Facts About Granada | 21 Interesting & Fun Facts About Granada
Granada is a lush city settled at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Bursting with color and art, Granada has something to offer any palate.
Due to its history, this city is a gorgeous melting pot of different cultures, which can be seen in its food, architecture and its people. The city’s the home of the Alhambra Palace, the gem of Andalusia, which draws visitors to its verdant gardens in droves.
It’d be impossible for us to speak about the beauty of Granada in just a few paragraphs. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of must-know facts to help you learn about this wondrous city.
Interesting Facts About Granada
The Alhambra Was Ahead of Its Time
This legendary Nasrid fortified palace had its own running water and cooling system, unheard of in the 13th century. Its name comes from the original Arabic, al Qalát al Hamra, meaning the red fortress. People say that the palace speaks because of the exquisite poetic and Quranic inscriptions adorning its walls.
Why not go on a private tour to indulge in the beauty and innovation of this picturesque UNESCO site?
The Corral Del Carbon Is the Oldest Building in Granada
Known as the only medieval alhondiga still standing, this building was built around 1336. It was used as a warehouse and shelter during the era of Muslim rule.
There Are Statues of Foreigners in the City
The one of Christopher Columbus in Plaza Isabel depicts his meeting with Queen Isabella when he was looking for funding for his explorations. Check out the sculpture of Washington Irving in the Alhambra palace placed there in commemoration of his magical musings on Spain, Alhambra in particular.
Granada Used to Be Littered With Bathhouses
Known as Hammams, these Arab bathhouses were popular meeting places and cultural hotspots. There are a few still intact today, the most famous being the Hammam al Andalus.
One of Granada’s Main Industries Is Tourism
Granada is Spain’s 5th most visited city, and it’s easy to see why. Its historic monuments, epic scenery, divine cuisine, colorful culture and welcoming people from all corners of the world to create a kaleidoscope of fantastic experiences.
Mulhacen Is the Highest Peak in the Iberian Peninsula
The jewel in the Sierra Nevada’s crown, Mulhacen soars to 3482 m, offering visitors skiing, hiking and climbing opportunities. We have to say, the view from the summit is nothing short of glorious.
Fun Facts About Granada
You Can Swim and Ski on the Same Day
Granada is a coastal city blessed with balmy temperatures and gorgeous cerulean water. You’d never expect snow nearby in this toasty setting, but Granada is one of the few places in the world with this unique climate. Settled at the foot of the Sierra Nevada range, you can hop on some skis and embrace the serene slopes. We love that you can have fun in the sun and snuggle in the snow in one day!
The Symbol of Granada Is the Pomegranate
There are many theories about why the pomegranate symbol is so prevalent in the city. The obvious one is that ‘Granada’ means pomegranate in Spanish. Originating in Iran, Pomegranates found their way to Spain in a spice merchant’s cargo. Since then, Granada has embraced them wholly.
Walking through the city, you’ll spot images of the fruit everywhere. When they’re in season between September and February, you can get a pomegranate almost anywhere.
You Can Use the Alhambra to Tell the Time
Some people claim that Alhambra is the largest sundial on the planet. The design is said to create shadows in different rooms to help you tell time. At noon, the sun divides the palace by shining on half of it, leaving the other half in shadow.
Granada Has Its Own Festival
The International Festival of Music and Dance is an annual celebration that takes place between June and July for 28 days. This massive festival boasts 105 performances by an eclectic mix of artists, dancers and musicians from around the world.
Cultural Facts About Granada
You Can’t Skip the Tapas
Granada is famous for its Tapas culture, which is a big part of Granada food. Generally served free of charge with drinks, these tantalizing morsels can vary in size and ingredients, depending on where you go.
The type of food you receive is usually chosen by the establishment, but there are some places that give you the choice. Expect anything from a bowl of olives to a plate of shrimp or mussels, but whatever you get, it’s almost guaranteed to be delicious.
Crafts Are Woven Into Modern Culture
While this tradition began with carpet making in the time of Boabdil, weaving has changed to include cushions, blankets and rugs, among other things. The roaring silk trade was greatly diminished by the Spanish Monarchs due to taxation and restrictions on care for the mulberry trees that were so integral to silk production.
You can still see some original looms in Alpujarra, however. Granada is also famous for its embroidery in tulle, wispy, magical handmade crafts that will enchant you.
The Best Place to See Flamenco Is in a Cave
Flamenco is integral to Granada’s culture. This UNESCO intangible cultural world heritage is an eclectic mixture of different cultures, developing over time, much like the culture of the city itself.
In the city, the Zambra is considered the traditional flamenco dance of Granada. The best places to see flamenco are in caves lining the streets of Sacromonte. Cool and airy, these caves are often beautifully decorated and often serve food or drinks in addition to the shows.
Unusual Facts About Granada
Alhambra Hears Your Secrets
Sounds a little spooky, right? Well, the Alhambra has a whispering gallery known as the “Chamber of Secrets.” The curvature in its ceilings causes the sound to travel from one corner of the gallery to the other. So be careful what you say in there; you never know who might be listening!
Granada Has Little Spots of Paradise
Known as a Carmen, these unique homes in Albayzin and Realejo feature their own gardens, complete with fruit trees, vines, and fountains. These white-walled pockets of heaven were designed with exactly that in mind, for the residents to have a piece of paradise in their homes.
Albayzin, the oldest neighborhood in Granada, is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and its beauty warrants the accolade. The visually stunning architecture and windy alley-like streets will transport you into Al Andalus. Take a tour of Carmen de los Mártires to see heaven on earth.
The Best Art Galleries Can Be Found on the Streets
Granada is literally painted with famous art. In neighborhoods across the city, these pieces can be found adorning walls everywhere, illuminating the streets with color. Venture into Realejo to see the huge murals, mainly by accomplished artist Raul Ruiz. Schools, hotels, and plazas all carry some form of original street art by a haze of talented people.
History Facts About Granada
Granada Was Ruled by Muslims for Almost 800 Years
Muslims came from Morrocco to lead Granada, bringing with them their knowledge, culture and religion. The Umayyads created Al Andalus, a region that was more advanced and stable than the rest of Europe. In the 11th century, the caliphate was broken up and exposed Al Andalus to the invasion of the Christians. By 1240, Granada was the last one standing.
Granada Was Handed Over Without Bloodshed
In 1491, the last Sultan of Granada, Muhammad, signed a treaty giving over control. He was then exiled, leaving his people to live in fear under the new Spanish Catholic rule, which would see them eventually pushed out of Spain.
It is said that as he was leaving Granada, he became saddened by his loss, to which his mother retorted, “Do not cry like a woman over that which you could not defend like a man.”
Frederico Garcia Lorca’s House Is Now a Museum
The famous literary was assassinated in 1936, and the use of his name was banned for many years after that. Today, his summer home is a museum celebrating his life and works, which contributed much to Granada’s history.
Granada Cathedral Is the First Renaissance Church in Spain
Built on the location of the city’s main mosque, the construction of this colossal church took over 180 years but is still incomplete today. It is also the seat of the Archdiocese of Granada, and the complex contains the royal chapel, where the remains of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella are entombed. Dominating the Plaza de las Pasieqas, the Granada Cathedral is an unmissable monument in the city.
In 1330, Granada Was the Most Populated City in Europe
The population had swelled in the last century due to the flourishing city’s multicultural setting under Nasrid rule. Granada was known as a center for intellect and artistry at the time.
Conclusion on the Fun Facts About Granada
Resplendent with fun, sun and historical wonder, Granada is not a city to miss when you’re in Spain. Now that you know so much more about this wonderful city, when we say that Granada is one of the best cities to visit in Spain, we’re sure you’ll agree with us.