Posted by: debrakolkka | April 27, 2011


New Granada has  a population of 300,000 people, but we didn’t venture into modern Granada, we stayed around Plaza Nueva in the old part of town. The main tourist site is, of course, the Alhambra, the fabulous Moorish palace, which I will cover in a later post.

Granada from the Alhambra

There is an excellent viewing spot for Alhambra called San Nicholas. You can see it in the photo – at the top under the church tower. There are lots of people there, looking at us looking at them.

another view with the old wall in the distance

The heart of the old town is Plaza Neuva and all the interesting bits are not too far from here. We first strolled into Corral del Carbon. This is the only surviving caravanserai, a place for merchants to rest their camels and themselves after a long journey. The entrance is through a wonderful old Moorish door. The square is from the 14th century and has at its centre a water fountain. I would love to be able to see what went on here all those centuries ago.

the door to the caravanserai

open wide, come inside

if only this water fountain could talk

In the Plaza Isabel La Catolica is a wonderful statue of Isabel with Columbus standing in front of her with a contract. I think she looks as though she is sitting in a wheelchair rather than a throne, but it is quite magnificent.

Isabel with Columbus

the very famous Queen Isabel

Not far away is the Plaza de Bib-Rambla, which used to be the centre of Moorish Granada. The square is surrounded by interesting looking restaurants and bars and has a Neptune fountain, with another puny Neptune on top.

Neptune's fountain

Neptune is puny, but he is supported by some strange looking gents.

very strange

Plaza Romanilla, a little farther on, also has some interesting houses and restaurants.

in Plaza Romanilla

The nearby cathedral is probably the ugliest church I have ever been into. It is huge and dramatic and ugly.

the Cathedral interior

A far better option is the Royal Chapel which is the final resting place for King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel. There are 4 royal tombs made of Carrara marble. The other 2 tombs contain the bodies of Philip the Fair and Juana the Mad. Apparently Philip was so handsome, it drove Juana mad with jealosy. When Philip died Juana kept his embalmed body and kissed it every night for 2 years.

Ferdinand and Isabel

Fair Philip with Mad Juana beside him

We had lunch at Bodegas Castaneda just off Plaza Nueva. I have to say that I don’t love Spanish food, but this wasn’t bad.

the outside tables at Bodegas Castaneda

We took the local bus through the old Moorish quarter. They are mini buses, and they need to be because the streets are very narrow. Our driver seemed to be in a bit of a hurry and we hurtled at breakneck speed through the Albayzin. Bus 31 takes you up to the San Nicholas viewpoint to watch the sun set over the Alhambra.

behind the San Nicholas viewpoint

We had a very late dinner (as usual) in a restaurant on the side of the hill with a view over the Alhamba. The food was pretty grim, and the service patchy,but the position was perfect.

a restaurant on a cliff

a restaurant with a view

the Alhambra from San Nicholas

the other bit with the Sierra Nevada in the background

sun sets over the Alhambra

the lights come on

the other bit

isn't is fabulous?


  1. Looks terrific! Anything Moorish is moreish!

    • The things I liked best in Spain were all Moorish – Alhambra, the Mezquita and the Alcazar in Seville. That was built by christians, but in the Moorish style. You will see those soon, I’m saving the best of Spain until last.

  2. Isabella must have been a formidable queen to be remembered through the centuries. Other queens stood out in my memory of history – Esther, the Queen of Sheba, Cleopatra, Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great and Victoria. They were strong characters.
    Never thought of seeing Isabella’s throne like a wheelchair, Deb. You do have an eye for the unusual.
    The Moorish door to the Caravanseri is beautiful in its simplicity. Yes, I can imagine the noise and colour around the drinking fountain back in those days – camels jostling for water, brightly woven rugs, the smell of spices and dung, the shouts of the caravaneers, and the gaily clothed women in their flowing silks…’s imagination can run wild when looking at those pictures.

    • Mine certainly did. I love camels, they are such stange looking animals.

  3. Wow you definitely travel around more than I do! 😛

  4. Lovely photos… waiting waiting for Cordoba….and the Mezquita… (wink)

    • I’m saving them till last, because they were the best – soon

  5. Oh I just have to check out the restaurant on the cliff. Amazing! 🙂

  6. Like Richard says, I too think anything Moorish is moreish – what a shame the food isn’t moreish also. The scenery there is so dramatic – by turns stark and beautiful – even the ugly bits are beautiful. That funny little figure who looks so thoroughly fed up with the job he’s got of holding up Neptune… he reminds me of someone, I think it’s a politician, but I can’t think who.

    • He does look a bit cheesed off. Perhaps he thinks tapas is overrated as well.

  7. It’s all beautiful, except perhaps that funny little statue which seems to be an old man with “boobs”… Very odd and fascinating. Ahhh to be wandering in a different country: isn’t that the best sensation?

    • It certainly is. I love going to new places.

  8. As always, thank you for taking me somewhere I might not ever have the chance to visit.

    • No problem, Granada was great.

  9. wonder why Neptune is so little…not very imposing at all.
    A glass of sangria a top of the restaurant with a view…yes please.

    • I did have a glass of sangria there.

  10. […] in the Spain category to see Madrid, Ainsa, Toledo, Seville, the windmills in La Mancha, Cadiz, Granada and the Alhambra and […]

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