And back downtown, Granada's cathedral facade — also built shortly after the re-conquest — declares triumph as well. But the real magic is the city itself — with its labyrinthine Jewish Quarter, riveting flamenco shows, thriving bars, and teeming festivals. They're quiet, an oasis from the heat, and filled with flowers. This royal summer retreat, lush and bursting with water, was the closest thing on earth to the Quran's description of heaven. You'll pay a bit more, but I can't think of a better way to cap your visit to Granada. For those wanting to really understand the city's two most important sights — which are tough to fully appreciate on their own — Concepción also offers in-depth tours of the cathedral and the Alcázar, each lasting about 1.25 hours. While things changed later, the Golden Age of Al-Andalus, as this society was called, was marked by a remarkable spirit of tolerance and cooperation among all religions. While pious Sevillan women wail in the streets, relays of 48 men carry this three-ton float on the backs of their necks — only their feet show from under these drapes — as they shuffle through the streets from about midnight until 2:00 in the afternoon each Good Friday. Sprawling at the foot of the snow-capped Sierra Mountains, Granada is a thriving city of about 300,000 people. Sometimes you hardly hear the priest. Silk was huge in Moorish times, and silkworm-friendly mulberry trees flourished in the countryside. It worked out during certain times, especially during the 10th century. Rick: You're Spanish? Hoping not to end up there, matadors pray here, in the chapel. Post questions and answers about travel in Spain. This place specializes in traditional Andalusian fare — rustic food that originated with the peasantry. The Moors left a distinct mark on Andalusian culture. [Laugh] Take 25. The gardens are full of tropical flowers, cool fountains, and — in the summer — hot tourists. This is Sevilla. And the region's leading city is Sevilla. Post questions and answers about travel in Spain. The mosque stands next to one of Europe's most romantic viewpoints. Isabel: It's brilliant. They enjoy their English TV and radio, and many barely learn a word of Spanish. I find this strip of Mediterranean coastline generally overbuilt and very commercialized. Lo Nuestro and El Rejoneo are favorites that also host live dancing (at Calle Betis 31A and 31B). The church fronts the square, which fronts the beach…and everybody's out strolling, eventually winding up on the proud Balcony of Europe terrace. Rick: Yes. Reviewed in the United States on July 8, 2014. We would use them as accessories, but they also have a function, which is warming you when you're cold. This barrio entered for the first time this year. The humble cottage evokes a bygone day. Rick: So, how has the process been with community relations? While the city center of Granada feels more or less like many other pleasant Spanish cities, the Albayzín is unique. With 8,000 pieces inlaid like a giant jigsaw puzzle, it symbolizes the complexity of Allah's infinite universe. Start a New Topic. Córdoba's centerpiece is a massive former mosque — or, in Spanish, Mezquita. Tour Account › Travel Forum › Home / Travel Forum / Spain; Please sign in to post. Rick Steves' Europe is public television's most-watched, longest-running travel series. A castle, and later a fort, occupied this spot from the ninth century until the earthquake of 1884. Increasingly around Europe, minibuses wind locals through narrow lanes of old quarters. Feel the wind funnel through the streets as cars inch around tight corners. Our full-bodied red is mucho delicioso. Rick's guidebooks are also available as ebooks that can be read on any Apple, Android, Kindle, Nook, or Kobo device, or on your computer. 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