Monday August 17, 2015
Squares in Granada
It is known that Alhambra, Albayzin, Sacromonte, etc are a must in Granada, but what is about the squares of Granada? Squares are a meeting point for local people and visitors.
Everybody has his favorite square depending on the circumstances. The favorite squares for university students are Plaza de Gran Capitán and Plaza Einstein. The first one is located next to the Monasterio de San Jerónimo, at 5 minutes walk from the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting, it is a great starting point if you plan to take some tapas. The second one is in front of the University Campus of Fuentenueva and is full of tapas bars and pubs.
The favorite square for tourists is Plaza Nueva which is the starting point to the Albayzin. This square is full of bars and restaurants for all tastes, musicians and artists. There, you can catch the bus to get to the Albayzin also, or take a taxi to get to the airport, bus station or train station.
In this post, we want to show you the best squares in Granada in order to focus on their history and not only on the bars and restaurants in them.
It was built in 1238 in the Nasrid period. It was an important place because of its proximity to Major Mosque and the commercial area of Granada made up by the Alcaiceria and Zacatin. In Moorish times, commercial exchanges were held here. Later, in Catholic Monarchs times, the King Fernando transferred the square to the city as to be used as a place to walk and business, since then, it suffered many changes.
At present, there is a fountain in the middle of the square, Fuente de los Gigantes and it is surrounded by restaurants and cafés.
Plaza de la Romanilla
Since the Muslim period, it has been market, full stands of fruit, vegetable, dried fruit and nuts and spices. There was a place called “Caseta del Repeso” where frauds related to weight of foodstuff were denounced. For this purpose, they used a steel yard called “romanilla” which gave the name to this square.
There is a statue of a water seller in it. Because of its proximity to the Cathedral and its stands of tea and spices, this square is a must.
Plaza Mariana Pineda
I was built in the 20th century and it is dedicated to Mariana Pineda Muñoz, a Spanish heroine accused of belonging to a liberal conspiracy after she embroidered the words “Ley, Libertad, Igualdad” (Law, Freedom, Equality) on a flag. For this reason she was executed by garotte when was 26. There is a monument in her honor in the middle of the square. Every year, it is celebrated the anniversary of her death on the 26th May 1981. At present, it is the perfect square to relax after a long day visiting the city or taking a break after work.
Plaza de la Pescadería
This square is next to Plaza de la Romanilla and it was used as a commercial center but in this case there were stands of fish. They were built in the same period. Nowadays, you can fish is sold in this square but not in stands but in restaurants.
Plaza Nueva was built in the 16th century with the purpose of hiding the river Darro to create more space in the city because although there were many bridges which crossed the river, the movement of the people between the city and the Alhambra was so difficult. Plaza Nueva means new square and it was named that way because it was the first one that the Catholic Monarchs built in the city in the 16th century. It became one of the most important squares, festivals, jousts and executions were held here. The building of the Real Chancillería (Royal Chancellery) is from the 16th century, however the fountain was built in the 20th century.
In its origins (14th century) was just a small square called Rahbāt al-Ziyāda or square of the expansion which was joined to the Arco de las Pesas that was an arc where weights used by traders to swindle clients out were hung. Its current structure dates from 1571 after Moorish expulsion, when it was widened to build a slaughterhouse, some butcher’s shop and public wash house. Currently it is one of the more bustling squares of the Albayzin with many restaurants, cafés, tapas bars and a street market held twice a week.