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Granada The Jewel Of The Moorish Spain

Mar 13, 2008
So impressive is the city that many tourists to the area will suggest that if your time is limited and you can only visit one place Granada should be the one.

There is a total population of 240,000 people living in Granada. This total includes 80,000 students attending the University of Granada which was founded in 1531. The city thus became known as a university city and it was open to many different cultures and people. Due to the large percentage of students in the population, the city is young and vibrant. The university is also the major employer alongside the Alhambra Palace.

The Alhambra, which is a Moorish citadel and palace, will overwhelm visitors to the area with its exquisite beauty. In fact, it has been nicknamed "the jewel of Moorish Spain" and it is an attraction that is definitely not to be missed. The Alhambra has historical interest for Muslims, Christians and Jews and this makes it a popular tourist area for all three groups. The Alhambra palaces were built between the 13th and the 15th century by the Nasrids (a dynasty of the Muslim Kingdom). In 1492, Granada was completely surrendered to the Catholic monarchs, Ferdinand II and Isabella I after they besieged the city. Many churches were built in the area. A strong Jewish presence resided in the area until the Alhambra decree expelled all the Jews from Spain in 1492. The Jewish areas were destroyed to make way for new Christian neighborhoods. This rich and diverse history certainly adds to its attraction.

It is highly recommended to visit the Alhambra Palace when visiting Granada. It was not built in one specific period, but is a building that has evolved over time with new construction and developments. It is a huge walled site which contains the Alcazaba (the military fortress), the Palacios Nazaries (the Nasrid royal palaces which are beautifully decorated), the Generalife Gardens (an area of exquisite gardens, fountains and patios where Moorish summer palaces were built) and the Medina (the town which contained the workshops of craftsmen, houses and baths).

Driving around Granada is very difficult, especially if you are a tourist. There are ever changing traffic systems and there is a definite shortage of parking. When choosing hotel accommodation, it is highly recommended to choose a hotel or holiday rental that offers off-street parking. Otherwise, make sure to choose a hotel or other form of accommodation that is close to the sites that you want to see. There are a number of five, four and three start hotels to choose from that are all located to have reasonably easy access to the popular tourist sites of the city. It is also possible to sleep in house-caves and this will create an unforgettable experience for visitors to the area.

Granada is full of history and culture. It offers architecture from the Moorish times, as well as from a more modernist era. It is a center of Flamenco and a university town, as well as being a center for many winter sports. It really does have a lot to offer any tourist, from any background that comes to visit it.
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