Granada Center Tourism in Granada


  • CAPILLA REAL (Royal Chapel)
  • CATEDRAL (Cathedral)
  • LA ALCAICERÍA (Silk Market)
  • HOSPITAL REAL (Royal Hospital)

Capilla RealThe hum of activity of Granada's center focuses around the Capilla Real (Royal Chapel) and the adjoining Catedral (Cathedral). Built during the Renaissance but in the late Gothic style otherwise known as "Isabelline Gothic" because of Isabel's affinity for the style, the immense structure was built as a mausoleum for the Catholic Monarchs Isabel and Fernando- the city's "liberators." Within you can find the tombs, complete with elaborate marble effigies, of Fernando and Isabel along with their daughter Juana (the Mad) and their son-in-law Felipe (the Handsome).

The construction of the enormous, five-naved Renaissance cathedral, built upon the site of the former Great Mosque, began the year that the Capilla Real was completed. Considered one of the most impressive Renaissance structures, definitely take a minute to contemplate the 20 hefty pillars that raise the roof to more than 30 soaring meters (almost 100 feet)! Within the Cathedral you'll find a wealth of artwork, including works of famed Spaniards Alonso Cano, Pedro de Mena, and El Greco.

AlcaiceríaNearby you'll find La Alcaicería, an old Islamic bazar and silk market. The original structure ran from the mosque (where the Cathedral now sits) all the way to the base of the Alhambra hill, but met a rather untimely end due to a debilitating fire. Today you can visit the smaller replica, whose market stands have been mostly replaced by tourist shops, that maintains the lively atmosphere.

Somewhere along the the center tourism trail you'll find yourself in the Plaza Bibarrambla, one of the city's most historic public squares. During Islamic times it saw jousting competitions and other similar activities as the community's tournament grounds. Following the reconquista, it took on a whole new role as host to the Spanish Inquisition´s autos-da-fé, where thousands of alleged heretics were condemned to burn at the stake.

La Madraza UniversityNot far from the cathedral you'll find La Madraza, which was Granada's Islamic University. Rebuilt after the reconquista as a Baroque civil palace to house the government, the entire Islamic structure was destroyed with the exception of the Mihrab- Muslim prayer space- of the university's mosque. Closed off for centuries, the Mihrab is perfectly preserved with its elaborate designs and dazzling, unfaded colors. While many Islamic structures have signs of wear and tear over the centuries, in La Madraza you can get a glimpse at the sheer brilliance of Islamic design just as it was centuries ago.