Introduction to Granada,tourism in Granada,Sierra Nevada range,the cathedral town of Guadix,Marquesado de Zenete,Parque Natural of the Sierra de Baza also known as the “Isla Botánica”,Purullena, Graena and La Peza, villages are Alquife, Ferreira, Lanteira and Jerez del Marquesado, Puerto de la Ragua,The Alhambra and General life

Introduction Granada Living

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 Introduction to Granada Living

Granada is the capital of the province with the same name, situated in the eastern part of the region of Andalucia. Geographical and scenic diversity characterizes the land. There is the coastal area with its warm climate; the extensive, fertile Genil plain; and the mountainous regions with a colder climate, where we find the 3,481 metre Mulhacen, the highest peak on the peninsula.

The city of Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains at the confluence of the Darro and Genil rivers. Its unique history has bestowed it with an artistic grandeur embracing Moorish palaces and Christian Renaissance treasures. As the last Moorish capital on the Iberian peninsula, it also holds great symbolic value.

Granada has been shaped by the hills, where the old dostricts in the Albaicín and the Alhambra were founded, brimming with steep, narrow streets, beautiful nooks and corners, and marvellous landscapes. The new part of the city is situated on the plain, crisscrossed by the large arteries of Gran Vía de Colón and Calle de los Reyes Católicos, and where the busy streets around the Cathedral are found.

The Moors crossed the Strait of Gibraltar in 711 and settled in what was then a small visigoth town perched atop the Alhambra hill. Here they settled, erected walls, and laid the foundation for the prosperous civilization that would follow. It was in the 9th Century when Granada rose to importance after the fall of the Caliphate of Córdoba. Its splendour was reached in 1238, when Mohammed ben Nasar founded the Nasrid dynasty, and the kingdom of Granada stretched from Gibraltar to Murcia.

This dynasty bore twenty kings until King Boabdil was forced to surrender Granada to the Catholic monarchs, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, in 1492. During three centuries, a magnificent and rich islamic culture flourished, leaving Granada with architectural marvels of the caliber of the Alhambra, declared a World Heritage Site along with the Generalife and the Albaicín. After the Reconquest, the city continued to thrive, stimulated by the Catholic monarchs who ordered the construction of new civil and religious structures.

The Alhambra and General life.

A short stroll from the centre of the city to the "red hill" will lead us to the most enchanting structure of Hispano-Moorish art from the Nasrid culture, the Alhambra.
The journey begins at the square called Puerta Real here take the street Calle de los Reyes Católicis, while beneath it the Darro River flows, chanelled at the beginning of the 19th Century. To the right at the Plaza del Carmen, there is the Town Hall.(Ayuntamiento), installed in a former convent of the Carmelite Order finished in 1627. Nearby, at Calle Mariana Pineda number 40, you will find the Corral del Carbón a former Moorish corn exchange and inn from the 13th century, featuring a splendid archway entrance. Standing in the Plaza de Isabel la Católica, there is a monument to Isabella accompanying Columbus, the work of Mariano Benlliure in 1892 to commemorate the discovery of America four hundred years earlier.

To reach the Alhambra, you can take the Cuesta de Gomérez which ends, like so many streets in Granada, at a gate or "puerta". This particular one, the Gate of Las Granadas has three arches and was built in 1536 by Pedro Machuca by order of Carlos V.
The oldest fortress in Granada is the Bermejas Towers, the main entrance to the Alhambra is at the south side and is the Gate of Justice. The Wine Gate provided access to the high part of the Alhambra; the main side with the pointed horseshoe arch faces the Alcazaba.
The most important of the three palaces is the Comares Palace. Built by the sultan Abul-Hachach-Yusuf I. Its façade is exquisite.
El Patal gardens provide access to the Generalife built in the 14 th century and surrounded by splendid terraced gardens with fountains, pools and spouting water. It was the summer residence of the Nasrid Kings.

The Cathedrals and Surroundings.

The narrow streets that make up La Alcaicería and Zacatín, are the old Moorish silk market and area of skilled craftsmen, today
a colourful commercial area.
The Cathedral was built between1518 and 1704, and although started in the Gothic style, most of the structure is Renaissance. It has a basilica ground plan, and the 17th century façade, composed of three large arches, was the work of Alonso Cano and evokes the great Roman triumphal arches.
The church of El Sagrario that you can see today is the 1704 reconstruction, forming part of the group of buildings attached to the Cathedral and Royal Chapel. Its ground plan is in the form of a Greek cross, and it contains important paintings from the 15th and 16th centuries, as well as a lovely Renaissance baptismal font carved from white marble.
The millenary town of Baza in Granada province, the primitive Iberian and Roman Basti callled Batza by the Muslims, has a rich monumental heritage left by the different cultures who have inhabited it throughout history.

It is a town with interesting remains which can be visited in the Archaeological Museum. The monumental Colegiata Concatedral de la Encarnación is of major importance as well, and the town features some oldest Arab baths in Spain. Between Baza and Castril, the visitor will find a lunar landscape scattered with dave dwellings such as those in Benamaurel, where the blue waters of the dam of Negratín contrast with the ochre tones of the earth. Castril has white houses perched on a massive rock woth the remains of the Islamic castle at the top. It is the gate to the Parque Natural de la Sierra de Castril, which boasts the Cueva de Don Fernando, the longest and deepest cave in the province of Granada.


Immediately below one’s feet lies a broad yellow plain, perfectly bare and bounded by crinkled, ochre coloured mountains, and through the middle of this plain there runs a deep green splash, looking like ink that has been upset from a bottle, whish is the oasis formed by the river of Guadix and its tributaries”. Excerpt from “South from Granadaby Gerald Brenan This area has been historically known as a crossroads and a natural route from eastern Andalucía and is now traversed by the A-92 national road.

The terrain has an attractive lunar feel with towering hillsides that serve as a prelude to the heights of the Sierra Nevada range. An incredible landscape of ochre hills with a vast rich green fertile plain populated by mulberry and poplar trees nestling at the feet of the ochre hills and giving the setting for the cathedral town of Guadix which is overlooked by the Alcazaba and coincidentally has the largest collection of caves in Europe.

More than 3,000 families live in these dwellings that are cool in summer and warm in winter and there is even a cave museum to show what these homes are actually like.


Guadix holds quite a religious history; around A.D. 70 the Christians adopted it as the first of their missionary stations in Spain. Legend has it that San Torcuato and his six companions were chosen by St Paul to preach the gospel in the area and the mining areas and possibly the slaves that worked in them appeared to have attracted them to the Guadix region. San Torcuato settled in Guadix and his junior, San Cecilio was left to preach in Granada so, with this illustrious beginning to Christianity in this area, the bishop of Guadix takes precedence over all the other bishops of Spain.

The author Gerald Brenan tells of a miracle in connection with San Torcuato, where an olive tree that grew at the door of the basilica was covered in flowers on the eve of his festival and on the following day, May 1st, bore fruit. Gerald Brenan describes this as“ a quiet little miracle, befitting the Iberian temperament and also an appropriate one.”

To the south of the province, bordering the Sierra Nevada lies Marquesado de Zenete, the earth all around has a characteristic reddish colour due to the mining of iron ore nearby. This is an area of mining villages and small agricultural communities, such villages are Alquife, Ferreira, Lanteira and Jerez del Marquesado, whitewashed with a main traffic of burros (donkeys) carrying fresh grass along the narrow streets which are also frequented by flocks of cabras (goats) and ovejas (sheep). The area offers the opportunity to walk, cycle or to enjoy horse and pony trekking. Also here lies La Calahorra with its spectacular Castillo de Calahorra a domed 16th Century castle standing on a knoll that can be seen for some distance from whichever way you arrive there. La Calahorra is also the gateway to the spectacular route of the Puerto de la Ragua where, during winter, cross-country skiing and dog sledging all year round pony trekking and is available.

To the east of the province lies the Parque Natural of the Sierra de Baza also known as the “Isla Botánica”. So called, as it is an isolated area of more humidity than its surroundings.

La Sierra de Baza covers 52,337 hectares and covers four municipalities; Baza, Caniles, Gor and the Valle de Zalabí municipality that is made up of Alcudia de Guadix, Exfiliana and Charches. The source of the Río Verde rises here and there is a great variety of fauna with native Mediterranean forests coexisting with coniferous forests that have been recently introduced. It is possible to see a variety of raptors, for example the Real eagle and Egyptian vulture and also there are many wild mammals to be seen, including wild cats.

Towards Granada to the west of Guadix in the leafy valleys of poplars and olive groves, crowned by red peaks and dotted with caves lie the pueblos of Purullena, Graena and La Peza. Purullena is particularly renown for its cave dwellings and for the rows of shops lining the main street selling locally made ceramics.

In the centre of the province of Granada and to the northwest of its capital is the Sierra de Huétor, in which lies the municipality of Diezma, standing at 1,233 metres and offering the best views of the Sierra Nevada. The Parque Natural of the Sierra de Huétor covers 12,428 hectares and includes the municipalities of the fertile valley of Cogollos, Huétor Santillán, Benalúa de Granada, Víznar, Alfacar, Nívar and Diezma.

This area includes the sources of the Ríos Darro and Fardes. Oaks and Maples can be found growing together with the coniferous trees and species like the wild goat, wild boar and the Real eagle can be found here.

The Sierra de Castril forms the border between the provinces of Granada and Murcia it covers an area of 12,215 hectares and due to being a very steep area boasts an abundance of waterfalls and caves. Oak trees and coniferous forests in the highest areas dominate the vegetation; wild boar, wild goat and wild cats can be found in the area.

The Sierra Montillana lies on the border of the provinces of Granada and Jaén, to the north of the city of Granada and the western edge of the municipality of Guadix.

Introduction Granada Living


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Introduction to Granada Living Baza, Andalucia, Southern Spain