Favorite thing: Favourite thing about Granada ( apart from the Alhambra) ? Definitely the Albaicin which I set off in search of the minute I arrived in Granada. In search of mystery and history I shot up Reyes Catolicos, ignoring the cathedral and the market place, hell bent on losing myself in the maze of steep winding streets, squares and alleyways that make up the World Heritage Site of the Albaicin. Starting from Plaza Nueva I climbed up a short hill with stars patterned on the cobbles and turned left. Here, just a short way beyond the Santa Ana Church are the Banos Arabes Al Andalus and a definite indication that you are entering the Moorish quarter. This little street of Santa Ana is really picturesque and you can carry on to the end then cross over the small bridge which brings you out on Carrera del Darro.Here there are lots of mansions which have definitely seen better days but are still very impressive. One of these, Casa de Castril at no. 41 is actually the city's Archeological Museum and is free to holders of EU passports. Turning away from the river ( which is more like a mill stream than a river ) passing the church of San Juan de los Reyes, you eventually arrive at the Plaza Larga and then to the Mirador de San Nicolas From here you have the best view in town of the Alhambra and when you've finished 'oohing and aahing 'you can head back down towards Calle de Elvira crisscrossing from one street and plaza to another as you go. The Albaicin has far too many buildings of specific interest to mention here but just wandering and absorbing the atmosphere is all you need to do. It's not as sinister or mysterious as I imagined it would be and parts of it are quite commercialised but you will definitely be glad you came.
To take a walk around the narrow streets in the Albaicin will for me always be connected with being in Granada.
I have now been in Granada several times and everytime I go there I take a walk around this old neighbourhood - without my map - just going down new streets that I have never seen before.
It is always fasinating what I end up seing and who I might end up meeting. The Albaicin is such a beautiful place to spend a cool day walking around.
Take Carrera de Darro (from Plaza Nueva) until the Paseo de los tristes (you should come here in the afternoon when the sun goes down and the Alhambra lights get on, lots of terrazas to have tapas and drinks...), climb the little streets up to the Miradores, where you can enjoy beautiful views of the Alhambra ... and get yourself lost.... (well at least that’s what I always do, but never at night...), I always finish (I wonder how I manage lol) at Calle Carreteria, where I feel transported to a morocco Zoco, and enjoy some tea and sweets in any of the morocco tea shops there....
During the climb see that all the gardens are called Carmen, as my name... :-)
Most of the inhabitants of this quater at the11th century were Jews. They ruled the city until the XII century, when the Muslims took the power and the Nazaries were in powere for 2 centuries, till in 1492 the catholic recovered the city..
Favorite thing: The church located in the Plaza Nueva, should be your first port of call for the Albaicin district. Walk past the church up the little lane following the river. Good views of the Alhambra on the hill to your right. When you reach the small Tapas bars further up any left turn will take you directly into the Albaicin district.
Favorite thing: The Alhambra sitting on its high ground with only the area of Albaycin being higher is an ideal platform for photos. The first photo shows the church and courtyard where we were able the day before to take photos of the Alhambra during the day and later after nightfall with the lights illuminating its walls. The Albaycin is laid out before you when viewed from the Alhambra, but when you are within its streets it is a curving warren of small nooks and crannies leading you up and down the slopes of the hills.
the Name Granada is very mysterious, 'great castle' might come as close as it gets.
a Roman Fortress once stood on Albaicin Hill. when the Moors arrived, the Town was largely inhabited by Jews and it is said, they settled in Spain even before the Romans.
Albaicin means 'quarter of falconers'
after Cordoba fell into christian hands, the Moors fled Cordoba and settle in Granada, transfering Moorish Power to Granada 1236, bringing their architects, money and skills with them, building again...the Alhambra, the moorish masterpiece of reddish stone
Fondest memory: closing the circle of moorish, christian and jewish heritage....coming from Huelva, Cordoba, Sevilla...arriving in Granada. although Cordoba is my favorite..Granada was a real highlight, absolutly fantastic feel, and driving through 'El Andaluz', the fields of Sunflowers, Olivegroves feril Landscape.
but puting the pages together for VT, reading and learning more about this heritage of human kind. Granada is a City of World Heritage....I realy enjoyed that, might not have gone into it again
Favorite thing: The integration of the Spanish and Moorish cultures has produced a very interesting piece of art that is so unique and amazing.Thats make Granada and Andalucia in general extraordinary than any other part of Spain.
Climb up to the top of Albaisin hill just before sunset.
The view of Alhambra at sunset is something you'll never forget!!