The city of Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada
Mountains. The city is the heart of Moorish Spain, in the centre of
Andalucía. Granada's culture, history and architecture are a
delightful blend of its Islamic past and modern Spanish present.
The entire city is dominated by the incredible Alhambra - one of
the most recognisable buildings in Spain. Built in the 14th
century, the Alhambra, literally 'the red castle', is a fortress,
palace and small town all rolled into one. Originally designed as a
military area, the Alhambra became the residence of royalty in the
middle of the 13th century, and over the next few centuries the
fortress became a citadel. Beside the Alhambra are the breathtaking
Generalife Gardens, which cover the whole summit of the
Another of Granada's famous attractions is the Albayzin, a UNESCO World Heritage site built on a hill opposite the world-famous Alhambra. This district of narrow labyrinthine lanes and winding alleys is the ancient Moorish quarter of the city and housed the artists who built the acclaimed palaces in the ancient city of Elvira, the original name of Granada before it was re-christened by the Moors.
Also worthy of note in Granada's historic Old Town is the cathedral of Santa María de la Encarnación, one of the loveliest Renaissance churches in Spain, and the Royal Chapter, which houses the Tombs of the Catholic Kings, Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon - on whose authority Christopher Columbus embarked on his famous voyage in 1492.