Granada is the capital city of the province of Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, at the confluence of four rivers, the Darro, the Genil, the Monachil and the Beiro. It sits at an average elevation of 738 m (2,421 ft) above sea level, yet is only one hour by car from the Mediterranean coast, the Costa Tropical. Nearby is the Sierra Nevada Ski Station, where the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 1996 were held.
The Alhambra, an Arab citadel and palace, is located in Granada. It is the most renowned building of the Islamic historical legacy with its many cultural attractions that make Granada a popular destination among the tourist cities of Spain. The Almohad influence on architecture is also preserved in the Granada neighborhood called the Albaicín with its fine examples of Moorish and Morisco construction. Granada is also well-known within Spain for the University of Granada which has an estimated 82,000 students spread over five different campuses in the city. The pomegranate (in Spanish, granada) is the heraldic device of Granada.
The University of Granada (UGR), founded in 1531 by Carlos I, meant the continuation of higher studies in La Madraza, when the city was the capital of the last Nasrid Kingdom. The University of Granada has become internationally recognized in all university fields: teaching, research, cultural and services to its members and its surroundings. It is therefore one of the destinations that receives more exchange students from the Erasmus Program13 and the fourth Spanish university in number of students, after the Complutense University of Madrid, and the University of Seville.
In the city there are a total of 69 compulsory secondary education centers. Infant and primary education is taught in 104 centers, distributed among private, concerted and public centers. There are also five adult education centers.
For its part, Granada is a city with a long European university tradition, as it is one of the preferred destinations for Erasmus students.
The gastronomy of Granada is part of the Arabic-Andalusian cuisine tradition, with a strong Arab and Jewish heritage, which is reflected in its condiments and spices, such as cumin, coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon, raisins, almonds or honey. The writer Miguel Alcobendas, author of the traditional cuisine of Granada, says that it has its origin in living together, from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century (when Granada surrendered to the Catholic Kings), of Muslims, Jews and Christians in the Nasrid Kingdom from Granada. Subsequently there was a miscegenation with the kitchen of the Christians, in which the pork acquired an importance in the kitchen of Granada more than in the rest of Spain, since its consumption allowed its eaters to demonstrate a certain distance from the persecuted religions, since both Muslims and Jews have it banned.
The climatic differences of the different regions of the province, from the coast to the peaks of the Sierra Nevada propitiates a great variety of raw materials: vegetables], meats and sausages, fish that are combined in a multitude of dishes and recipes for soups and stews.
The famous and reputed Trevélez ham comes from the Sierra of Granada, to which other pork derivatives are added, sausages such as chorizo, black pudding and pork tenderloin.
Ham and beans, two products of the land, are combined in one of its most typical dishes, beans with ham; Other known dishes are the Sacromonte tortilla, which among other ingredients must have cooked brains and veal crustaillas, chopped and sauted before mixing with the egg. It is also worth mentioning “papas a lo pobre”, potatoes which are usually served with egg and fried peppers, as well as with pieces of pork or ham.
Among the stews and potajes, the pot of San Antón stands out, which is eaten mainly towards the second half of January; cabbage stew, which combines vegetables and legumes; the stew of green beans and fennel; The thistle and pumpkin casserole, with noodles and aromatic herbs, or gypsy pottery are other dishes of the land.
Confectionery is well represented in the gastronomy of Granada, for sweets prepared by the nuns can be purchased in the numerous convents of the city: the pestiños of Vélez or those of the Encarnación, the puff pastries of San Jerónimo, the moles of San Antón eggs, the Zafra biscuit, sweet potato rolls, cocas, roscos from Santo Tomas and mantecados. Aljojábanas, honey and cheese dumplings and some of the fritters called almohados, as well as fig bread, Moorish roscos and an almond cake called soyá are all of Arabic heritage.
Unlike in other provinces of Andalusia, in Granada tapas (appetizers or snacks) are usually free in bars and restaurants. “Bar hopping” (Ir de tapas) and eating tapas in the time between finishing work and having dinner is a deeply rooted traditional activity among the people of Granada. There are different tapas routes around the city.