The Alhambra, Granada.
Granada is another calm little Andalusian city (southern Spain) at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, so skiing near the city in wintertime is an option. Like Cordoba it's home to one awesome attraction and a number of lesser sights and also like Cordoba it is possible to see the sights in one busy day, perhaps a day trip from Malaga or Seville.
Granada also houses a good university so you can guarantee that there will be plenty of cheap eats and drinks available as well as a buzzing night life.
The primary sight here, and one of Spain's greatest attractions is the Alhambra (the Red One), a Moorish Palace/Fort complex on a hill over Granada .
The Court of the Lions (Patio de los Leones).
The Court of the Lions is one of the Alhambra's best sights, with 12 marble lions clustered around the fountain in the centre surrounded by cloisters supported by 124 marble columns. Tourists cannot approach the lions! More Alhambra information.
Photo by D. M. Harvey.
By the way, if you want to visit the spectacular Alhambra and its Nasrid Palace without spending an eternity in a queue, book online and pick up your tickets on arrival in Granada. Alhambra tickets.
Typical Moorish filigree stonework on Alhambra arches. By Grez.
The Alhambra's inner garden. Photo by Citizen 59.
Common to all Moors - who evolved as desert nomads - was a love of moving water. so Moorish gardens always feature tinkling fountains and flowing water channels.
An informative virtual walking tour of the Alhambra.
A view of Granada from the Alhambra, with the hilly Albaicin area on the right. Photo by Citizen 59.
Cordoba Cathedral, with striking forest of white marble pillars and plenty of Baroque bling, as well as the Royal Chapel.
A reliquary in the Royal Chapel, Capilla Real, a mausoleum housing the Catholic Monarchs - King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella and their family. Photo by Shakko.
Granada was the last stronghold of the Moors who had captured most of Spain's peninsula (with the exception of the far north) in the eighth century. During the next 800 years, off and on, a group of Christian monarchs battled to regain the land. This period was known as 'La Reconquista' and gradually the Christians overcame the Moors, defeating all but the rulers of Granada by 1238. In 1492 King Boabdil finally surrendered to the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella and Granada became Christian again.
Convento de la Merced, one of many religious institutions in Granada. Photo by Lancastermerrin.
The Albaicin's (Albayzin) medieval Arab district. Next, Cordoba Pictures.
The hilly Albaicin district of Granada is the main tourist objective after seeing the Alhambra, providing not only a cluster of narrow and atmospheric Moorish streets, shops and houses that are a World Heritage Site, but also a fine archeological museum displaying artefacts from the eons of previous inhabitants of Granada, the ruins of an Arab hammam bath house, some interesting restaurants and bars and last but not least a stunning viewpoint (beside the church of St. Nicholas) over to the Alhambra complex.
Malaga to Granada: 127 kms. No train. By car/bus about 1.5 hours.
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