Granada is located inland of Spain's Mediterranean coast in the region of Andalusia. The city lies on the northwestern slopes of the Sierra Nevada, at about 2,000ft above sea level and is a very popular tourist spot. The city's most noted period in history was the occupation of the Moors, who fled to Granada from Cordoba and ruled Spain under the Nasrid dynasty. It was the capital of the Moorish kingdom of Granada and the final stronghold of the Moors in Spain until they were driven out in 1492 by Ferdinand II and Isabella. Here the magnificent Moorish palaces and fortifications contrast sharply with Christian churches.
The Albaicín (Albayzin) quarter is the oldest part of Granada, with its narrow cobbled streets and Moorish-style houses. Across the river is the famous Moorish palace, the Alhambra and the Alcazaba (the fortress that guarded it) and the Generalife, which was the summer palace of the Moorish sultans, both now designated a world heritage site. In the centre of the city you will find the highly ornamented Gothic Cathedral of Santa María de la Encarnación (1523-1703), containing the tomb of Ferdinand and Isabella and many fine paintings and sculptures. Other sights include The Cartuja, or Carthusian monastery (1516), the restored monastery of San Jerónimo (1492), the University of Granada (1526) and statues of Christopher Columbus and Queen Isabella on the Monument of the Agreements.
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