Hola Spain: Granada (10)

Chapter 10: Granada

To the south of Spain, is the shinning city of Granada. Historically, it is most significant for its Islamic legacy in the Europe. Muslims ruled the city for the longest period of time in Granada (800). Interestingly, pomegranate is the city’s emblem as ‘Granada’ means ‘pomegranate’ in the local language.

Granada has a diverse culture and organizes many popular events year round. Alhambra, Albayzin and Generalife are some of its most important places to visit.

The city is indeed a great reflection of the Islamic heritage. It depicts how strong its influence was once. Interestingly, Granada today has become a great blend of diverse art and culture. It arranges musical events, films, theaters and other art exhibitions in its traditional palaces. Town meetings, seminars and conferences are also arranged in such buildings.

Granada has an ideal location. It is a valley between two hills. A river called Darro divides the hills with each other. The place can be visited anytime but the ideal month to visit could be spring and the autumn season. There is a plethora of hanging out options. Snow covers the city in winters, making it a romantic and ideal place to go skiing.

Tourists can reach Granda by train or bus from Seville or Madrid. It can also be reached by air. Granada roads are well-connected with all other cities of Spain. It is one tourist attraction that one cannot miss because of the offers it makes to its guests!

Sights worth watching

There is a small town to 17km west of the city called Fuente Vaquero. It is now known as the Casa Museo Federico García Lorca. You should also check another cultural center Huerta de San Vicente. A bus can easily take you to these and other destinations in Granda.

Guadix

To the northeast of the city is a bustling town of Guadix. It has a unique personality and can remind you of cave times because of its house construction styles. It is an underground city where natives live in their “modern cave houses.” The rough and pointed ochre ground with stunning white cave entrances and chimneys dramatically contrast with the Sierra Nevada whitewashed peaks. The owners of these houses are house-proud and friendly and can agree to show you the inside of their house. These cave houses are well-furnished and upgraded with internet connections from inside. Do not miss Purullena when you visit. It is Guadix’s famous cave club. There is also a spa, museum and church worth a visit in the place.

Historically, Guadix has connection with Roman and Phoenician times and it is clear that Granda played its role in the wars, conquests and Reconquest.

Alhambra

Alhambra in Arabic means “the red” and the place is named it because it also turns red with sun on head. No doubt, it is the city’s major tourist attraction. It was a huge castle built for war purposes centuries ago. But time kept changing its duties from being a fortress to palace to medina (city). Alhambra sights worth a visit resemble sights as depicted in the Arabian Nights. There are perfectly proportional Islamic courtyards and rooms. It encompasses beautiful towers, halls, water systems and rose gardens. And some of its most appealing parts are Patio de la Acequia in the Generalife, the Patio de los Leones in the Nasrid Palace of the Lions, and the Puerta de la Justicia etc.

Sacromonte

The gypsies live in the surprising district of Sacromonte. They originated from India and had migrated to the place in the mid of 15th Century. Camino del Sacromonte which is attractive because of its welcoming shops, restaurants and market. Zambra, however is the most favorite thing to do at the Camino. It is a unique type of flamenco in which the one who sings also dances. There is also an exotic Roma museum known as Centro de Interpretación del Sacromonte that features cave havens, its environment, Roma culture and geology. Stand on the museum door to have a view over the grand Alhambra and splendid Granada.

Granada Cathedral

An amazing cathedral which took inspiration from renaissance dome and Gothic base is another attraction of Granada. Diago de Siloe is its maker who became famous for this work. The Cathedral took two centuries to complete. It began in the 16th century and finished in the 18th century. A part of the Cathedral is called the Capilla Real. It is mausoleum of the monarchy designed in typical Gothic style. One can find coffins of the important people from history such as Felipe I, Joanna La Loca and Infante Miguel da Paz etc.

Albayzín

Taking a walk in the Albayzin quarter not only soothes an explorer’s soul but also imparts knowledge in him about the lost centuries. It is the first place where ancient Iberians were settled. It has a hilly location which faces Alhambra and is ragged but beautiful. Albayzin was a famous Muslim town for years even after the Reconquest. The place indicates many things from the history such as the fountains, houses and ramparts.

Also, do not miss wonders of Granada such as the Royal Chapel, Charles V Palace, Generalife, Arc of Elvira and Court of the Lions etc.

While best hotels in the Granada city include: Santa Isabel La Real, located near the bus stop C1 and offers great guidance and good services. Albero Hotel is the second best option to stay at. It is very near to Alhambra and have quality food, clean rooms and cheap rates. And if you want luxury and have the feel of a king or queen, choose Hospos Palacio de Los Patos.

Hotels, restaurants and clubs

On the other hand, main restaurant names involve, Terra Bar which not only offers great dishes and cuisines but also arranges cultural evenings and exhibitions to support city’s culture. It has a prime location at Plaza del Realejo, Asian-touch foods and a courteous team. El Caustro, can also be your choice for its exotic dinning, expansive wine and wonderful interior. It is located in the Granada’s monumental center.

Granada’s nightlife shimmers after eight pm. Lots of clubs, pubs, bars and hubs open their arms for the guests. Discoteca Aliatar is a famous club today and was formerly a cinema. It is located at Calle Recogidas and is the main attraction for its amazing dance floor, wine and music. Sala Quilombo, El Son and Plantabaja are other wonderful clubs to be. However, the busiest, most entertaining and the cheapest is the Pedro Antonio de Alarcon which is not one club but a whole street of bars, clubs and pubs.

Other useful information

There are amazing singers, dancers and musicians available to entertain. There are Granda’s best cocktail, beer and kebab houses to eat and have fun at.

 

 

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