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Study Abroad Students Tour Islamic Granada

The highlight of many CEA study abroad programs for students are our excursions and cultural activities. One of the CEA's cultural activities in Granada is a tour ofthe Islamic Granada with Dr. Aurelio Ríos, Professor of Islamic Culture at the Centro de Lenguas Modernas University of Granada.

Dr. Rios explained that the Romans gave to the city the name of Illiberris, transformed into Elvira, and finally into Granada. We stopped by the Corral del Carbón, built in the 14th century as warehouse and merchants' accommodations. It is the only one preserved entirely in Spain.

From there, we went to the Alcaicería. This is now taken over by souvenir shops, but it was once a great bazaar where silk was made and sold. Alcaicería literally means either the "house of Caesar" or "belonging to Caesar" in recognition of the fact that Emperor Justinian granted the Moors permission to sell silk. We continued on by the Cathedral (the big mosque in the past) and the Madraza (first University in Granada ).

Next we stopped in Plaza Nueva and saw the Chancillería Real, a palace of Justice in Classicist style that was ordered by Felipe II in the 16th century. Today, it is the head office of the Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Andalucía (Superior High Court of Justice in Andalucia).

We walked down Darro Street by the Darro River to the ancient arab baths. The name of the river derives from Dauro (or dorado) and it refers to the gold that a long time ago it could be found at the river.

We hiked the Albaicin neighborhood. The Albaicín (a World Heritage Site) is one of the districts with more color, enchantment and history of the city of Granada. To wander around the Albaicín is to take a trip through its Moorish roots and delights the senses - to navigate its labyrinth of narrow streets perfumed of blossom smell and to contemplate the gardens of cármenes (its typical houses).

We took pictures at the Plaza de los Carvajales, the best vantage point from which to observe the Alhambra, the exquisite, reddish citadel built in the 11th century by the Moorish rulers and Spain´s most visited tourist attraction. Finally, we made our way down through one of the Calderería streets, a pedestrian street devoted exclusively to Arab tea shops and Moorish craft shops.
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