Prepare to be mesmerized by Granada’s grand Moorish architecture and Muslim influences. This energetic city is also known for its youthful population. Enjoy wandering aimlessly around the city’s narrow, winding streets in the warm weather and take in the sights and sounds of this great city.
Attending classes in a university environment has many advantages, especially that of being in contact with Spanish students in a relaxed atmosphere. The lounge and bar areas of the facultades are great places to meet Spanish students. Another way to meet Spanish students is through intercambios (exchanges). This is a common activity where both foreign and native students advertise the desire to learn another language. The IES Abroad staff may be able to arrange an intercambio for you, if you are interested.
The Alhambra was once a palace and fortress for Muslim rulers, and its architecture has much Islamic influence. The Alhambra, meaning "red fort," is named after the red clay used in its construction. More astonishing, is the history of the Alhambra. Ibn Nasr, founder of the Nasrid dynasty, fled to the Alhambra to avoid Christian domination. Catholic rulers took over the palace 100 years later.
The Capilla Real illustrates the Christian influence in Granada. The Catholic monarchs, King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile are both buried here. King Ferdinand won a war against the Muslims in the 15th century and took over the kingdom. Possessions of Ferdinand and Isabella are both displayed in the Capilla Real.
Alcaiceria, which means "House of Caesar," was once a great bazaar where people wove and sold fine silks. In the 19th century, however, a fire broke out and burnt down the bazaar. Today, the Alaiceria is known as a souvenir shopping area in Granada. Among the many treasures are the popular Flamenco dresses and Arabic products.
The Triumph Gardens occupy an outdoor space boasting more than 17 varieties of trees. It is arguably more breathtaking at night when an illuminated fountain creates a magnificent display. The area has served several purposes in Granada's long history, but it was not until 1950 that the gardens were built and the Monument to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin of Triunfo was erected.
The Albaicin (or Albayzin) is a district within Granada known for its narrow winding streets reminiscent of the area's Medieval Moorish past. It was declared a world heritage site in 1984. Located on a hill facing the Alhambra, tourists enjoy incredible views from the viewing point by the church of San Nicolas. The area is home to several attractions including the remains of an Arab bath complex, Granada's archeological museum, and the church of San Salvador.