The origin of the city of Granada, the Albayzín district, dates back a thousand years to the Zirid monarchy. Built on the hill opposite to the Alhambra, the winding streets, buildings and squares of the Albayzin offer a chance to explore the city’s rootes and its culture, both past and present, blended together with a spectacular backdrop. From the Puerta de Elvira, the 11th century Arab gate, to the Mirador of San Nicolás and its breathtaking views of the Alhambra, to the caves of Sacromonte, the Albayzin treasures are waiting to be discovered! This tour will take you thorugh a thousand years of history and show you how the Albayzin has represented the changes the city has experienced over the centuries.
Some of the highlights of this tour include:
- Dar Al Horra Palace. This 15th-century palace belonged to Aixa, the mother of Boabdil the last Sultan of Granada. It was one of several palaces from the period in the Albayzin district, although all but this one have long since been lost. Like many of the buildings in the area, when the christians conquered Granada it was converted into a religious building and for centuries was property of the Santa Isabela la Rel order, which was founded by Isabel herself.
- El Aljibe del Rey. This 11th century cistern shows the importance of water to the Moorish empire, and was used to store water and the gardens and orchards of King Badis, of the Ziri Dynasty.
- The Sacromonte Barrio and the Gypsy Museum. Sacromonte is considered to be the cradle of Flamenco, Spain’s most famous musical style. This area is filled with caves where in ages past the Gypsy families would live and where the art of Flamenco was born.
- The Zirí Wall. Parts of the old city wall, dating back to the 8th century, can still be visited, while other parts are currently being restored with plans to make at least a part of the wall a walkway.