera del Darro is a scenic footpath along the banks of the Rio Genil from where pedestrians have views of the old Jewish quarter, the Alhambra and Albayzn, and can access historical Arab baths and Christian convents.
 

Sacromonte has venues for watching a Roma version of flamenco called  zambra. 

Numerous cafes feature the Spanish/Arabic decor and menus of the region.

Typical arts of the area include inlaid wood, pottery, and appliqu.
 

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This site was last updated 03/14/15