Located in the Andalucía Autonomous Region of southern Spain, Granada is an ancient city where you can overlook the Sierra Nevada Mountains. There is a pomegranate in the city emblem of Granada because “Granada” means pomegranate in Spanish. Granada is famous for the masterpiece Alhambra of the Moorish dynasty and various historical sites mixed of Muslim, Jewish and Christian styles. The small town is like a heavy book with rich and fascinating history. You have a feeling of crossing the millennium when you wander in this small town. Let’s visit the top 10 most famous interesting places together in Granada.
The name of the Alhambra comes from Arabic and means “red fort.” It is a representative of an Arabian palace courtyard that is located on the Sierra Nevada. As a building that combines Islamic architecture and horticulture, the Alhambra was selected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1984. The Alhambra is the last Muslim dynasty palace in Spain. It is extremely luxurious and is a recognized example of the Moorish architectural art. The palace consists of a series of buildings including castles, gardens, courtyards, patios, archways and watchtowers. The various patterns are inlaid on the walls and ceilings. You can visit the Akasaba Fort, the Nasserus Palace, the Henry Lorefi Palace, the mosque baths and the gardens. The Alhambra Palace is known as the “city of palaces” and the “miracle of the world”.
2. Nasirius Palace
The Palace of Nasirius is the royal palace of the Sultan of Granada and is the most magnificent Muslim building in Europe. Its intricately beautiful mud walls, tiles, finely carved ceilings and stalactite vaults are all presented in a geometric pattern that is breathtaking. The Arabic inscriptions are densely mounted on the walls. There is a lot of courtyards and patios in the Nasirius Palace, which represents the peak of the Spanish Moorish art.
3. Golden Hall Patio
The Golden Hall patio is located in the heart of the Alhambra Palace – the Nasrid Palace. As soon as you enter to the palace, the first thing in your eye is the Mesjar Hall. Adjacent to the conference hall decorated with the large pillars is the Golden Hall patio. You will see the gold hall walking along the horseshoe-shaped arcade. The ceiling is decorated with fine wood carvings and is set with ivory and pearls. The walls of the hall are engraved with exquisite symbolic verses and decorations. The roof has more than 8,000 wood carvings on it, which is beautiful and magnificent.
4. Nicolas Lookout
The St. Nicholas Lookout is located in the Albaní district of Granada’s oldest town. It was originally the fortress built by the Moors and is a sanctuary for Christians to restore the Moors and Jews. Looked from a distance, the entire hill is like a small white village. The most famous attraction here is the St. Nicholas Lookout, which is adjacent to the Alhambra where you can overlook the panorama. When the sun shines through the city, you stand as if in a scenic postcard when you stand at the St. Nicholas Lookout.
Albayzin is a district of Granada that retains the narrow and mean medieval Moorish streets where you will forget that you are in Europe. In 1984, it was listed as a World Heritage Site together with the famous Alhambra. Highlights of the Albayzin district include the Arab Baths, the Archaeological Museum of Granada, and the Church of the Savior built on the ruins of the Moorish mosque. There are also some Moor’s houses and various restaurents in the Albayzin district.
6. Granada Cathedral
The Granada Cathedral was built in 1523 and it was not completed until the 18th century. Several generations of designers have mixed the Renaissance and Baroque styles on the basis of the Gothic style. The style of the building itself portrays the vicissitudes of the city. The mosque was converted into a cathedral while the Islamic style was not destroyed. The main facade of the Renaissance style consists of four thick buttresses forming three huge concave arches. Granada Cathedral is located on the west side of the New Square and you can reach it if you walk about 200 meters along Almireceros Street.
7. Holy Mountain
The Holy Mountain is located in the east of Granada and next to the Albayzin district. People discovered the holy shrine and the lead book in the 16th century, and that’s why it’s named Holy Mountain. At present, the Holy Mountain Monastery preserves these lead books. At the same time, Gypsies came to Spain from India in the 15th century, and then wandered in Europe and Africa. From the 19th century, the Gypsies excavated caves and built homes on the soft rocks of the Holy Mountain, and a traditional gypsy community was created since then.
8. Charles V Palace
Charles V Palace is a Renaissance building located in the Alhambra. Charles V hoped to build a permanent residence that is commensurate with the emperor’s identity near the Alhambra. At that time, Spanish architecture was popular in the style of silversmiths with Gothic traces. There are two stories in the palace. The lower layer is made of Tasman column and the upper layer is Ionic. There is a circular patio inside, which was original.
9. Sierra Nevada National Park
The Sierra Nevada Mountains are close to the Costa del Sol. The National Hunting Reserve designated in 1966 covers an area of over 80,000 hectares and covers 44 towns in the provinces of Granada and Almeria. The highest peak of the Iberian Peninsula is also in the national park with an altitude of 3,481 meters. The Sierra Nevada has snow all year round. You can come here early and then you can enjoy the Mediterranean sun in an hour. You can also hike, ride horses, ride a mountain bike or drive to visit the Sierra Nevada National Park. You have different travel experiences throughout the year. In spring, you can hike and view flowers; you can hike or soak in the water in summer; in autumn, you can enjoy the colorful scenery and pick wild fruits; you can go skiing and enjoy de snow in winter.
10. San Jeronimo Monastery
The Monastery of San Jeronimo is a Roman Catholic austinian monastery with a Renaissance architectural style. The church was built between 1513 and 1522. The Catholic kings Isabella I and Ferdinand II founded the monastery in monastery outside Granada in the final stage of the resumption of the lost ground movement. The monastery experienced many events including the invasion of the French Napoleonic army. The monks were expelled and the monastery became a ruin. The tower was also demolished and the stone was used to repair the bridge. The government repaired the monastery between 1916 and 1920.