BEYOND THE ALHAMBRA AND ALBAICÍN, IN CONNECTION WITH THE GUITAR, VISIT:Manuel de Falla Museum: The museum is located in the Antequeruela Alta, in the Carmen del Ave María, near the Alhambra. 70 years later, after the departure of the old musician to Argentina, his house in Granada reopened its doors after the restoration. It was flooded with personal items, m
any of them have never left the house, probably because the composer was planning to return soon.Bergamin, who saw him taking the boat, asked him: “When you think back, maestro? He replied: “When all the Spanish have agreed” (Falla traveled to Argentina, where he died in Alta Gracia, in the Sierra de Cordoba on September 14, 1946).Manuel de Falla left Spain fearing that he could be murdered as his friend Federico García Lorca. His piano, his desk, bed and other items were left in the house. It also contains many of the gifts he received: figurines of Picasso, some presents from Miguel de Unamuno, a picture from Daniel Vázquez Days and a the Guitar built by Benito Ferrer that belonged to Andres Segovia.Daniel Gil de Avalle’s guitar workshop: just 15 minutes walking down Cuesta del Realejo from The Alhambra and the Museum Manuel de Falla, where fine Classical and Flamencco Guitars are Hand-made.
The Realejo Quarter:When you walk through the historic city of Granada, you come to the area known as Realejo, which is right in the town centre. This district was the Jewish quarter at the time of the Nasride rule. The Jewish population was once so important that Granada was once known from the Al-Andalus Country under the name of Granada of the jews (in Arabic, غرناطة اليهودgharnāṭah al-yahūd).
The jewish history of Granada goes back as far as the year 135 although some historians prefer theyear 70 when jewish settlements may first have been present. Either way this period was a time when new lives in Spain were sought, leaving their native Israel behind. The first time anything was properly recorded was 303 in the cannons of the Elvira Concilio.
The Realejo quarter began to take shape from the year 711 when the muslims came to Granada. Particularly from 912 onwards when Abd ar Rahman III ruled the Jews really prospered in Al-Andalus. They studied Science, commerce and industry and also traded in the cotton and silk trade.The jewish community and the visir Samuel Ibn Nagrella played an important role in the Kingdom of Granada. Around the time of the first Ziri King in 1013. When Samuel Ibn Nagrella died he was buried in the jewish cemetery. This cemetery is thought to have been situated in the area where the Arch of Elvira now stands.Depending on the time in history the Jews in Granada were treated differently. Just fifty years on from that date, 1013, the Granada massacre took place. On 30 December 1066, a large group of Muslims stormed the royal palace and killed Joseph Ibn Naghrela, who was key Jewish minister at the time. 1,500 Jewish families died that day.As you move along from Plaza Nueva square in Granada up to Calle Colcha into the Realejo neighbourhood, you see the statue of Yehuba Ibn Tibon. A Doctor who was also known for being an important Translator, Philosopher and Poet. He was born in the year 1120. A highly cultured man with an important library and named Father of translators. Still to this day his legacy remains, in the translation school at Granada University. This prestigious faculty there attracting many students each year.It is recorded that by the end of the fifteenth century the jewish population in Granada was close to 50,000. Working mainly as tax collectors, doctors, ambassadors or as tradesmen. Along Calle Pavaneras in Granada many Jewish craftsmen such as cobblers and leather tanners had their workshops. In the same area there were traders in wool, linen, cotton and silks. Also silver and gold traders too. It was quite common that they could speak several languages.
It is unsure at the height of the Jewish quarter in Granada where the main synagogue was really located. It may have been on the site on San Matias (where it meets Pavaneras) although nothing reamins of this previous history. Hundreds of years ago a Christian church was built on the site (now it is the MADOC headquarter no longer a religious building) Another possibility is that it could have been on the site of the current Church of San Cecilio (in the Antequeruela area) although it is not too clear.We have to carefully piece together the clues in the city´s history to be able to see the Judaeo-Muslim buildings which have been left behind. If you want to take a walk around streets with the typical layout head to Calle Jazmin, Calle Laurel or Calle Horno de San Matías, just off the Calle San Matías. This is the area where I noticed this door decorated with the Star of David. Further clues lie in some Spanish surnames and in recipes using aubergines which was typical in Sefardi cuisine.
The Nasrid Alhambra was a courtly city, conceived and built to serve the royal court. The urban layout was clearly organized during the two and a half centuries of its development, with the logical transformations brought about by the successive architectural styles.
A military base for the royal guard in the Alcazaba provided security on the inside to the Sultan, his family and the governing bodies. A military centre, strategically situated with easy access to the rest of the Alhambra, the Alcazaba housed the guards and their families. Like any other municipality, it had a cistern (aljibe) and public baths.
In addition, there was a palatial zone reserved exclusively for the Sultan and his kin. It also had administrative offices, which were situated in accordance with protocol, the more private and courtly ones taking precedence. There were also areas where people came together for readings of the Surah or to hold Counsel of Ministers meetings. The Sultan decided when to celebrate the courtly feasts, which coincided with relevant celebrations in the National or Moslem calendar.
The palatial zone consisted of several palaces. The palaces had the same structure as normal houses did, only they were bigger and more richly decorated as befitted the honour of the residents. The palaces had balconies, courts, gardens and alleys in a setting in which vegetation and water played an essential role.
Each palace included its own baths and small oratories, where the residents complied with their daily mandatory prays. A road providing access to the various palatial locations was also separated from the rest of the Alhambra and off limits to unauthorized citizens.
La Alhambra Medina inhabitants served the court and the palace. The quarter, with a slightly inclined main street that ran west to east, had public baths, a mosque, and shops.
Adjacent to the Mosque were the Rauda, or Cemetery of the Sultans, and a school, or Madraza.
In the low lying area, behind the Gate of Wine (Puerta del Vino), the main gate, there were houses, some of which were important, where functionaries and servants to the Court resided. There were small cisterns (aljibes) and public gathering places. About halfway down, on either side of the street, were two large buildings considered to be veritable palaces: the Palace of the Abencerrages (Palacio de los Abencerrajes) and the building that later became the Monastery of San Francisco (Convento de San Francisco).
The high area of the city was where small artisan industry was established: glass blowing, ceramics, tanning, water mills and even coin minting. In this area the King’s (or Sultan’s) Canal (Acequia del Rey or del Sultán) entered the Alhambra through an aqueduct and a conduit. The canal, parallel with the Royal Road (Calle Real), flowed downward, sending water through a maze of canals covering the entire area. Small roads, alleys and sheds completed the urban scenario of the citadel.
The Alhambra was unassailable, it being totally surrounded by an impregnable wall that was joined to the wall that protected Granada. The Alhambra wall had four main gates: the Gate of Arms (Puerta de las Armas) and the Gate of the Arrabal (Puerta del Arrabal), on the north side, and the Gate of Justice (Puerta de la Justicia) and the Gate of the Seven Floors (Puerta de los Siete Suelos), on the south side.
A road that ran around the inner part of the wall connected the different buildings of the citadel, and in case of attack was used as a defensive moat.
More than thirty towers and turrets were distributed along the ramparts; some of them housed the main halls and rooms of houses and palaces; others offered a panoramic view that extended into the horizon; and still others were used as strategic points of the complex defensive system of the city. All were different from others in shape and size, thus conferring a singular fortified aspect to each one, which is so characteristic of this Complex of Historical-Artistic Monuments.