Our hotel, Casa de Federico, was within spitting distance of the city cathedral, and so it was the first bit of sightseeing we did while in Granada.
The church is tucked tightly into Granada’s streets, making it difficult to judge its size from the outside. Once inside, I was completely surprised by the enormity of the cathedral. Cavernous. Massive granite columns support a roof that seems a mile away, making the chapel incredibly spacious. The organs are golden and just ridiculously huge. Despite the grandeur, though the church pulls off a serene atmosphere.
Gothic in design, the cathedral was built between the 16th and 18th centuries — a bit later than those in much of Spain; Catholicism had to be patient while Isabella & Ferdinand conquered the Moorish capital of Al-Andalus.
Speaking of the Catholic monarchs, the adjacent Royal Chapel was built to be their final resting place. Less breathtaking than the cathedral, the chapel is still worth a visit because of the sepulchers of the famous king & queen, which are engraved with likenesses of the royals. I read that the Isabella’s head appears more sunk down into its pillow because she was thought to be wiser than Ferdinand.
The Royal Chapel and the Cathedral are in the heart of the city center, close to one of Granada’s main intersections: Calle Colón and Calle Reyes Católicos. Towering there, where the streets named after them literally meet, is a statue of the famous encounter between Isabella and Christopher Columbus — a meeting which would change the history of the world.