Grenade, a little big city (1/2)

In Spain, Travel Guides
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View of the Chatedral from the Albayzín

A view of the Cathedral from Albayzín

 

Grenade, as little city as a big one at the same time.

Full of places to discover, and no doubt with an amazing historical and cultural background.

Grenade is a city that amazes you at first sight for its architectural wealth, since it has the heritage of the Muslim and Christian cultures mainly other Jewish (though in less quantity) and of course the hints of the Romans and Visigoths also that passed through here.

I have to start by telling that I am not Spanish, who had never been in Spain or anywhere in Europe. I came to Grenade on October 25, 2015 to study a master in visual arts and education. Day by day I’ve met Grenade, its spaces, its culture and its many nooks that trap.

We have to mention that Grenade is a city I would say an 85% or more full with student, destination both for Spanish students as Erasmus throughout Europe and the world; which makes a city with great cultural variety, where there is much other offer from cultural to leisure.

It is located in a privileged place as a few minutes drive away is the wonderful “Sierra Nevada” or snow mountains, that can be seen from almost anywhere in the city, also is more than an hour from the beach, so you can go from snow the sea in a very short time.

Of all the cities in Spain, Grenade is one of the most visited since it has the wonderful Alhambra.

The Alhambra:

Formed by a group of palaces, gardens, and strength that really harbor a city inside. Its architectural beauty is overwhelming, mainly are the Moorish empire building, extremely rich in detail and perfection. Apart from the Nazari palaces, there is also the palace of Charles V, which is quite different from the rest.

Lions Patio

The Lions Patio in the Alhambra

Piece of the roof

A closeup of the perfection of the roof constructions

Remember that if you want to go to the Alhambra it´s better to buy the tickets online cause there are many people and it get out of stock very soon in the morning. You can  buy them here.

Undoubtedly Grenade is a city full of beautiful places but I personally love the neighborhood of Albayzín. This is the old Moorish neighborhood, is located between the Alhambra, the hill of San Cristobal, Sacromonte and Elvira Street.

Little roads in Albayzín

Little nooks of the Albayzin

Albayzín

balconies in the Albayzin

The Albayzín:

Enter the Albayzín is a magical walk, her tiny stone streets, the beautiful houses with their Mozarabic architecture, and the carmenes (beautiful big house constructions that have an internal courtyard in the middle) still preserved in good condition makes you lifts to the past.

I remember very well that one of the first weekends that I spend in Grenade, I run out of money (and here the banks have an attention schedule that is very short and on weekends they don’t open) so I prepare a sandwich, I got my slippers and I went for a walk to lose myself a bit between the streets of the Albayzín. In its day it was very common to find several public Arab baths, these are similar to the saunas of our time; still they remain few in operation, others almost in ruins which have been preserved as heritage sites for tourism, but most have disappeared.

Tea shops are another of the places of interest and that can be found almost everywhere in the neighborhood, with Arabian air, varieties of teas and delicious sweets are a good place to stop for a drink and get some rest from walking.

Having been the biggest Muslim point of confluence, the Albayzín had many mosques, which after the Christian conquest were demolished and replaced by churches, therefore this is the neighborhood to have the most amount of churches in Grenade.

Balconcillos

Typical Andalusian balconies in Plaza Larga, Albayzin

It also has several very beautiful viewpoints from which practically the whole city is contemplated; the main viewpoint is San Nicolas from which you can contemplate the wonderful Alhambra, which like in a painting is framed on the hill of Sabika and with the wonderful Sierra Nevada at the back, which in the winter with the snow makes it even outshine more than normally.

From San Nicolas

Majestic view of the Alhambra and Sierra Nevada, from San Nicolas

At the top of the Albayzín is the chapel and the viewpoint of San Miguel, which stands on the highest point of the city and has a wonderful view of the whole city; apart from having a good time in the gazebo, behind the chapel it starts a beautiful natural park with several trails to walk, run or practice some sport, and if the day aloud it, it’s a good idea to go with friends and have a picnic and spend the day there.

In the lower part of the neighborhood you can go from the Plaza Nueva on the sidewalk of the Darro to the Paseo de los Tristes, always taking the side view of the Alhambra from below. Along with all the Paseo de los Tristes, you can find a variety of restaurants and cafes where you can have a “Caña” (a term used by the Spaniards to describe a glass of beer) and which surely will be accompanied by a typical Spanish “Tapa”.

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The Cathedral and The Royal Chapel:

In this city we can also find the tomb of the Catholic kings, which is next to the cathedral being part of this; it is the royal chapel, where they remain the bodies of Isabel the Catholic, Ferdinand of Aragon, their daughter Juana “La Loca” and her husband Felipe “The Beautiful”. This spectacular chapel was built between 1506 and 1517 and is Gothic. With the increase of tourism in Spain the museum of the royal chapel where built, there you can find the clothes and belongings of monarchs, and also a collection of art. The cathedral is also one of the buildings that should not be missed, is extremely large and imposing, and no matter whether or not you are religious or what kind of religion you are, as the art and architecture of any temple, church, cathedral, etc., always worth appreciating.

The  Charterhouse of Cartuja:

Another most see tourist buildings in Grenade, is the charterhouse of the Carthusian monastery, this was built on an Arabic Carmen called Aynadamar which means fountain of tears. This was begun to build in 1506 but the construction was completed until three centuries later. For me personally the Carthusian monastery has a great emotional value, because in my first week and a half in the city I lived in a residence behind the charterhouse, and every day that was the view from my window … in fact my first photo in Granada is a picture of the “Cartuja”.

La Cartuja

Cartuja Monastery

 

here i left you a map from Grenade.. 

I hope you enjoy the reading and soon i will be uploading the part 2 so don’t go to far!!!

 

Marellanorudd…

 

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