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UNESCO World Heritage Site
Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Albayzín district in Granada, Spain.
Type Cultural
Criteria i, iii, iv
Reference 314
UNESCO region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1984 (8th Session)
Extensions 1994

El Albayzín (also Albaicín, Spanish pronunciation: [alβai̯ˈθin]) is a district of Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain, that retains the narrow winding streets of its Medieval Moorish past. It was declared a world heritage site in 1984, along with the famous Alhambra.


This is the view of Saint Nicholas church and the Albaicin mosque

It was populated in Iberian period and Roman dispersed settlement existed. There is no data before the arrival of the Zirid Berber Islamic settlement, so it is assumed that the city was abandoned since the end of the Roman Empire until the founding of the Zirid kingdom in 1013 when it was surrounded by big walls. According to some linguists it owes its present name to the inhabitants of the city of Baeza who banished her after the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, settled in this area of Granada outside the existing walls. Other linguists claim that the name comes from the Arabic al-bayyāzīn (as its pronounced with imala, al-bayyīzīn),meaning the suburb of falconers. However, the fact that in Andalusia there are many other neighborhoods with that name, in Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cádiz), Alhama de Granada, Salobreña and Huéneja (Granada), Antequera and Villanueva de Algaidas (Málaga), Baena (Córdoba) porcuna and Sabiote (Jaén), and Constantina (Sevilla), doubts this thesis. There are also neighborhoods with that name in other parts of Spain, as in Campo de Criptana (Ciudad Real), result of the expulsion of the Moors after the Revolt of the Alpujarras or in Pastrana (Guadalajara), this neighborhood created by Doña Ana de Eboli to accommodate the Moorish Kingdom of Granada.

The truth is that albaicín is a neighborhood in height and with a peculiar settlement detached from the rest of the city.

The fact that in the 21st century this neighborhood was not properly a suburb does not mean that in the Middle Ages it was not considered as such.

Is one of the oldest centers of Muslim culture in Granada, with the Alhambra, the Realejo and Arrabal de Bib-Arrambla, on the flat part of the city.

Before the Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, in what is now the city of Granada and its surroundings there were three small populations:

  • Iliberis (Elvira), what was later called Albaicin and Alcazaba
  • Castilia, near the present town of Atarfe
  • Garnata, on the opposite hill to the Alcazaba, which was more a neighborhood of Iliberis.
Typical street of the Albaicin.
Albaicin landscape

However, after these classic statements, current archaeological research, Madinat Ilbira located in Atarfe until the 11th century when that city was moved to the Albaicin after the fall of the Caliphate and the insecurity it generates. The inhabitants of Ilbira undergo as clients Sinhaya and ziríes and it is decided the transfer of the capital of the Cora de Elvira to Hill Albaicín

In the 756 Arabs are already in the peninsula. It is the time of Independent Emirate. The Arab population is manifested in two centers: the Albaicín and the Alhambra.

This neighborhood had its greatest influence at the time of the Nazari. The Albaicín maintains the urban fabric of the Moorish period, with narrow streets, in an intricate network that extends from the top (St. Nicholas) through the course of the river Darro and Calle Elvira, both located in Plaza Nueva.

The traditional type of house is the carmen, consisting of a free house surrounded by a high wall that separates it from the street and includes a small orchard or garden.

It was characteristic of this district the channeling and distribution of drinking water through wells; in all there were found about 28; of which a large majority is preserved but is not in use because its pipes are broken over time.

In 1994, the Albaicín was declared World Heritage by UNESCO as an extension of the monuments of the Alhambra and Generalife.[1]

Places of interest[edit]

In the Albaicín there are numerous monuments from different periods, mainly the nazari period and the Renaissance:

  • Ziri wall (11th century), established along the Sacromonte and Albaicín.
  • New door or door of Weights, the Grenadian people calle and know it as arc of weights.[2]
  • Fajalauza door in Cuesta de San Gregorio Alto, part of the wall.[3]-[4]
  • Alhacaba Towers, part of the wall.
  • Monaita door in Lona Lane, part of the wall.
  • Puerta de Elvira, at the beginning of Calle Elvira, part of the wall.
  • Church of El Salvador, in the Cuesta del Chapiz.
  • Church of San Miguel Bajo, in the small square of San Miguel Bajo, with a Mudejar armor and a cistern of the 13th century.
  • Church of San Gregorio, at the beginning of the Cuesta de San Gregorio.
  • Church of San Cristobal and viewpoint with the same name, in Crta. De Murcia
  • St. Louis. Temple without worship and in ruins.
  • Church of San Juan de los Reyes, in the street San Juan de los Reyes.
  • Palace of Dar al-Horra, Aixa residence, Muley Hacén wife and mother of Boabdil.
  • The Bañuelo.
  • Minaret of Almorabitun.
  • Trillo cistern.
  • House of the Masks, in the street Pagés, what remains of the house of the poet Pedro Soto de Rojas (17th century).
  • House Yanguas (16th century), at San Buenaventura, hodgepodge of Nazari and Renaissance architecture. Currently, Tourist hotel.
  • Church of Santa Ana, at the beginning of the Carrera del Darro.
  • Saint Peter and Saint Paul, in the Carrera del Darro.
  • Hermitage of San Miguel alto, Lane San Miguel ..
  • Casa de Porras, in Placeta de Porras, Moorish house of the 16th century, today the University Cultural Center of the University of Granada.
  • Casa del Almirante (Aragon), Calle San José, 16th century.
  • Castril House (1539) in the Carrera del Darro, Current Archaeological Museum of Granada.
  • Lona House in Lona Lane, on the site of the former palace of the kings Ziries.
  • Cordova Palace (16th century) in the Cuesta del Chapiz, current Municipal Archives.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada". UNESCO Culture Sector. Retrieved 09-02-2013.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ Plano árabe de Granada de Luis Seco de Luna
  3. ^ Ayuntamiento de Granada. AGENCIA albaicin GRANADA
  4. ^ GALLEGO Y BURÍN, ANTONIO. "Guía artística e histórica de la ciudad de Granada", página, 781. Edición: Guía de Granada 1946.

External links[edit]

8 [1]

Coordinates: 37°10′36″N 3°35′40″W / 37.17667°N 3.59444°W / 37.17667; -3.59444