The unique history of Granada has bestowed it with an artistic grandeur embracing Islamic palaces and Christian Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque treasures. The city has been formed around the hills, where the old districts in the Albayzín and the magnificent Citadel of the Alhambra were founded, brimming with steep, narrow streets, and marvelous landscapes.
Granada was the “last stronghold”, the last capital of the Muslim Spain conquered by the “Catholic Monarchs” Isabella and Ferdinand in 1492. This date marks the final point of almost 8 centuries of Islamic presence in the Iberian Peninsula which have left us uncountable treasures. That was a year when some of the most important episodes of Spanish history were written, and they all happened in Granada.
Indeed, the discovery of America coincided that very same year in Granada, where Christopher Columbus obtained from Isabella the funds for his adventurous ocean travels, which would definitely change the face of the world. On the 31st of March of the same year, the Edict of the expulsion of the Jews was also signed in Granada, a dramatic prelude of the forced conversion of the Muslim.These edicts will sadly put an end of centuries of prolific coexistence between ethnic and religious communities. However, not a single decree is capable to cancelling centuries of cultural blending.
Granada is a unique city in the world where you can constantly navigate in between a striking Islamic architecture and remarkable Christian churches. Inside the citadel of the Alhambra itself, the bewitching and ethereal palaces of the Nasrid sultans live together with the vigorous Palace of Charles V, a masterpiece of the Renaissance in Spain. In Downtown, the oratory of the Madraza (the medieval Islamic university) is still present, just in front of the Royal Chapel which contains the marbled mausoleums of the Catholic Monarchs and beside of the Cathedral, one of the largest in the world.
Moreover, between hilly areas and the fertile plain, Granada possesses lively historical neighborhoods such as the Realejo, which calls to mind the silenced memory of the old Jewish quarter, or the Albayzín, declared a world heritage site since it marvelously preserves the shape of the medieval Islamic city in its labyrinth of narrow streets. Furthermore, the incomparable location of the city, 20 miles away from the highest peaks of Sierra Nevada and 40 miles away from the Mediterranean coast offers you the possibility of practicing many sports like skiing, hiking, diving, parasailing…