|The marvelous city of Granada is
the capital of the province of Granada in the autonomous region
of Andalusia and has about 240,000 inhabitants.
The beautiful location at the foot of the "Sierra Nevada", the highest
mountain massif in Spain, gives the city a special charm.
The city became renowned mainly for the spectacular remnants
from its most remarkable history, which began with a Phoenician
and Iberian settlement around 500 BC. After the reign of Romans,
Vandals and Ostrogoths, Granada was
conquered by Moors in 711and
became part of the Emirate "Al-Andalus". In
this way the city came under Arab rule for a period of nearly 800
years, in fact until 1492, when the last Emir surrendered
to the Christian Spanish kings.
The Nasrid Palaces
are the heart of the Alhambra. The interior of the palaces
is emblazed with elaborate ornamental works in stucco. There are
arabesques and Arabic inscriptions, gorgeous stalactite cupolas
(Muqarnas) and coloured azulejos, precious wood inlaid and sculpted...
The most famous part of the palaces is the
of the lions with the fabulous fountain. The magnificent courtyard
is surrounded by a colonnade with 124 slender marble columns. In
the centre there is the Lion Fountain, an alabaster basin, which
is supported by 12 water spouting lions from white marble. At the
edge of the fountain an inscription of the poet Ibn Zamrak reads:
"Blessed is the eye that sees this garden of beauty". How
true! SLIDESHOW Alhambra
A castle on this site was first mentioned in the 9th Century
in connection with a civil war in 889. In the 11th Century, the
site was expanded and developed into a fortress, but became a residence
only in 1238, when Mohammed ibn Nasr, the first Nasrid ruler, founded
the present Alhambra. This marked the beginning of its heyday: The
was built and extended, the fortifications were reinforced, the
water supply was secured and the magnificent Nasrid Palaces (Palacios Nazaries) with
their charming gardens (eg El Partal) were created, mainly from
the rural residence of the Emirs, was created in the 13th
century and is a masterpiece of horticulture. The romantic, subtropical
gardens with exotic plants, arcades, flower beds, basins and fountains
reflect the image of paradise.
The Palace of Karl V in
Renaissance style appears quite strange in this place,
but after the reconquest the king wanted to benefit from all the
modern achievements at the Alhambra. The palace was begun in 1527,
but never finished as long as the king lived (only in 1957!) Unfortunately
for this project parts of the Nasrid palaces were removed.
Albaicin - the Moorish
Don't miss a walk through the historic Albaicin.
The charming, well preserved, oldest quarter of Granada opposite
the Alhambra is like a living picture book and gives vivid impressions
of the city's Moorish past. When you follow the maze of small, slightly
rising alleys, you'll reach the beautiful
vantage point "Mirador de San Nicolas". at the Iglesia San
Nicolás, where you can enjoy a grandiose view of the Alhambra
and Generalife on the other side of the river valley before the
background of the Sierra Nevada as well as of the city itself.