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Picasso. 'Guernica' Modernism and Avant-garde movements The turn of the century brought new winds of modernity. The aesthetic sensibility of the time was marked by a different, freer attitude towards art and life.


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  • Los Leones fountain in the Alhambra

    Los Leones fountain in the Alhambra

  • General view of the Albaicín quarter

    General view of the Albaicín quarter

  • La Cartuja monastery in Granada © Turespaña

    La Cartuja monastery in Granada © Turespaña

  • Façade of Granada cathedral © Turespaña

    Façade of Granada cathedral © Turespaña

  • General view of the Alhambra

    General view of the Alhambra

Granada, Andalusia

At the foot of the Sierra Nevada National Park lies one of the most interesting cities in eastern Andalusia. Its impressive Al-Andalus heritage sits alongside Renaissance architectural gems and the most modern facilities, fit for the 21st century.

Granada has an unmistakable Moorish essence, due to the fact that it was the last city to be re-conquered by the Catholic Monarchs in 1492. The gastronomy, craftwork and urban planning are influenced by its glorious past. Fountains, viewpoints and ‘Cármenes’, typical local houses surrounded by gardens, create unforgettable nooks in the city. It is no surprise that one of its old neighbourhoods, the Albaicín, has been designated at World Heritage Site, together with the Alhambra and Generalife.

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The last Moorish kingdom in the Peninsula

Moorish and Christian elements can be found in the streets of Granada. On the one hand there are palatial complexes such as the Alhambra and the Generalife alongside the Albaicín district; on the other there is the Gran Vía de Colón and the Avenida de los Reyes Católicos which lead visitors to the monuments erected during the Renaissance.

The reddish hill on which the Alhambra is built holds the old Alcazaba citadel and the Nasrid Royal Palaces. This beautiful Moorish-Granada artistic monument has many rooms connected with courtyards, gardens and fountains. Its intricate architectural details can be seen in places such as the Patio de los Arrayanes (Court of the Myrtles) and the Patio de los Leones (Courtyard of the Lions), in the Hall of the Ambassadors or in the Dos Hermanas Room. On this hill you can also find the Generalife Gardens, the summer residence of the Nasrid monarchs, and the Palace of Charles V. The latter is a Renaissance construction which holds the Fine Arts Museum and the Alhambra Museum.

The Albaicín neighbourhood spreads out on another of the hills in the city. Steep and narrow streets lead to ‘cármenes’ (houses with a garden), old mosques on which churches have been built (San Salvador, San Bartolomé or San José) and small squares such as San Nicolás and San Cristóbal. These two squares have beautiful views of the Alhambra and the peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Between the walls, Elvira Gate and Carrera del Darro, the Albaicín neighbourhood hides many other treasures. The Arab baths (El Bañuelo), the Mudejar decoration of the Santa Isabel la Real Convent, the Renaissance floor plan of the Córdova Palace and of the Santa Catalina de Siena Convent, or the impressive façade of the Real Chancellery are just a few.

The highest area on the hill is dominated by the Sacromonte district, an ideal spot to discover the Granada cave-homes, the ‘zambras’ (flamenco dance) and the Santo Sepulcro Shrine.

What is known as the Realejo is spread between the steep streets and the flat area of the city. Its many points of interest include the Carmen de los Mártires, the Campo del Príncipe, the Manuel de Falla House-Museum and the Casa de los Tiros. The noble homes and palaces in the area contrast with the Moorish payout of the streets.

The best way to uncover Christian Granada is a visit to the Cathedral. Beforehand, head along the Corral del Carbón, the former Arab corn exchange and presently home to the Legado Andalusí (Al-Andalus Legacy) Foundation, and the Plaza de Bib-rambla, famous for its flower market. The Alcaicería, a former souk where regional crafts can be bought, and the Madraza Palace are good examples of Muslim architecture. Next, head to the Real Chapel, where the Catholic Monarchs are buried. Right next door is Granada Cathedral. With a Gothic floor plan, it was finished in the Renaissance style following plans b Diego de Siloé.

Different museum collections

Some of your time in Granada should be kept aside for a trip to see the major pieces in the Archaeology Museum. The Rodríguez Acosta Foundation, the House-Museum of Federico García Lorca or the José Guerrero Art Museum are just some of the ‘name’ attractions worth a visit. However, perhaps the museum which best suits all ages is the Science Park, an interactive museum with over 200 experiences on the biosphere, senses, perception and inventions.

In addition to tall this, there is the enviable culture and leisure agenda. Film, music or theatre series and festivals are complemented with all sorts of exhibitions.


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