Granada And The History Of The Alhambra Palaces

By: Gaizka Pujana

The Alhambra, which is a Moorish citadel and palace, is known as "the jewel of Moorish Spain" for its beauty. The history of the Alhambra palaces begins in the 13th century when they began to be built by the Nasrids (a dynasty of the Muslim Kingdom). In 1492, Granada was besieged by the Catholic monarchs, Ferdinand II and Isabella I and they built many churches in the area. At this time, the many Jews who lived in the area were expelled from Spain and the previously Jewish areas were destroyed to make way for new Christian homes.

The Alhambra Palace must be seen when you travel to Granada. Its building has evolved over time with many new developments. The area of the Alhambra Palace contains the Alcazaba (the military fortress), the Palacios Nazaries (the Nasrid royal palaces), the Generalife Gardens (stunning gardens, fountains and patios where the Moors built their summer palaces) and the Medina (the town area where the workshops of craftsmen, houses and baths could be found).

Granada is also a University City. One third of its population is students at the university there and as such, its population is young and vibrant. This adds to the lively nightlife that can be found in the city. It also adds to the mix of cultures that can be found in Granada.

There are a number of holiday accommodation options available in Granada. One of the most exciting and impressive places to stay is in the majestic hotel in the grounds of the Alhambra Palace. The Alhambra Parador can be found nearby and this is situated in a part-palace, part-mosque from the 1300s. The modern part of the city of Granada is home to many three to four star hotels. Hostels and pensions are another accommodation option when you are staying in Granada. These are cheaper options than the hotels and they vary in quality, so you will need to look into them before you book.

Pensions in the old Arab-Jewish quarter of Albaicin are fast becoming a popular accommodation choice. They are generally charming with a mix between modern facilities and old-style interiors. Youth hostels are a good option for those traveling on a budget. They typically have shared rooms. Self-catering holiday rental apartment may be a good option for families who would like more space, freedom and privacy than they can be offered by other accommodation options.

A unique place to stay in Granada is in one of a number of gypsy cave houses in El Sacromonte. These cave houses in the countryside have been converted into a sort of self-catering apartment.

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