There is so much history to Granada’s glory, causing it to be unstable through the ages and through the reigns of many conquerors before it was established as a sovereign kingdom by Ibn Ahmar, an Arabian prince of the Nasrid tribe, in 1238. He was really a fair and able ruler, but did not have the opportunity to reign longer with the whole of Spain coming under the Christian Re-conquest.
Granada’s Rich History
Although the Moors were first at Granada, they were encumbered with battles throughout the ages until they succumbed to King Fernando III in the 13th century. With the death of Moorish leader, Ibn Ahmar, in 1275, the Moors remain as Spain’s only Muslim kingdom living till today. However, its incoming refugee numbers fueled its growth in various industries, such as culture and commerce, which are flourishing today.
Thus, the Christian and Muslim kingdoms have molded Granada’s historical glory for more than two centuries up until today. The famous Alhambra palace was the brainchild of these Muslim sultans that brought fame to this area, until the city was entangled in an internal battle fueled by two of the sultan’s favorite wives. By then the Christian Re-conquest, which had been going strong, took full reign in 1479 to set up the united Christian kingdoms of Spain between Castile and Aragón when Fernando and Isabel married one another. The rest is history, as they say, when through the royal reign, Ronda, Málaga and Almería were finally conquered, thus fulfilling the Christian Re-Conquest goal.
The Gitanos of Granada
As with many of the Andalusian cities, Granada is still home to an old and traditional gypsy population, known as the Gitanos. There is quite a large number of this tribe today in Granada; the clans from which Spain’s best flamenco dancers, guitarists and singers emerged.
These clans tend to occupy the caves which their forefathers used to inhabit, but now specifically at Sacromonte Hill, giving tourists a dose of zambras.
It may not offer the best of Spanish cuisines due to the free tapas offered by some tapas bars, but Granada still can offer some North African flavor at its ‘Little Morocco’ where there are plenty of health foods and Moroccan tearooms with a delectable menu. This unique street can serve as the gathering point for picnics on one of the Alhambra visits.
There are restaurants that are easy on the pocketbook serving economical meals everywhere in Granada. You can check out Campo del Principe, a nice square with a restaurant that has open air terraces at the south of Alhambra Hill; it is very popular at night during summer.