An impressive history and diverse heritage make this one of Europe’s most fascinating cities

by Ros Woodham
Words and Photos Ros Woodham

Breathtaking views of the famous Alhambra, framed by snow-capped mountain peaks, set the scene for a unique destination, renowned not only for its immense natural beauty but also for its unique and complex history. Granada lies at the foot of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains between the rivers Darro and Genil in the Andalusia region of southern Spain.

Since its origins in the 7th century BC, Granada has passed through the hands of Iberians, Romans and Visigoths, evolving from a tiny settlement to the city it is today. Its most glorious era began with the Moorish invasion in AD 711 and the creation of Al-Andalus, Moorish Spain. Under the rule of the Nasrid dynasty, the city experienced more than two centuries of unprecedented cultural and artistic magnificence. It was during this time that the Alhambra was built, a fortress complex that contains the best-preserved medieval Islamic palace in the world and one of Spain’s most iconic landmarks.

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