Granada

When the Moslems spoke of "La Sabika", their hearts filled with joy. For the Christians, "La Sabika" was the "Red hill", the place where the Alhambra was built. In 1492, the Catholic Kings expelled Boabdil el Chico, the last King of Granada, thereby ending eight centuries of Moorish rule in Spain; however their culture, traditions, philosophy, way of life and monuments have lived on in this splendid heritage site, looking out over the Albayzin and nearby Sierra Nevada, which now, like then, fills the patios and the Generalife gardens with the sound of running water.

Granada is a mixture of Christian and Moorish elements. The Cathedral and the adjacent chapel of the Christian Kings stand on the site of the ancient Mosque, at the entrance to the Alcaiceria or Great Bazar. Two rivers, the Darro and the Genil, run through Granada, a city of churches, palaces, manors and hidden squares, such as those of Bibarrambla and San Juan de la Cruz.

To the south of the city and the national park and Biosphere Reserve of Sierra Nevada, where the highest peak in the Iberian Peninsula and the most southerly ski resort in Europe are located, the white villages of the Alpujarras cling to the sides of ravines as steep as the cliffs of the province's rugged coastline.

Loja, an agricultural town located on the banks of the Genil and gateway to the fertile plains leading to Granada, and Guadix and Bazato the north of Sierra Nevada, were all important settlements during the Moorish occupation as can be seen in their fortresses and Arab baths.

Visitors to the province should try to find time to visit PampaneiraBubion and Capileira for a walk in the mountains followed by tapas or one of the area's hearty dishes.

Some places of interest: Alhama de Granada, Almuñecar, Alpujarra, Armilla, Baza, Costa Tropical, Granada, Guadix, Huescar, La Zubia, Loja, Maracena, Montefrio, Motril, Salobreña, Sierra de Baza, Sierra de Catril, Sierra de Huetor, Sierra Nevada, Valle de Lecrin, etc.

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