Written by Jazmín Ortega
Granada has been inhabited from ancient times; we know this because of the faint imprints that were left behind by her prehistoric founders. In the history of this city, the remains of the first inhabitants have become of lesser importance than those of later events.
The Romans and the Visigoths occupied Granada up to the time of the Arab domination, but it was this domination that marked the city and left in it a wealth of history and an extraordinary artistic style. On the 2nd of January of 1492, the Catholic Monarchs took over the then medieval and Muslin Granada with the intent to covert it into a Christian and more modern city. The Napoleonic invasion of the 19th century tried to leave its legacy behind by destroying the monuments. New plans were forged in an attempt to develop it into a modern place.
Granada is the last focus of Islamic culture in the Iberian Peninsula. Its turbulent history is characterized by political instability, economic prosperity and educated brilliance. Today, Granada is one of the most visited cities in Spain.
The province of Granada is located in the south of Spain in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia. It is surrounded on the north by a mountain range (you can ski at Sierra Nevada) and on the south by the sea. This is a perfect combination where a variety of likings, attitudes, and wishes can have their fair place.
Granada's climate can be contradictory, although it geographical situation on the south of Spain makes it more prone to mostly good weather. However it all depends on the time of the year. Obviously, the weather during January will not be like in August. We recommend that during winter months you do bring in winter clothing, while during the summer months you might want to dress light. Rains are common in the province.
When you visit Granada, you cannot fail to visit the well-known Alhambra. Built in the 14th century, La Alhambra is a fortress erected on a hill with a surrounding wall, towers and 4 main entrances. This fortified place has 3 main areas, the Alcazaba, the Medina, and the Royal House.
The Generalife Garden dating back to the 14th century is another required visit. In the center of the Gardens there is a extensive pool bordered by water springs and fragrant flowering plants. The Generalife, a private as well as public complex, is a large section of gardens and water fountains.
Other places of interest in Granada are the Abadía del Sacromonte, where you can visit the famous catacombs; the Cathedral and the Royal Chapel where the Catholic Monarchs are buried; La Cartuja Monastery, an impressive Monastery where 2 artistic currents flowed, the Baroque and the Muslim Art. The Albaicín is another example of artistic harmonious living, a neighborhood that displays both Muslim and Christian qualities.
The "tapeo," is an attractive side of the city. Many consider this an art, as far as food tasting is concern. At the bars, you will receive a small food samples when ordering a drink. This is known as "tapeo". This would be a free sample and does not increase the cost of your order. This is an art so much so that there are hundreds of combinations that you could possibly find. It is not uncommon to spend an entire morning going from bar to bar sampling all the available samples of these wonderful finger foods.
Traffic can be a problem in Granada. Much of the center of town is reserved for pedestrians, taxis and buses. Additionally construction work for improvements and restoration are a constant occurrence. It is much better to move on foot.
Finally our advice, if you want to become acquainted with the city is that you take a full week to do so. There is so much to see and do, and it is really worth it! Also you should consider hiring a guide or find the Tourism information center to help you learn about sites to visit, schedules, fees and the like.
FESTIVITIES AND EVENTS