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Granada has been continuously inhabited by humans for at least 2500 years,
originating as an Ibero-Celtic settlement prior to the establishment of a Greek colony
in the area. Under Ancient Roman rule Granada developed as an economic center of
Roman Hispania, with the construction of aqueducts, roads, and other infrastructure.
We arrived in Granada by train, and walked along the Gran Via to admire all of the
Grand buildings. It's sort of like a mini Champs Elysees.
Stretching north of central Granada, the north side of town encompass a set of newer
neighborhoods with wide boulevards, modern and grand classically-designed buildings.
Below - The Corral del Carmen, police, and the entrance to the Alcaiceria.
South of the Cathedral is this set of winding alleyways which were originally
home to a Moorish silk market under Granada's Muslim rule. Although the market
initially survived the Reconquista, Philip II had it shut down and a fire destroyed
what was left in 1850. Today's market was rebuilt in the late 19th century for tourists
and holds mostly souvenir stores underneath the Moorish-style archways.
Everything is very colorful - clothing to glassware to gelato!
At the centre of Granada stands the Gothic Cathedral of Santa María de la Encarnación.
Towering over the surrounding blocks is this spectacular 16th century structure,
the second-largest cathedral in Spain and noted for its bright Renaissance interior.
The coral-limestone facade of the first cathedral in the New World towers over the south
side of the Parque Colón. Spanish workmen began building the cathedral in 1514,
but left to search for gold in Mexico. The church was finally finished in 1540.
The hill facing the Alhambra is the old Moorish casbah or "medina", called the Albaicin,
a fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets and whitewashed houses with secluded
inner gardens, known as "cármenes". The Plaza de San Nicolas, at the highest point
of the Albaicin, is famous for its magnificent view of the Moorish palace.
There are many squares with terrazas and places to laze about and have a bite to eat.
The Albaicín is an oil painter's paradise and almost at every turn of the head
there is an attractive view, almost always involving glimpses of the Alhambra.
We spent hours around the Plaza of San Nicolas, listening to the music of passing guitar
players to singers and groups in the restaurants and on the plaza.
The name Alhambra comes from an Arabic root which means "red or crimson castle",
perhaps due to the hue of the towers and walls that surround the entire hill of La Sabica
which by starlight is silver but by sunlight is transformed into gold.
Plaza Isabel la Catolica. At the junction of Granada's two grand boulevards is this small square
with a prominent statue of Columbus unfurling a contract with Queen Isabel,
outlining the terms of their agreement in preparation for his first voyage to the Americas.
The bustling modern center of Granada, Puerta Real