” We,ll lounge beneath the pomegranates, palm tress, apple trees, under every lovely, leafy thing, and walk among the vines, enjoy the splendid faces we will see, in a lofty palace build of noble stones.”
– Salomon Ibn Gabirol-
During this walking tour, you will discover the most significant monuments and various hidden treasures of Granada, whose beauty and appearance was shaped throughout History by blended cultures. Your tour, accompanied by an expert and official guide, will start by the Church of Santa Ana, in the central Plaza Nueva. It is a crossroad between the old and the modern city, between neighborhoods where diverse ethnic and religious communities -Muslims, Christian and Jews- lived together and interacted.
An immersion into a city of unique beauty and mixed personality, which fascinated travelers of all ages.
The exquisite Church of Santa Ana displays this hybrid identity, through its Renaissance façade and the Mudejar bell tower decorated with indigo tiles inspired by Islamic art.
We will first stroll through the lower part of the Albaicín quarter, where we will admire the façades of convents, churches and aristocratic houses constructed by the Christian settlers after the Reconquest, along with the remains of walls and towers dating back to the Muslim city.
We will cross the medieval bridge over the Darro river, to wander through the narrow and cobbled alleys of the unknown neighborhood of Almanzora. We will reach the Realejo quarter, which in bygone days housed an important and dynamic Jewish community. There, we will remind the outstanding scientific and literary contribution of Jewish scholars in medieval Iberia.
From there, we will head to the historic heart of Granada. The lofty façade of the Cathedral appears like a clear symbol of triumph. The presence of the Royal Chapel, pantheon of the Catholic Monarchs, constitutes the political and artistic relevance of the city after the Christian conquest.
Still, the city center preserves treasures of the Medieval Moorish city, like an old caravanserai (Corral del Carbón), the reconstructed silk market (Alcaicería),
and the Madraza (university founded by sultan Yusuf I in 14th century), all witnesses of the exceptional dynamism of the medieval Muslim city.
Meeting point: Plaza Nueva, next to Santa Ana,s Church
There was a time, over a thousand years ago, when Europe experienced one of its greatest periods of cultural enlightenment – A century long period when Muslims, Christians and Jews inhabited the same land in Western Europe and thrived….
Aristotle´s lost philosophy, Algebra, Mathematics …. All of those arrived in Europe through Islamic Spain… ..the lemon tree, the water wheel, The beginning of modern medicine, science and poetry , as well.
It was here where the roots of the European Renaissance came to life.
You might be surprised to realize that Islam, at least in its beginning and initial rapid expansion through Northern Africa to Spain, was a model of intelectual inquiry and cultural assimilation ; not so much conquering people as convincing them that it had something truly spectacular to offer.
8-10 Century Muslims expanded our knowledge of Mathematics, Astronomy and Philosophy.
While in Europe others were rejecting any influences, stuck in archaic thought, repeating traditional knowledge with little change, Muslim scholars adopted and gathered knowledge from the Greeks and the Romans , establishing universities they called :¨Madrasas”.
For more than three centuries in Medieval Spain, Muslims, Jews and Christians coexisted multicultural civilization. Here, remarkable individuals of different faiths made lasting contributions in such areas as poetry, art, architecture, music, dining etiquette, science, agriculture, medicine, engineering, navigation, textiles, and even hydraulic technology.
Their rich, complex culture reached a high point in the Mediterranean Middle Ages. However, larger forces in conquest of land and power brought about puritanical judgments, absolutism and religious extremism. The conflict they triggered extinguished the shared learning that once flourished in this enlightened land.
This tour lead us to discover the marks left by jews, cristians and muslims in Granada.
In this visit, we will go back in time to these years , through the places these people inhabited, through history, literature, music and painting to get an idea as clear as possible of the multicultural Spanish society of the Middle Ages and the contributions of the three main groups: jews, christians and muslims