Granada is a city dominated by its Moorish past. The presiding historic site is the incredibly impressive Alhambra (Palace/Fort), which is nothing short of its own walled town with a combination of Moorish, Islamic, and Spanish palaces, churches and mosques, watch towers, gardens etc. We spent an entire day wandering through it. Like the Alcazar in Sevilla, we found the Islamic architecture to be beautiful and detailed, and the Spanish Catholic in comparison to be large, but boring. Throughout the entire site, running water is incorporated into gardens and within buildings. Many rooms in the palaces had channels of water running into them with bubbling fountains in the center of a room. A 35 second video of the water features is here.
when the founder of the Nasrid dynasty, Muhammad I, was being acclaimed as the victor in Granada in 1238, he responded to the cheering crowd saying “There is no victor but God”. We thought of several interpretations for this phrase; maybe he thought it would popularize him because he wasn’t taking personal credit for the victory…good messaging choice!
The Albecin is a neighborhood across a valley from the Alhambra. It’s full of white buildings, steep winding streets, and lots of fun markets that sell meat, fresh breads, colorful spices you’ve never heard of before, musical instruments and the like. One of our favorite dinners was at a restaurant situated in an old patio of one of the white houses, eating under the stars, with a view of the Alhambra lit up across the river.
Granada is also a very modern city,
with lots of good shopping, including an entire section dedicated to “Arabic” goods. It’s a great town for walking.. and more walking. They publish a great tourist map that highlights stories about key places to visit, and we enjoyed just reading the map!