Between the myth and the future

“The Albayzín has fulfilled the conditions to become the new myth of the city: it is the witness of the past of the city, of its heritage and its social and civic habits. The district represents the past, the present and the future of the city and it can cope with the new challenges that lie ahead for Granada’s society.”

B&S Europe 

Historic milestones

Pre-Islamic Albayzín

According to the studies of the ex-director of the Andalusian UNESCO Miguel Carrascosa, the Iberian-roman city called Ilíberis (the historical origins of Granada) was successively inhabited by Turduli or Turtuli, Iberians, Romans, Hispanic, Roman-Hispanic, Visigoths, etc.

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The Albayzín of the Al-Andalus period
Granada was born as a city in the 11th century. The Zirid dynasty arrived in Granada and settled in the area known during the Roman period as Medina Elvira. In 1013 approximately, the Zirids settled in the area known nowadays as Mirador de San Nicolás, a viewpoint. However, in 1090 this dynasty was defeated by the Almoravid, which also settled on the hill of the Albayzín.

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16th-19th centuries
The peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims after the conquest of the Kingdom of Granada in 1492 did not last long. Even the district physiognomy was changing due to the increasing orthodoxy of the faith. The expulsion of the Moriscos in 1570 led to the depopulation of the Albayzín.

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20th century – Nowadays
At the end of the 19th century and in the early-mid 20th century, the Albayzín was an abandoned and marginalised district. During the sixties and the seventies, many people decided to depart from it and move to other areas of the city where new houses were built. The declaration of the Albayzín as World Heritage Site marks –or should mark– a turning point for the future of the district.

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“The Albayzín survived thanks to the characteristics of its geographical location, which was perfect for the times in which the district was born and grown, far from modernity and urban or industrial development. The task of protecting the Albaicín has been carried out by its own residents, who decided to preserve it not only for themselves, but also for Granada and for all, as UNESCO recognized when it was declared a World Heritage Site.”
B&S Europe