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Granada – The Alhambra

July 3, 2011 by Chelsea Slone

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Granada, Spain located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains is home to the prestigious University of Granada and considered to be one of The country’s most spectacular historical World Heritage cities. This funky college town is full of energy and personality from top to bottom. Around every corner turned you will find innovative bars, free tapas culture, and flamenco dancing clubs bringing the entire city alive regardless of your age or reason for visiting. With all the fun found here its hard to believe the history could match up, but the famous Alhambra is a palace worth every second the entire day it takes to visit.

The Alhambra, the last and greatest Moorish palace is one of Europe’s top attractions and the reason most come to visit Granada. Alhambra, literally meaning “the red one”, is a palace and fortress complex constructed by the Moorish rules in the mid 14th century. The palaces were built for the last Muslim Emirs in Spain, and after the reconsider by the Catholic monarchs in 1492 some portions were used by Christian rulers. The entire complex was designed to reflect the beauty of paradise with gardens, fountains, streams, a palace, and a mosque all within the fortress wall, flanked by thirteen enormous towers. The busy stucco, plaster stalacitites, many colors, scalloped windows, luscious gardens, and gorgeous streams all symbol the Moorish civilatiion that shined so brightly. The complex is constructed of four parts; Charles V’s Palace built after the christian conquest, the Alcazaba which is the oldest and most ruined part that provides outstanding views of the city, the gorgeous Palacios Nazaries or the Moorish Palace, and finally the Generalife or the beautiful gardens.

The true free tapas Spanish culture was more evident in Granada than any other place we previously visited. The squashed tapas bars were exactly how they describe them in the books, all standing bars packed to the brim every single night throwing free tapas out for every drink ordered. There is absolutely no such thing as a sit down meal most nights for these Spanish locals. Every bar has it regulars and you push and squeeze your way in or you don’t go in at all. One of our favorite places was Bodega Castaneda, it was the most popular local tapas bar and exactly how you imagine a place like this to be. Behind the tall long counter set huge barrels filled with different types of unfiltered sherry, which used to have an important presence in Granada. The famous drink here is a mix of all the sherry’s, splashes of flavored liquor and topped off with carbonated water… It’s definitely a one time experience.

Our visit to Granada was short and sweet. It was a perfect place to soak up the last bit of Spanish culture before we were on our way to visit the Germans. Our last two stops in Spain really taught us how to interact and participate in the Spanish culture, and we grew to love their energy and passion to enjoy life. It truly was an amazing month spent in Spain. We aren’t quite ready for a Spanish goodbye, but we have to so here we come Germany!



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One thought on “Granada – The Alhambra

  1. I studied in Granada for a summer, and immediately fell in love!  So glad you two got to experience it!  Hope your travels are going amazingly well!  :)

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