Fairy Tale Moorish Kingdom PHOTOS

Welcome to Granada, Spain

Granada’s storybook kingdom is exemplified in the Alhambra Palace, which attracts millions of tourists every year. This majestic complex is much more than just a royal palace. It showcases the sophisticated Moorish civilization of Al-Andalus and gives visitors a glimpse into the splendor of a gone-by era.

Carrera del Darro street in Granada, Spain
Detail of the ornate ceiling in the Madraza Palace, Granada
Generalife in the Alhambra Palace of Granada, Spain
Santo Domingo church in the Realejo neighborhood, Granada

It was the Arabs that gave the city its name when they invaded the Iberian peninsula in the 8th century. However, Granada continued to be a small, low-key city until Cordoba and Sevilla fell to the Catholics in the middle of the 13th century. As a result, a lot of Muslim refugees arrived in Granada and the Alhambra developed as the royal palace and fortress of the Nasrid dynasty. During the following 250 years, the Moors continued to rule in Granada, which became one of the richest cities in Europe.

Granada was actually the last Muslim city to fall to the Christians in 1492. After that, the population was sadly divided. First, the Jews were sent to the Realejo neighborhood while the Moors were sent to the Albaicín. Less than a century later, the rulers pushed for total expulsion (Inquisition) and the city fell into decay.

Today, Granada’s soul combines the grandiose of the Alhambra with a more edgy side that you will discover by wandering the narrow labyrinthine streets of its Moorish neighborhood, the Albaicín, and the unique gypsy community in the Sacromonte neighborhood, famous for its cave-dwelling tradition and flamenco music.

Patricia Palacios, co-founder of España Guide
España Guide Co-Founder
Patricia is an engineer turned content creator who for over a decade has been helping travelers navigate her native Spain. In addition to her own website, her tips and recommendations have been featured on BBC Travel, CNN, El País & Lonely Planet, just to name a few.

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2/15  Alcazaba in the Alhambra
Tower in the Alcazaba fortress in the Alhambra – Granada, Spain
3/15  Generalife in the Alhambra
Gorgeous patio in the Generalife, Alhambra – Granada, Spain
4/15  Nasrid Palaces in the Alhambra
Beautiful patio in the Nasrid Palaces of the Alhambra – Granada, Spain
5/15  Rose in the Alhambra Gardens
Red rose in the gardens of Granada's Alhambra – Spain
6/15  Moorish Neighborhood of Albaicín
Moorish Neighborhood of Albaicín in Granada, Spain
7/15  Carrera del Darro – Albaicín Neighborhood
Carrera del Darro along the river in the Albaicín – Granada, Spain
8/15  Carrera del Darro – Albaicín Neighborhood
Carrera del Darro in the Albaicín Neighborhood – Granada, Spain
9/15  Gypsy Neighborhood of Sacromonte
Gypsy Neighborhood of Sacromonte in Granada, Spain
10/15  Cave in Sacromonte Neighborhood
Cave in the gypsy neighborhood of Sacromonte in Granada, Spain
11/15  Flamenco show in a Sacromonte cave
Flamenco in a Sacromonte cave in Granada - Spain
12/15  Hammam Al-Andalus
Interior of the Hammam Al-Andalus in Granada, Spain
13/15  Madraza Palace
Very ornate ceiling in the Madraza Palace – Granada, Spain
14/15   Alcaicería
The Alcaicería, the original Grand Bazaar of Granada, Spain
15/15   Santo Domingo church in the Realejo Neighborhood
Santo Domingo church in the Realejo Neighborhood – Granada, Spain
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