The city lies at the foot of the Sierra Nevada with its snow covered peaks. The Rio Darro forms a small valley between the Alhambra and the Albaicin. The river was used to guarantee the water supply of the Alhambra and the Generalife. The Carrera del Darro lies on the riverbank of the Rio Darro with its charming houses and colorful bars. It is also the entrance to the Albaicin, the old Nasrid quarter of Granada.
The Alhambra is also called “the red castle” as of its red walls which are seen from far away. The palace is located on the top of the hill al-Sabika from where the view over the city and the surrounding country is incredible.
The first construction of the today’s Alhambra was the Alcazaba.
Sawwan ben Hamdun build the Alcazaba as a military fortress in the 9th century during the fights between the Muslims and the Muwalladins. Mullawadins were Christians who converted to the Islam. Mohammed I. constructed ramparts around the Alcazaba and the three towers: Torre Quebrada, Torre de la Vela and Torre del Homenaje. At that time the Alcazaba developped to be a real military fortress.
The Alhambra as it is known today has been build during the Nasrid Dynasty of the 14th century. Yusuf I (1333-1353) and Mohammed V (1353-1391), both sultans of Granada are responsible for most of the constructions of the Alhambra. From the improvements of the Alcazaba and the palaces, to the “Patio de los Leones” and its attached rooms, the “Puerta de la Justicia”, the building of th “Baños”, the “Cuarto de Comares” and the “Sala de la Barca”. Almost nothing remained from former nasrid kings.
Originally the Generalife has been build as the summer residence with its Moorish Gardens. The park was linked to the Alhambra with covered walkways. Today it is separated from each other. The Generalife with its wonderful parks is a must to see. Have a seat and relax in one of the corners.
The Albaicin lies on the opposite hill of the Alhambra and the Generalife. Almost from all places you will have the stunning well known postcard view on the red castle and the white peaks of the Sierra Nevada. Short before sunset the little plaza in front of the Church San Nicolas called Mirador de San Nicolas fills up quickly with people to watch the most amazing sunset in the world. The lower the sun, the more reddish the Alhambra gets. Take a bottle of Andalucian red wine with you and enjoy these breathtaking moments. You might meet people from all over the world: hippies, artists, musicians, every kind on one plaza in Granada. Don’t miss it!
It took around 181 years to build the first catholic church in Granada. The construction finished in 1561. The Capilla Real Grande houses the mortal remains from Ferdinand and Isabella and theirs descendants. Both are impressive buildings and a must see in Granada.
Buy tickets for the Alhambra and the Generalife online here , because they are restricted per day.
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