Granada Photo
This Is Granada: Open Your Eyes!

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World famous Alhambra is the main reason why tourists come to Granada. Unfortunately, most visitors spend little time among us leaving without even grasping the surface of the city and overlooking the hidden and the not so hidden wonders that make Granada so unique and special among Spanish cities. Beyond the walls and ramparts of the Moorish monument Granada is packed with museums, old palaces and churches, cosy squares, clean, tidy, well-kept neighbourhoods, gardens, boulevards and thousands of tapas bars with the celebrated tradition of serving free food. People from Granada are outgoing and friendly and they like living their lives outdoors. The streets are always crowded, there are students and youngsters everywhere and the centre is a shopping paradise, especially if you like clothes and shoes. Finally, up there, in the narrow streets of the Albaicin and the hills of the Sacromonte, lay a bunch of tablaos and gypsy zambras, where flamenco performances take place every evening.

These pictures are a portrait of Granada at its best. I have spent the last twelve years of my life indulging myself in the pleasure of wandering, camera in hand, around this incredible city whose charm, or “embrujo” as we call it here, is certainly second to none. Because of this, now you are probably thinking this is just another photo gallery among the thousand there are in Internet and I wouldn't blame you for doing so. But, let me tell you something: It is not! I would say it is more of a love story: My Own! I have written every image here with my very own eyes and printed each pixel with every “click” of my heart over twelve years. Yes! This indeed is Granada, the Granada I am in love with. Open your eyes and you will love it too... Enjoy!


ALHAMBRA PHOTO

A superb photo gallery of Europe's Moorish stunning jewel in Granada: The Alhambra. Spain's most visited monument portrayed as you had not probably seen it before. A very personal look at its fantastic and magical geometric maze and the endless game of light and shadows. Probably the best images of the Alhambra you will see in Internet. These panoramas, landscapes and close up shots of the most visited and enchanting monument in Spain have already had more than a million visitors.
 


  THIS IS GRANADA: OPEN YOUR EYES!

Granada is a city filled with history, living with the hubbub and bustle of her squares, her streets, her gardens. A city that entices you to discover the secrets it keeps, a seductive temptation for any traveller. Here you are! This is my homage to this stunning city in a handful of pictures, hopefully as beautiful as the city itself is and deserves them to be. I hope you enjoy watching them as much as I enjoyed taking them.

 

 

Some of the most outstanding Easter week processions in Spain take place in Granada.  They wind slowly around the streets, with lifelike statues of Christ and the Virgin Mary in mourning, and are led by a Brotherhood each with its own history. Among them stands out The Christ Of The Gispsies, on Easter Wednesday, an impressive mixture of religion and popular traditions setting the slopes of the Sacromonte on fire. Literally!

 

Declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1984, the Albayzin retains the architecture, old winding streets and flavour of its Medieval Moorish past. Its stunning views of the Alhambra with the Sierra Nevada mountain rage in the background, are world famous, and many tourists come here to enjoy the spectacular sunset from the church of San Nicolas, which USA ex-president Bill Clinton, having studied in Granada himself, named as the most stunning in the world. Less than a five minute walk from San Nicolas is the gitano quarter of Sacromonte where Spanish Gypsies have their homes in caves excavated from the soft rock and have developped as a tourist attraction famous for its flamenco dance and music evenings.

 

 

Modern 21st century buildings alongside old churches built upon even older mosques, and the old souk (alcaiceria) next to Granada’s imposing Renaissance cathedral and the gothic Royal Chapel which houses the remains of Isabel I and Fernando (The Catholic Monarchs) as well as those of their daughter Juana and their son in law Felipe. Granada's first high school (La Madraza) is a few meters away from busy Gran Via de Colón. Behind the Triunfo gardens Granada's first hospital is home to the University's headquarters. From the gardens along the river Genil you can access the Realejo, once the Jewish quarter, packed with an array of beautiful churches, palaces and museums. And here and there quiet squares everywhere and the relaxing sound of the ubiquitous water from the countless fountains.  

 

GRANADA IN WHITE: SNOWED GRANADA

 

The pictures in this gallery were taken in January 2003 and January 2010 when Granada got white for just a few hours. Snow falls in Granada are scarce and the snow very seldom settles. Therefore these are some quite unique pictures of Granada's snowed streets and gardens. For once-in-a-while shoots of the Alhambra and Generalife with their palaces, fountains, towers and gates covered in snow, click here to go to the Alhambra in White photo gallery.

FLAMENCO

 

Pictures from flamenco performances in some of Granada's most well-known venues. From la Chumbera to the zambras (caves) in Sacromonte, tablao Albaizin in San Cristobal, los veranos flamencos del Corral del Carbón and flamenco summer festivals in the villages of the province as well as many one-night-only shows in the Alhambra and Generalife. 

 

COUNTRYSIDE: FROM THE MOUNTAINS TO THE COAST (

 

The natural, cultural and scenic wealth of the Sierra Nevada massif is one of the greatest in Andalusia. With heights of over 3,000 m, it is the highest in western Europe, after the Alps. The villages in the Alpujarras, on the southern flanks of the Sierra Nevada, have retained their Berber architecture. Clinging one upon the other to the slopes of the Poqueira Gorge, Pampaneira, Bubion and Capileira are the most picturesque. Granada's Costa Tropical boast a subtropical climate with mild winters. It is not as popular with foreign tourists as Costa del Sol but from Salobreña to Almuñecar and far west into the Malaga province it  has some little, hiden, pretty coves as well as spectacular cliffs in the protected zone of Maro and Cerro Gordo. Inland, the defensive villages of La Vega, west of the capital, were a crucial frontier between the Christian and the Moorish kingdoms. Montefrío, Loja or Alhama are dramatically sited, showing their defensive past in their fortifications with amazing views of the olive groves. To the north, the Sierras of Baza and Castril are known worldwide because of its cave dwellings. No less than 5.000 of them exist in the region of Guadix


FESTIVALS: GRANADA DE "FIESTA"S:

 

Las Cruces de Mayo, la Feria del Corpus, la Toma, San Ceciclio, el Día de la Virgen... There are many a ocassion during the year for "granadinos" to celebrate and enjoy what we like the most: eating, drinking, singing, dancing and, above all, meeting our loved ones and have fun together. It is not without a good reason that "Fiesta" is one of the most known Spanish words, and if there is one place in the world where people know what it means that is Andalucia.

 

 ART & CULTURE: MUSEUMS, GALLERIES & EXHIBITIONS

 

El Parque de las Ciencias is the most visited and undoubtly the most fun musum in Granada. Tne recently opened Museo de la Memoria de Andalucia is next to it. Both can make for a great day outside the center. The Foundation Rodriguez-Acosta is a private cultural organization founded in 1941 after the death of the painter Jose Maria Rodriguez-Acosta. Granada has many art galleries and temporary exhibitions are held all over the year in different venues including the Sala de Exposiciones de Caja Granada. Open-air exhibitions are also frequent. 24 sculptures by Igor Mitoraj were displayed in Granada in February and March 2006. Igor Mitoraj was born in Oederan in 1944. Widely travelled he's absorbed the influences of sculptural technique from Greece, New York, Central America, and Italy.

  PEOPLE: GRANADA URBAN LANDSCAPE  S:

 

What would any city be without their people? One goes to India to see the Taj Mahal, to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower, to Granada to visit the world famous Alhambra but, at the end of the day, what makes each place distinct, unique, unrepeatable, aren't the monuments but the inhabitants. Granada is a lively town. With lots of sunny days and short winters granadinos like to enjoy life outdoors. Well-known within Spain for its University, there are about 80.000 students in Granada spread over five campuses. That makes one out of four people in Granada a student! Add more than 3 million tourists a year and you will start to understand why the squares and avenues of this city are always packed with people, its shopping streets always crowded, and its more than two thousand tapas bars filled to the brim. The pictures in this gallery are very special to me. All my love, gratitude and respect go to he people here portrayed. 
 

 


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Photo Spain  PHOTO SPAIN

Interesting how easy it is to see other countries thru your camera lens but how difficult to look at yours from an outsider perspective. It took me ten years to create this photo gallery to pay homage to my home country, but here it is. From the cold north west coasts of Galicia to my warm and  loved Canary Islands. From the Mediterranean flavour of Barcelona to the colourful life style of Andalusia. From Don Quixote's wind mills in Castilla to Madrid, the modern, lively Kingdom's capital in the middle of the Iberian Peninsula. Hope you will enjoy them all!


 

1 Old Delhi - Shah Jahan magnus opus - Stunning Jama Masjid Mosque LIFE THRU A LENS (WORLD PHOTO GALLERY)

A photo gallery of pictures taken world-wide, from the Mayan towns of Yucatan to the Ghats of Varanasi in India. From the Moai statues of Easter Island to the isles of Greece. From Paris to Lima, from Morocco to Costa Rica. Enjoy the journey!


 

FLAMENCO IN GRANADA

 

There are lots of places where to enjoy flamenco in Granada. They are all meant for tourists, so do not expect to find many or any local there, let alone any "real" gitano spontaneously singing, dancing or playing their guitar for you unless you happen to be the bride or broom in a gypsy wedding in which case, well, you woud have already seen and listened to "real" flamenco many a time before. But odds are that your only chances of enjoying some good flamenco would be to go to a flamenco place for tourists. Did I say "good flamenco"? Oh yes, indeed, because the fact that you will most probably be surrounded by a bunch of camera in hand tourists like you does not mean the performances you are going to see are bad at all. In the narrow streets of the Albaicin and the hills of the Sacromonte there are many tablaos and zambras where good live flamenco performances take place every evening. The artists are fantastic, terrific sometimes, so pasionate you will hardy believe they do exactly the same twice a day every day of the year. They are good at what they do. They will show you what a zambra "fiesta" gitana is. Do not be dissapointed, Gypsies and Flamenco people in Granada make up a fiesta every evening, lots of them actually, just for yo to see what they would only do in the intimacy of their homes otherwise. Dream of being part of them for an hour and enjoy their unique art.  






 THIS IS GRANADA:
 OPEN YOUR EYES

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All pictures by Victor Ovies. These images are copyrighted. Unauthorised reproduction or commercial use is sctrictly prohibited.