Granada is the perfect dream and fantasy, forever ineffable…Granada will always be more malleable than philosophical, more lyric than dramaticFederico Garcia Lorca
Located in the autonomous community of Andalusia and along the Genil River. It derives its name from the fruit pomegranate because it is abundant in the city or the Moorish name Karnattah, which means hill of strangers. It is one of Spain’s most frequently visited tourist centers because of its architecture and artistic monuments.
Granada can be easily accessed on foot, however, if taxis are needed, they are also convenient and affordable. Granada is a safe city to walk in day and night, but you should always be aware of your surroundings.
There are 28 bus lines in Granada, which run from 0.87 €/trip to 41€/month.
The Kingdom of Granada was founded in the early 13th Century. At its beginnings, it was formed from the provinces of Granada, Malaga, and Almeria. After the surrounding of the last king of Granada, Muhammad XII (1482-1492), the Catholic Monarchs took over on January 2nd, 1492. The history of Granada is mainly based on crises over two kingdoms.
Historic Cordoba is a UNESCO world Heritage Site. The following is the description from the UNESCO report.
UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE DESCRIPTION – START
Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada
Rising above the modern lower town, the Alhambra and the Albaycín, situated on two adjacent hills, form the medieval part of Granada. To the east of the Alhambra fortress and residence are the magnificent gardens of the Generalife, the former rural residence of the emirs who ruled this part of Spain in the 13th and 14th centuries. The residential district of the Albaycín is a rich repository of Moorish vernacular architecture, into which the traditional Andalusian architecture blends harmoniously.
The property of the Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada, stands on two adjacent hills, separated by the river Darro. Rising above the modern lower town, the Alhambra and the Albayzín form the medieval part of the City of Granada, which preserves remains of the ancient Arabic quarter. These components represent two complementary realities and examples of medieval urban complexes: the residential district of the Albayzín and the palatine city of the Alhambra. To the east of the Alhambra fortress and residence are the gardens of the Generalife, an example of a rural residence of the emirs, built during the 13th and 14th centuries.
The Alhambra, with its continuous occupation over time, is currently the only preserved palatine city of the Islamic period. It constitutes the best example of Nasrid art in its architecture and decorative aspects. The Generalife Garden and its vegetable farms represent one of the few medieval areas of agricultural productivity. These palaces were made possible by the existing irrigation engineering in Al-Ándalus, well established in the Alhambra and Generalife with technological elements known and studied by archaeologists. This constituted a real urban system integrating architecture and landscape, and extending its influence in the surrounding area with gardens and unique hydraulic infrastructures.
The residential district of the Albayzín, which constitutes the origin of the City of Granada, is a rich legacy of Moorish town planning and architecture in which Nasrid buildings and constructions of Christian tradition coexist harmoniously. Much of its significance lies in the medieval town plan with its narrow streets and small squares and in the relatively modest houses in Moorish and Andalusian style that line them. There are, however, some more imposing reminders of its past prosperity. It is nowadays one of the best illustrations of Moorish town planning, enriched with the Christian contributions of the Spanish Renaissance and Baroque period to the Islamic design of the streets.
UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE DESCRIPTION – END
The perfect place to look for something to drink and eat. It is Granada’s version of Madrid’s Plaza Mayor. It is one of the city’s oldest and most ancient and transformed spots.
San Jeronimo Monastery
Build on top of a mosque that was once at this location, the Granada Cathedral is the second-largest cathedral in the Country. It started being built in 1518 and it took over 180 years to finish. Sculptures of El Greco are on its walls and it has 13 different chapels for different saints.
Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. (n.d.). Granada. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved June 21, 2022, from https://www.britannica.com/place/Granada-historical-kingdom-Spain
Palacios, P. (2021, March 26). How to get around Granada, Spain. How to get around Granada, Spain (2022) | España Guide. Retrieved June 21, 2022, from https://www.espanaguide.com/granada/how-to-get-around-granada/
15 best things to do in Granada, Spain. Touropia. (n.d.). Retrieved June 21, 2022, from https://www.touropia.com/best-things-to-do-in-granada-spain/
http://www.area25.es, A. I. T.-. (n.d.). Alhambra of Granada. information about the monument, how to buy tickets, guided tours, photographies, guide of Granada. Alhambra de Granada. Retrieved June 21, 2022, from https://www.alhambradegranada.org/en/
“Give alms woman, for there is nothing sadder in life than being blind in Granada” Francisco de Icaza
Walking through Granada is like travelling back in time to when Spain was under Muslim rule. The Kingdom of Granada was established in the 13th century with the rise of the Nasrid Dynasty. During this time the rulers of Granada put forth an intense process of arabization with the help of military forces from Morocco. The extent of this aribization is still visible today in Granada with its buildings reflecting Arab architecture as well as the remains of several Islamic bathhouses.
In 1306, Muhammad III gained control of the strait of Gibraltar and the city of Cueta with the help of different alliances between Morocco and Castille. Unfortunately control over Gibraltar and Cueta would not last long due to the Battle of Rio Salado which gave Castille full control of the straits in 1340. After this loss Granada implemented isolationist strategies to regain their strength. The next century would be filled with strife and civil unrest in Granada that would lead to its ultimate demise.
“Do not cry as a woman for what you could not defend as a man” Aixa al-Hurra, mother of the last Emir of Granada
In the 15th century the kingdom of Castille began to form a plan to take control of Granada as the final step of uniting Spain. Due to the civil unrest in Granada, the kingdom had become disjointed and allowed the perfect opportunity for a Castilian takeover. On January 2, 1492, the last Emir of Granada, Muhammad XII, handed Granada over to Queen Isabel of Castille and King Ferdinand of Aragon effectively ending centuries of Islamic rule. The new era of Catholic rule led to an inquisition in Granada with forced Catholic conversion, mosques being turned into churches, and the deaths of those who refused to denounce Islam.
The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “Granada.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2 Nov. 2017, https://www.britannica.com/place/Granada-historical-kingdom-Spain.
“Brief History of Granada.” History of Granada, 5 Oct. 2019, https://granadamap.com/history.htm.
“Perhaps there never was a monument more characteristic of an age and people than the Alhambra; a rugged fortress without, a voluptuous palace within; war frowning from its battlements; poetry breathing throughout the fairy architecture of its halls” Washington Irving, Tales of the Alhambra
The name “Alhambra” is thought to be from the Arabic word for vermilion. Its red walls and towers stretch up into the sky at the top of the hill of La Sabica. The fortification and protective walls from the Alhambra date back to the 9th century but it is more famously known as the residence of Islamic rulers during the 13th century. The rulers of the Nasrid dynasty began to turn this fortress into a palace beginning with King Alhamar. Within the walls of the Alhambra there are two main areas: The Alcazaba and the Palace of Charles V. The Alcazaba encompasses the the barracks of the royal guard and the palaces of the Islamic kings. The Palace of Charles V began construction in 1527 but was not complete until 1957. The Palace of Charles V was intended to be the summer home of the Spanish rulers but issues with funding, architects, and political revolts all halted and delayed the Palace’s completion.
All information found on the Alhambra’s official website https://www.alhambra.org/en/
Natalie Mateo 22 November 2019
EDITOR AND LAST UPDATE
John William Bailly 23 November 2019
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