Granada is home to many historical masterpieces, including the Alhambra, located in the Andalusia region of Spain. There are so many places to visit in Granada that I didn’t know where to start. The Colonel, Medina Square, Sacromonte Town, Flamenco and more.
Granada, also known as “Girnata”, is a city full of historical artifacts that have survived from the Great Andalusian Civilization to the present day. Throughout history, Granada has had a very turbulent and contentious history.
In addition, Granada is one of the most touristic cities in Spain. The reason for this is that the Alhambra Palace, which is undoubtedly an architectural masterpiece, is located in the city of Granada. Also pronounced as “Grenada” in Spanish and English.
We reached Granada, the third stop of our Spain tour, at noon. The air temperature was 36 degrees and it was quite dry, oppressive weather. After a short panoramic tour of the city, we set out to go to the places to visit in order.
The population of Granada is close to half a million. This is a city that is not very crowded and has come to the fore with the Alhambra Palace, and it is a memorable city. It remains in the Andalusia Autonomous Region. (https://www.ine.es/covid/piramides.htm#!munTab)
İçindekiler / Index
- Places to Visit in Granada
- Granada History
- Granada Photo Gallery
Known Districts of Granada
- Alqueria del Fargue
- Maracena Hills
- Granada City Side
- Realejo (Jewish quarter)
- Bib Rambla
Places to Visit in Granada
Historical pavements, houses, offices and religious temples dominated by traditional Andalusian and Roman architecture are the first places that stand out in the city.
1- Alhambra Palace
When you come to Granada and even Spain, I recommend you to spare a full day for the Alhambra Palace, which you must see with the eyes of the world. Alhambra Palace is one of the few historical heritages of the world. What the Eiffel Tower means to Paris, Granada or even the Alhambra to Spain means.
I did not want to write about the Alhambra palace at length here. Because you can read a very detailed Alhambra article on our blog.
2- Granada Cathedral
Granada Cathedral was built on the Nasri Ulu Mosque, which is located in the center of the city and remains from the Andalusian Umayyad period. It was built during the reign of the Roman emperor Charles the fifth. This masterpiece, which emerged with the perfect harmony of Baroque and Gothic architecture with Andalusian architecture, is worth seeing.
3- Queen Isabella Chapel
The Royal Chapel was built by the Catholics as an addition in the courtyard of the Grand Mosque of Granada in the early 1500s. There are tombs belonging to members of the royal family inside. Since it is located right next to the Granada Cathedral, do not pass without seeing this work.
It is the name of the historical neighborhood reminiscent of Bodrum houses with its white painted walls on the north side of the Alhambra Palace. I recommend you to see the streets where the houses of Muslims and Jews are located in the inner parts of Albaicin district.
The mental hospital of the period was also serving in the Al-baicin neighborhood. The historical beginning of this neighborhood, known as “Al-Bayyazin” in Arabic, dates back to the Iberians. In fact, Al-Qasaba (Alkazaba), which was used as the castle of the city, was also in this neighborhood before it was moved to the palace.
Many water cisterns from the Islamic period in the neighborhood have also managed to reach our day. The architecture of the houses generally has rural and semi-rural (karmen houses) characteristics. In addition to the houses built in the garden style, there are mansions, places of worship, historical inns and baths.
You can get lost in this cute neighborhood for a few hours and go on a journey in history. I’ve always said “the best way to travel is to discover by getting lost“.
4- Sacromonte Town
The Sacramento neighborhood, built on the Valparaiso hill, is known as the first Christian neighborhood in Granada. Before the Christians, it was the neighborhood where the Romanies lived intensively.
It contains cave houses that were unearthed as a result of carving the soft limestone rock. The interior architecture of these Roman (Gipsy) cave houses are painted with white lime and copper cups, plates and pots hang on the ceiling, creating a wonderful architectural ambiance.
Today, Flamenco culture comes to life again in these historical caves. Flamenco dance entertainment is held here every night under colorful lights. Obviously, it has the “Sıra Gecesi – Turkish folk culture” format in our culture. You can join these entertainments, which are full of traditional folklore, dance and songs, with sessions lasting 1 or 2 hours.
Apart from Roman culture, there are also Sacromonte Monastery and a Flamenco museum as places to visit.
5- Charter House
Another area to visit in Granada is the Charterhouse houses, which are traditional houses consisting of wet orchards. It has a meaningless meaning like “rental house” in Turkish. There is also a monastery built in the Charterhouse, which resembles a very large farm from the neighborhood.
Although the historical monastery was heavily destroyed during the war, it was restored with a successful restoration. It is a religious complex with monasteries, churches and houses.
There is an arched door at the entrance of the street where the monastery is located. There is a long way to the courtyard of the monastery and then the stairs are reached to the church section.
6- Granada Mosque
The history of the mosque, located on the hill of Granada, dates back to the 1980s. So it has no historical character. However, it has succeeded in bringing itself to the forefront of the city, be it architectural style or decorative art.
It was built by an Arab businessman in memory of the Nasrid Great Mosque, which was partially destroyed and converted into a cathedral. They provided financial and architectural support during the construction process of the mosque in Morocco, UAE and Malaysia. As a result of great efforts and obstacles, the mosque was put into service in the 2000s. For now, it has a capacity of only 500-600 people.
7- Marques de Salar Palace
It is located on Carrera ‘del Darro street, one of the busiest and most magnificent streets of Grenada city. Today, there is a Fragrance Museum (El Patio’de los Perfumes) and Flower Square within the palace.
8- Medina Square
Medina square has witnessed very painful events in history. As a result of the collapse of the Andalusian Umayyad Empire, many people of Muslim and Jewish origin were executed by guillotine by the Inquisition Courts established by Queen Izabel. The number of those executed is expressed in the thousands or even tens of thousands.
Today it resembles a park with several statues and monuments that people use to relax. There are many souvenir shops around the Medina square. You can find examples of traditional historical products, handicrafts and local items. You will find the most economical prices and wide variety in the gift shops in Medina Square for shopping in Grenada.
9- Granada Archaeological Museum
It was built in the 1800s within the Castril Palace in the Al-Baicin neighborhood. Historical artifacts belonging to almost all civilizations that have lived from the Iberians to the present are exhibited. It is one of the places that must be visited to master the history of the city.
Some of the works are; historical money and coins, figurines, statues, busts, astronomical measuring instruments, traditional food vessels, earthenware jugs and vases.
10- Palacio ‘de Los Olvidados (Inquisition Court)
The famous Spanish Inquisition, which was established by the Catholic Kingdom, which took over after the Andalusian Empire. There were thousands of unfortunate people who were tried in the Inquisition and sent to the guillotine to be executed.
In addition to the guillotines, there are many torture instruments that will shed light on the history of the Inquisition. A museum that will give you goosebumps while visiting it. Children under a certain age are not allowed to enter.
11- Other Famous Places to Visit in Granada
If you have time, I recommend you to visit the places listed below.
- Monasterio de San Jerónimo
- Andalusian (Arab Hammam) Bath
- Fine Arts Museum
- Palacio de’la Madraza
- El Banuello (Rome Hammam)
- Corral ‘del Carbon (Theatre)
- San Salvador Church
- San Juan de Dios Hospital
- Basílica de San Juan de Dios
- Botanic Garden
- La Alcaiceria
- Sacromonte Gipsy Museum
In the history of Granada, after being under the control of the Iberians, Romans, Visigoths and later Andalusian Umayyads for many years, it could not stand the weakness of the Muslims and got out of hand. In the 1400s, it passed under the rule of Christians. Especially during the reign of Sultan Hasan, it regressed and started to lose its power. It is known that Sultan Hasan’s pleasure and his excessive fondness for women were the cause.
He established a harem for himself and for this reason, his wife Ayşe Sultan tried to poison him but was unsuccessful.
According to the rumor, he abducted a girl and brought her to the palace by making a sudden raid on the caravan belonging to Queen Isabel, who was at the head of the rapidly spreading Christians in Spain. Sultan Hasan is proposing to this girl. This makes Izabel very angry.
Sultan Hasan also has a son. Sehzade Mohammed. But just like his father, he has a character that is not very qualified. He is quite passive and therefore does not have much interest in government affairs.
While Andalusia is in this state, Queen Isabella begins to besiege the city of Malaga. Meanwhile, Şehzade Muhammet issues an edict in the city of Granada and declares that he has rejected his father. Seeing this state of Andalusia, which was weakening inside, Queen Isabella, after Malaga, stands at the gates of Granada and makes an offer to Prince Mohammed.
According to the proposal, if the Christians were given the key to the city without resistance, Granada would have changed hands without bloodshed. It is only a matter of time before the fall of Granada, where Muslims, Jews, Christians and Gipsys (Roman) live intensely.
Although there was resistance at the beginning, the Queen, who took advantage of the disagreement between the Sultan and the Prince, managed to prevail. The Alhambra palace is a place that cannot be besieged for months or even years, but the queen has surrounded the castle from the inside.
His father, Sultan Hasan, said to Şehzade Muhammet, who had a weak character in terms of structure:
– You are weak enough to surrender this city to the enemy without defending it.From the conversation between Şehzade and Sultan Hasan..
Just as his father said, he handed over the key of the city of Granada, the last city in the hands of the Andalusians, to the queen with his own hands, without fighting.
However, the queen does not keep her promises and orders all subjects other than Christians to accept Christianity. Those who did not want to be Christians were executed with the guillotines he had set up in the Medina square by the decision of the Inquisition Court. Many Muslims and Jews are executed for not converting to Christianity. Some manage to escape from the city.
During this escape, the Gipsys, the gypsies, live in misery in the caves outside the city. Gipsys helped Muslims and Jews who escaped from the persecution of the queen by building secret compartments in the caves they lived in.
In the historic Sacramento area of the city of Granada (on the southwest side of the Alhambra palace), the caves of the Gipsys have survived to the present day. In fact, the famous Flamenco culture of the Gipsys is kept alive in the caves here today. They perform live flamenco dance accompanied by songs they sing in the old language.