Granada is the capital of the province Andalusia and has 250,000 inhabitants. Granada means in Spanish pomegranate, and this fruit is the symbol of the city. Granada is beautifully situated on hills at the foot of the Sierra Nevada and has a turbulent history.The city was founded in the 8th century by the Moors. When they lost a large part of their conquests in Spain in the 13 th century, Granada became the capital of what remained of Moorish Spain. It was the beginning of a period in which Granada became the Centre of art, culture and science.
The Moorish influence is still evident, with the most famous example the Alhambra , what "red fortress" means. The name comes from the reddish-brown bricks that are used for the exterior walls. The Alhambra is situated on a rock high above the Río Darro. In the oldest part, Alcazaba, the view from the Torre de la Vela forms a highlight. To the North you look over the old Moorish Albaicín district, in the South lie the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada. But Granada is more than it's wonderful geographical location and beautiful architectures. It is a city that is inhabited by artists, students, poets and musicians, a young and vibrant city with an old architecture and a unique atmosphere!
Granada's fascinating Moorish city
The Alhambra is one of the most important sights of the world. Every year, tourists from all countries visit Granada's fascinating miniature Moorish city from the middle ages. Within the fortifications of the Alhambra the visitor comes in contact with the beauty and splendor of Arab palaces, the fragrant gardens of the Generalife, the imposing Christian renaissance churches and medieval towers which bring you back into the 14th century.
The Albaicin is situated on a hill in Granada, on the other side of the Alhambra. It is a neighbourhood with steep and narrow streets, white houses with fragrant gardens, and numerous sights that recall the Islamic origins of the city. Ideal for a relaxing walk, along the many Christian monuments brings that are built after the fall of Granada. You can also enjoy strolling in the narrow streets around Calle Calderería. They are indistinguishable from a real souk in Morocco. You'll find there plenty of teahouses and small shops where the colorful merchandise is displayed on the sidewalks
On the Plaza de San Nicolas you will have a magnificent and world-famous view towards the Alhambra. At sunset you will experience the most beautiful effect, the Alhambra turns into a spectacular ochre colour, and the red glow of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada will only increase your admiration....
Three different impressions of Granada throughout time:
Al-Suqundi, 13th century: "Granada is the Damascus of Al-Andalus, a pasture for the eyes, an elevation of the soul. It has an in-expugnable castle of tall walls and magnificent buildings. It stands out for the singularity of its river, which disseminates through its houses, baths, Moorish markets, internal and external mills and gardens".
Víctor Hugo, 19th century: "Be it near or far, Spanish or Arabic, There is not one single city, Which dare dispute, With Granada, the beautiful, The prize of beauty, Nor any that show, With more enchantment or jollity, Brighter eastern sparkles, Under a more serene sky".
Pedro Antonio de Alarcón, 19th century: "Who has not heard of and admired Granada without even visiting it?".