One of the most important provinces in Andalucia is Granada, whose capital city of the same
name is world renowned and is truly one of Spain's jewels.
Its cultural legacy has been
developed through the occupation of the Muslims and the Christians whose variety of artistic
styles, the quality of musical and theatrical activities, as well as the rich traditions
maintained by its people is still evident today.
The first thought that often comes to mind when speaking about this city is, of course,
the Alhambra, a glorious testament to the Moorish period in southern Spain. Atop a steep
hill, near the Darro river and protected by its surrounding mountains and forests, and
within one of the oldest barrios of the area, the castle complex of the Alhambra rises
in its powerful stance. Its rough, reddish exterior walls belie its lovely gardens and
astonishing architecture within. Although it was initially conceived as a military zone,
it came to be the residence of the Moorish rulers in the mid-13th century.
From the 13th to the 15th centuries, the fortress was converted into a city with high walls and
protective towers, and includes as well a separate palace in front of the Alhambra
called the Generalife; this structure surrounded by beautiful gardens became the seat
of the kings of Granada. Millions of people continue to visit this extraordinary site,
and in 2007 it was one of the nominated sites to be one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
But there is more to the capital city of Granada - it has a well-respected University,
centers of Flamenco music and dance, cosmopolitan architecture, authentic and typical
tapa bars where savoring ham from nearby Trevelez (a Serrano ham) is a must, caves on
the Sacromonte mountain where gypsies perform, and wonderful skiing on the nearby
slopes of the Sierra Nevada. (It is often said that one could swim in the Mediterranean
in the morning and ski in the Sierras in the afternoon, as both possibilities lie
50 minutes apart - a truly unique opportunity for the sports enthusiast.) In addition,
Granada boasts its own airport which continues to grow in popularity with many international
carriers. Shopping and entertaining here is similar to that of a mid-sized European
city but with a different rhythm..the nightlife lasts well into the morning, especially
during the summer months.
Granada is a city that is well worth visiting and its strong ties to the
Costa Tropical town of Motril (directly due south) grow stronger every day. Access between this capital
city and the Mediterranean coast is on the top of the area's governmental priorities as
traffic, growth and interest continue to expand. The advent of new highways, a rail line,
and perhaps another airport are all possibilities for this area of the southern Spanish coast.
If you have any other interesting information, thoughts, commments, photos, articles, etc (on Granada or
any other subject) that you would like to post on our site, please feel free to
email us at any time. Thank You.