Granada is the capital city of the province of Granada in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. This beautiful province covers 4,838 square miles and in 2014 had a population of 919,455. Granada shares the Sierra Nevada National Park, which is in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, with the Almeria province and is the home to the tallest mountain in the Iberian Peninsula, namely Mulhacen which is a massive 11,414 feet tall.
Although Granada is not overly popular with foreign visitors – most prefer to head to the Costa del Sol further west – it does attract large numbers of Spanish holiday makers and also large numbers of tourists from around the world who are attracted to the Moorish architecture and the world-famous Alhambra palace. Despite being a warm province, Granada’s proximity to the Sierra Nevada mountain range means Granada Is the home the Europe’s most southerly ski resort and it is here where the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships were held in 1996. Granada is made up of six key districts, which in turn home 170 municipalities. Some of these municipalities have a population of less than 300 residents, while others boast of more than 20,000 residents, including Loja, Baza and Almunecar. In alphabetical order, the five main districts of Granada are:
Located on a hill on the right bank of the river Darro is Albayzin. This gorgeous district is in the ancient Moorish quarter of the city and anyone who visits here is transported to an almost unbelievable world, the site of the ancient city of Elvira. In years gone by, Albayzin housed the artists who built the famous Alhambra and it was here that artist George Owen Wynne Apperly RA RI owned houses, known as El Mirador, on both sides of the Placeta de San Nicolas.
If you head to Bib-Rambla you will be treated to some terraces of restaurants as the district is known for its high-end gastronomy. This district is steeped in history and existed during the time of the Arabs.
Another place with historical importance is Cartuja which contains a Carthusian monastery bearing the same name. The monastery has a late Gothic style with lavish internal decorations and is a must see for anyone who visits the district.
Realejo was the Jewish district, but today is made up of Andalusian villas that have gardens opening into the streets known as Los Carmenes. The Jewish population was extremely important to Granada, so much so that Granada was once known as Al-Andalus as “Granada of the Jews.”
This amazing district became famous in the 19th century for the Gitano inhabitants who were inhabited the area. You can see the cave houses dug into the hillside and as a result the zone is protected in order to preserve Gitano cultural forms. If you are a fan of flamenco dancing, head to Sacromonte because it has a reputation for being the centre of the famous song and dance.
Zaidin is the largest neighbourhood in Granada and is the home to more than 100,000 residents. The place has ethnic diversity with many residents coming from North and West Africa, China, and South America. The district hosts a huge outdoor market every Saturday morning where you can buy food, drink, clothes, shoes and many kinds of different things.