Granada Capital City
Perhaps the most poignant phrase to describe the wonder that is Granada is inscribed on the ramparts of the Alhambra, a testament created in rose coloured stone to the artistically enlightened rule of the Moors:
There is no pain in life so cruel as to be blind in Granada
The aptness of the phrase becomes clear when you look out over the fertile valleys and tree lined streets that cascade in whitewashed brilliance down the three hills over which the city is built.
Granada’s symbolism is not only in its almost ethereal present day beauty. Here was where Boabdil, last of the Caliphate rulers of the Province, surrendered the keys of the City to the Catholic Kings, Fernando and Isabelle, so putting to an end over 700 years of Moorish dominance of the Iberian Peninsula.
As Boabdil fled into exile he supposedly took one last long wistful look at the city that he had lost forever. It may actually be historically accurate because that place is still remembered as El Suspiro del Moro, the Moor’s Sigh.
In the heady twilight of the days of Arabic rule preceding the completion of the Reconquest, Granada established itself as a cultural center of unparalleled excellence where art, science and religious tolerance flourished, a fact that ensured that its population in the middle ages rose to be of a greater size than that of other main commercial centers in Europe.
The jewel in Granada’s crown, however, is the Alhambra. Its ancient walls dominate the skyline of Granada, silent and brooding, testimony of an empire won and lost; an exquisite example of Moorish originality of artistic expression that flourished at the height of cultural confidence.
The Alhambra is without doubt one of the wonders of the ancient world, evidence of the skill of the Moorish craftsmen and crowning glory of a long period of benign and enlightened dictatorship.
Granada is also a city with a rich cultural heritage, perhaps most graphically expressed by the poet and dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca who was born in Fuente Vacqueros, a village a little way outside of Granada.
Lorca was bought up in Granada and had a love-hate relationship with it, often claiming that it depressed him yet, by its sheer beauty, gave voice to his creativity. There are many tours through the streets of Granada celebrating the life and times of this writer who was assassinated for being a republican sympathizer during the civil war in 1936.
More information: http://www.lovegranada.com/granada/