Granada, Andalusia, Spain

The Alhambra palace/fort in Granada, Andalucia, Spain

Alhambra hill over Granada. On the right is the Alcazaba fortress and military quarters. On the left is the Nasrid Palace where the most spectacular decor is to be found – inside. And on the far left, out of view are the Generalife gardens. Photo by Jebulon.

Granada Pictures: Alhambra interior

The primary sight in Granada and one of Spain’s greatest attractions is the Alhambra (the Red One), a Moorish Palace/Fort complex on a hill over this calm little Andalusian city at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains (skiing near the city in wintertime is an option).
Like Córdoba it’s home to one awesome attraction and a number of lesser sights; also like Córdoba it is possible to see the sights in one busy day, perhaps on a day trip from Malaga or Seville.

The Alhambra Court of Lions, Granada, Andalusia, Spain

The Court of the Lions (Patio de los Leones) in the Alhambra’s Nasrid Palace. Photo by Skaremedia.

The Court of the Lions is one of the Nasrid Palace’s prettiest areas, with 12 marble lions clustered around the fountain in the centre surrounded by cloisters supported by 124 marble columns. Sadly tourists cannot approach the lions these days. More Alhambra information.

Alhambra tiling, Granada, Andalusia, Spain

Windows in the Lion Palace section. Photo by Leronich.

If you want to visit the spectacular Alhambra/ Nasrid Palace without spending an eternity in a queue, book online and pick up your tickets on arrival in Granada.

Alhambra exterior

Alhambra inner garden, Granada, Andalusia, Spain

The Generalife Gardens, Patio of the Aqueduct, the sultan’s private domain. Photo by Michael Clarke Stuff.

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.

A view from Generalife gardens. Photo by Jebulon.

Granada city

Puerta del Elvira in downtown Granada, Andalusia, Spain

Puerta del Elvira, downtown. Photo by Paul Hermans.

This 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.

A brilliantly decorated home in Granada, Andalusia, Spain

A traditionally decorated home in Granada. Photo by Jebulon.

The hilly Albaicin district is the next tourist objective after visting the Alhambra hill. Albaicin encompasses 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. In addition the strolling tourist may come across the ruins of an Arab hammam bath house, some interesting restaurants and bars and  a stunning viewpoint beside the church of St. Nicholas over to the Alhambra complex.
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. .