9 Must-See Andalusian Islamic Heritage in Spain!
If you’re wondering, “Which part of Spain has Islamic history?”, the answer is none other than Andalusia, Southern Spain.
A solo trip to Andalusia is simply incomplete without visiting Andalusia’s Islamic Heritage, such as The Alhambra, and Cordoba Mezquita, to name a few.
While these Islamic sites in Spain are undoubtedly famous throughout the world, there are also other options that you should consider!
Read on to know the entire list of 9 Must-See Andalusian Islamic Heritage in Spain!
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Alhambra Palace-Fortress Complex in Granada
Top of the list when it comes to Andalusia’s Islamic Heritage is none other than The Alhambra.
One of the most famous Islamic monuments in the world is this palace and fortress, which was the royal residence of the Nasrid Dynasty of Granada, also known as the Emirate of Granada, who were the Moorish monarchs.
Some top sights you can’t miss out on are the Nasrid Palaces, where you can see the Court of the Lions, Janat-al-Arif (known as Palacio de Generalife), and the thriving vegetation around the Alhambra.
- Address: C. Real de la Alhambra, s/n, 18009 Granada, Spain
- Opening hours: 8:30 am – 8:00 pm daily
- Alhambra Map for your visit.
Mezquita de Cordoba (Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba)
One of Europe’s most significant Islamic Historic Places is the Mezquita de Cordoba.
Initially built as a mosque, known as the Mosque of Abd al-Rahman I, this monumental site has expanded as the years passed.
Today it operates as a Cathedral. So, you can’t pray inside during your visit.
However, you can still see traces of Islamic structures like mihrab, the Islamic slogan of La Ila Ha Il Allah engraved on the wall, and of course, its famous Andalusian Red-and-White colored horseshoe arches.
Go on the best of Cordoba tour to hear the hidden stories of the Mezquita, and understand which part of it is the Islamic area and which part has expanded. This tour also includes a visit to the Old Jewish quarter, so absolutely worth going on!
- General Visit Entry Fee: 11€ per adult
- Address: C. Cardenal Herrero, 1, 14003 Córdoba, Spain
- More information here
Madinat Al-Zahra, Cordoba
Another significant Islamic site in Spain is none other than Madinat Az-Zahra.
Madinat al-Zahra is a 10th Century city of the Umayyads, and it was built from scratch by order of the Caliph!
Here, you see ruins of rooms that illustrate the luxury and extravagance of the town, Aljama mosque, and The Alcazar — where the Caliph used to live.
Get a guided tour of the Madinat al-Zahra for the best experience!
In the end, you’ll see the beautiful Gardens with a backdrop view extending over Wadi al-Kabir valley and the whole of Cordoba.
- Address: Ctra. Palma del Río, km 5.5, 14005 Córdoba, Spain
- Click here for the latest opening hours
The Minaret of Seville’s Great Mosque — La Giralda, Seville
Seville has a city symbol that will instantly make one recognize it: the bell tower of Seville Cathedral.
It is a city symbol and a sign of Seville’s Islamic History.
This bell tower is iconic, making it one of the important Islamic sites in Seville.
This tower was once the minaret of Seville’s Central Mosque.
Also, did you know you can see a view of Seville from the top of the Giralda tower?
- Monday: 11:00 am – 3:30 pm (free tour with audio guide in Spanish and English – advanced booking only from 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm)
- Tuesday – Saturday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Sunday: 2:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Address: Av. de la Constitución, s/n, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
Arab Baths of Ronda
One of the important Arab cities (medina) in Spain is Ronda
A hidden treasure of Al-Andalus is the ancient Arab Baths in the legendary town of Ronda.
What’s interesting about this Islamic Heritage in Spain is the sophisticated water system using a traditional Moorish waterwheel to deliver water from the Las Culebras stream.
You can also see different types of bathing rooms from cold, warm and hot.
Because the Moorish people were Muslims, these baths also served as ablution areas before praying at the Mosque next to it.
- Address: Calle San Miguel, Barrio de Padre Jesús, s/n, 29400
- Click here for opening hours and the latest admission ticket price.
The Real Alcazar of Seville
For the remains of Seville’s Muslim History, check out the Real Alcazar of Seville.
Built by Abd ar-Rahman II as a fortress, the Real Alcazar (also known as Dar al-Imarah) is the oldest palace in Europe and is still used as a royal residence.
Join a guided tour for the best Alcazar experience, where you can learn more about the former palace of the Moorish kings of Al-Andalus and its diverse architecture from Islamic to Renaissance if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, this place is not to be missed.
If you don’t want to join the guided tour, get the Skip-the-line tickets to the Giralda here.
- Address: Patio de Banderas, s/n, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
- Opening hours: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm daily
The Alcazaba of Malaga
If you’re solo traveling to Malaga, the Alcazaba is an Andalusian Islamic Heritage that you should check out.
The Alcazaba was built atop a hill in the city by the same Moorish rulers who constructed the Alhambra on the ruins of a Roman bastion.
Here, you can see impressive details of Andalusian architecture, tranquil gardens, and of course… a panoramic view of the sea from the Alcazaba.
Also, if you want to know what life was like during the Andalusian period, joining a guided tour is a must, as you can hear how Muslims then lived and hidden tales of this palace.
Address: C/ Alcazabilla, 2, 29012 Málaga, Spain
Palacio de la Madraza (Madrasa of Granada)
Founded by Nasrid monarch Yusuf I, Palacio de la Madraza was once the Muslim School of Koranic Law site.
Since it is located in Granada, you can expect the interior to be similar to the architectural styles, like the Moorish tiles, identical to the ones in Alhambra.
Today, this Madraza is now home to Granada University and is located opposite the Royal Chapel.
- Address: Calle Oficios, 14, 18001
- Opening hours: 10:30 am – 8:00 pm daily.
Albaicin Old Town, Granada
While in Granada, don’t forget to stroll around and explore Granada’s most beautiful district, Albaicin!
Also known as Albaycín, this UNESCO World Heritage site is the remains of the Arab quarter, rich with Moorish and traditional Andalusian architecture, like remains of minarets and Spanish-Arab cisterns adorned with flowering balconies and cobbled medieval streets.
Albaicin is located on the adjacent hill in front of the Alhambra, and is separated by the Darro river.
The Albaicin is also where you’ll get to access the Grand Mosque of Granada.
MST Tip: Let the guard know you’re Muslim if you come outside during prayer times.
If you want a complete Islamic Spain tour, do both the Alhambra and the Albaicin so you’ll get a complete Islamic Heritage tour understanding in Granada.
But if you would like to experience the Albaicin, sunset’s the best time for exploration as you can see the city’s best spots during the best time of the day.
Takeaway — 9 Must-See Andalusian Islamic Heritage in Spain!
There you have it, the best nine Must-See Andalusian Islamic Heritage in Spain!
We hope this has given you inspiration on where to stop by in Spain for a life-changing experience that will take you back to the times the Moorish ruled Andalusia.
For other inspirations on what to do in Andalusia, check out this post on why Muslim Solo Travelers should visit Andalusia.
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