The Moorish city of Granada is famous for the Alhambra, a palace-fortress and one of the wonders of the world. It’s a series of palaces and gardens built on Alhambra hill under the Nazari Dynasty in the 14th century. This mighty complex of buildings – including the summer palace called Generalife, with its fountains and gardens - stands at the foot of Spain’s highest mountain range, the Sierra Nevada, and overlooks the city below and the fertile plain of Granada. At the centre of the Alhambra stands the massive Palace of Charles V, an outstanding example of Spanish Renaissance architecture.
Other major Christian monuments found in the city are the Cathedral, including the Royal Chapel where Isabel and Ferdinand lie buried, the Monastery of La Cartuja and many churches built by Moorish craftsmen after the Reconquest, in Granada’s unique "mudéjar" style. The hill facing the Alhambra is the old Moorish casbah or "medina", called the Albaicin, a fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets and whitewashed houses with secluded inner gardens, known as "cármenes". The Plaza de San Nicolas, at the highest point of the Albaicin, is famous for its magnificent view of the Moorish palace. The Sacromonte hill, which overlooks the city from the North, is famous for its cave dwellings, once the home of Granada’s large gypsy community. The name Granada is ancient and mysterious. It may mean "great castle", for the Roman fortress which once stood on the Albaicin Hill. When the Moors came here, the town was largely inhabited by Jews, for which they called it Garnat-al-Yahud - Granada of the Jews. The Jews are said to have been one of the first peoples to settle in Spain, even before the Romans.
The name Alhambra comes from an Arabic root which means "red or crimson castle", Created originally for military purposes, the Alhambra was an alcazaba (fortress), an alcázar (palace) and a small medina (city), all in one. This triple character helps to explain many distinctive features of the monument. It became a Christian court in 1452 when the Catholic Monarchs (Ferdinand and Isabella) conquered the city. Emperor Charles V began the construction of the palace which bears his name and made some alterations in the interior buildings. But then beginning in the 18th century the Alhambra became neglected until 1870 when it was declared a national monument. Travellers and romantic artists of all countries had railed against those who scorned the most beautiful of their monuments. Since that date and up to now, the Alhambra, protected, restored, cared for and even improved, has been preserved for the pleasure and admiration of all. The Alcazaba is the oldest part of the Alhambra, reconstructed upon the ruins of a castle in the 9th century. The Royal House or Palace is comprised of several palace groups with a series of courts and structures surrounding them which were born out of transitory or ornamental necessity. The word "Generalife" has been translated as "garden of paradise," "orchard" or "garden of feasts" and was the gardens and summer palace of the sultans.
Population: 234,758 (2016)
Area: 88 km²
We have a wide selection of hand-picked Tours to Granada & Historic or Modern Hotels in Granada . Below you will find the full list of Granada Tours & Hotels.