History

The last kingdom to be reconquered by the Catholic Monarchs has an incredible historical-artistic heritage. Moorish and Christian elements can be found in the streets of Granada. The palace and gardens of the Alhambra and the Generalife, together with the Albaicín neighbourhood, have the UNESCO World Heritage designation. The Gran Vía de Colón and the Avenida de los Reyes Católicos will take visitors to the most important districts and monuments built in the Renaissance.

The reddish hill on which the Alhambra is built holds the Alcazaba and the Nasrid Royal Palaces. This beautiful monument with art by the Moors and from Granada, built between the 13th and 15th century, has many rooms connected with courtyards, gardens and fountains. Its intricate architectural details can be seen in places such as Patio de los Arrayanes and de los Leones courtyards, in the Hall of the Ambassadors or in the Dos Hermanas Room. On this hill you can also find the Generalife Gardens, the summer residence of the Nasrid monarchs, and the Palace of Carlos V. The latter is a Renaissance construction which holds the Fine Arts Museum and the Alhambra Museum. The first has an important collection of artists from the 16th century, including Alonso Cano and Machuca. The second is an excellent way of getting to know the Spanish-Moorish art of Granada.

The Albaicín neighbourhood spreads out on another of the hills in the city. Steep and narrow streets lead to “cármenes” (houses with a garden), old mosques on which churches have been built (San Salvador, San Bartolomé or San José) and small squares such as San Nicolás and San Cristóbal. These two squares have beautiful views of the Alhambra and the peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Between the walls, Elvira Gate and Carrera del Darro, the Albaicín neighbourhood hides many other treasures. The Arab baths (El Bañuelo), the Mudejar decoration of the Santa Isabel la Real Convent, the Renaissance floor plan of the Córdova palace and of the Santa Catalina de Siena Convent, or the impressive façade of the Real Chancellery are some of them.

 

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