From Campillo to Realejo
We begin our itinerary at the Puerta Real, one of the most dynamic centers of the city, where the streets of Reyes Católicos and Recogidas meet. From here, we take a short walk to the Plaza de Bibataubín which faces the front of the Bibataubín Palace, seat of the Country Council. Taking the Cuesta del progreso, we arrive at the Plaza de los Campos, where we find the Royal Hall of Santo Domingo (50), a palace with gardens known as the Palace of La Almanxarra, built in the 13th century and used as the residence of the Nasrid monarchs during the month of Ramadan. Only a tower of the original Moorish structure remains. Nearby, in the Plaza de Santo Domingo, is the Convent of Santa Cruz la Real (51), founded by the Catholic monarchs two months after they came to Granada. It consisted of three parts, although only the monastery is left following the demolition of the cloister and novitiate over a century ago. The Church of Santo Domingo (52), as well as the adjacent convent, was built at the beginning of the 16th century. The predominantly Gothic-style building is made of hewn stone.
Nearby, we have the Monastery of Las Comendadoras de Santiago, founded by Queen Isabella, which houses interesting sculptures by Alonso de Mena. On the Calle Ancha de Santo Domingo, we find a palace known as the Casa de los Girones (53). The 16th century building was erected over a Moorish palace preserving the lower floor which is reached through a stilted semicircular arch decorated with polychrome ceramic. Standing in the center of the Plaza del Realejo is the statue Christ of the Favors (54), dearly loved by the inhabitants of Granada. On one of the sides of the squares is the Military hospital, a 16th century structure which preserves a beautiful courtyard decorated with Plateresque motifs and a hall with a mudéjar paneled ceiling. Nearby, we see the Church of San Cecilio built between 1524 and 1534. Tradition says that on the same site there was once a church where the Mozarabs (Spanish Christians of Moslem Spain) worshiped before the Reconquest. The temple, with its Plateresque doorway, houses some remarkable statues, including the "Virgin of Bethlehem" by Alonso de Mena.
The Calle de Antequeruela Baja ends at the Alhambra Palace Hotel. On this street, we also find the Hotel-Museum of Manuel de Falla (55), former residence of the famous composer which displays some interesting memorabilia. Going up the Calle Antequeruela Alta, we find the modern building of the Manuel de Falla Concert Hall (56), built in 1978 by José María García de Paredes. In addition to the main concert hall, there is a library, and various rooms. Next to the Concert Hall is a lookout platform with a magnificent view of the city and the plains.
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Leaving the Concert Hall to our right, we come to the Villa of the Martyrs. After the Reconquest, in memory of the Christian martyrs who perished in the Arab dungeons, a hermitage was built on the high part of the hill. In 1563 there was a church and convent of the Barefoot Carmelites, where St. John of the Cross became prior between 1582 and 1587 and wrote part of his work. The convent was destroyed in 1842, and in its place, the recreational area was built, surrounded with magnificent gardens and charming nooks and crannies.
Returning to the esplanade in front of the Alhambra Palace Hotel, we take the Callejón del Niño del Royo in the direction of the Villa of the Rodríguez-Acosta Foundation (57), converted into a museum of the Gómez Moreno Institute. Built in 1920, it was the home of the Granada-born painter, Rodríguez-Acosta. The foundation was established by the artist to encourage the Arts and Sciences. An interesting collection of archeological artifacts is on display in the museum.
The Callejón del Niño del Royo will take us to the area of the Bermejas Towers, and from here we can see the Watchtower and the Adarves Garden of the Alhambra. The Calle Aire Alta, at the Villa of the Rodríguez-Acosta Foundation, brings us to the Cuesta del Realejo which descends to the square of the same name. In the square, we find the Convent of Santa Catalina de Siena (58), founded in 1523.
Proceeding from the Plaza del Realejo to the Plaza de Fortuny and from here by the Calle Santa Escolástica, we arrive at the Plaza del Padre Suárez. Here we encounter the Casa de los Tiros (59), an ancient fortress. The structure we see now was built between 1530 and 1540. Of interest from the original structures is the Golden Hall, especially its decoration and Plateresque doors.
The House of Father Suárez, birthplace of the renowned philosopher and theologian, formed part of the Casa de los Tiros. It is currently the seat of the Chancery Archives and houses valuable documentation on the Moors and the inquisition.
The Calle Santa Escolástica changes its name to Pavaneras as we continue, and to the left we find the Plaza de San Juan de la Cruz, where we see the building of the Military Headquarters (60). Opposite it, we see the Convent of the Barefoot Carmelites (61) which occupies the house where the famous General Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba lived. The group of building was reconstructed in 1629. The doorways of the church are decorated with statues by Alonso de Mena.
Returning to the Plaza de Mariana Pineda and to the Plaza de Bibataubín via the street of Carrera del Genil, we arrive at the 17th century Church of Nuestra Señora de las Angustias (62), patron saint of Granada. Flanking the façade of the temple are two towers crowned by spires. In the interior, priceless sculptures by artists including Risueño, José de Mora and Pablo de Rojas may be admired. The Baroque altarpiece of the main altar is especially noteworthy.
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