The Moors left their marks on southern Spain. Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín in Granada is both mythical and real.
The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.
- Official name: Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada
- Country: Spain
- Date of Inscription: 1984
- Category: Cultural site
UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 314:
“Rising above the modern lower town, the Alhambra and the Albaycín, situated on two adjacent hills, form the medieval part of Granada. To the east of the Alhambra fortress and residence are the magnificent gardens of the Generalife, the former rural residence of the emirs who ruled this part of Spain in the 13th and 14th centuries. The residential district of the Albaycín is a rich repository of Moorish vernacular architecture, into which the traditional Andalusian architecture blends harmoniously.”
The Moors of northwest Africa conquered most of the Iberian Peninsula in a few years after 711. The last stronghold they were forced out from by the united kingdoms of Spain was Granada. That was in the year 1492, the same year Columbus “discovered” America. For more than seven hundred years the Muslim descendants of Arab, Moorish and Spanish origin had ruled in most or parts of Spain and Portugal. This legacy has been hard to grasp for the later nation builders of Christian Spain.
I came to Granada as the last stop of a tour of Andalusia. The town itself is not so interesting but the Albaicín and in particular the Alhambra are absolutely wonderful places. The Nasrid Palace inside the Alhambra is out of this world. Splendid.