In the foothills of Sierra Nevada lies the revered city of Granada. The historical city southern Spain’s Andalusia region is esteemed for its grand medieval architecture dating back to the 13th-century Moorish occupation. As the last stronghold of the Moors in Western Europe, Granada is home to the famous Alhambra Palace. But beyond the grandiose architecture, you will enjoy a remarkable cuisine distinct from other famous Spanish cities like Barcelona and the neighboring Seville. Find out what makes Granada such an inspiration to celebrated writers and artists by downloading the Granada Travel Guide and Offline Map.
1. The Alhambra Palace
If Agra has the Taj Mahal and Siem Reap has the Angkor Wat, Granada has the spectacular Alhambra Palace. Standing tall atop the entire hill of La Sabica it offers intricate designs, detailed mosaics, hand-carved cedar wood, and even serene orchards. Samuel Ha-Nagid, the Jewish grand vizier of one of Granada’s 11th-century Zirid sultans, initially built the UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the Nasrid emirs turned the area into a fortress-palace complex and housed royal families before the Catholic Monarchs took hold during the Reconquista in 1492.
2. St. John of God Basilica
The basilica dedicated to John of God, the Portuguese soldier who devoted his life to helping those who were less fortunate, is a glistening jewel of the Baroque period. And when we say glistening it indeed shines with gold and silver. It boasts a beautiful Baroque façade flanked by towers featuring slate capitals. Inside, you will discover opulent decorations that fill every inch of the Latin cross floor plan. The church chapel houses a solid silver urn that holds the relics of Saint John of God. Its interior is richly adorned with sculptures and images. The fresco paintings depict saints, angels, virtues, and episodes from the life of Saint John of God.
3. Junta de los Rios
Granada isn't just about spectacular palaces and grand temples; it also boasts breath taking natural wonders. Nestled in Otivar, Granada is a place of outstanding natural beauty with wonderful river pools and spectacular views. Making Junta de los Rios, which translates to "the joining of the rivers", a great excursion for the more adventurous. Junta de los Rios with there the rivers Rio Verde and Rio Negro converge to form waterfalls and crystal, clear pools where you can take a dip and take a break from the warm Granada weather. Until recently, only a handful of people visited for climbing and canyoneering.
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