Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Alcaiceria, the Moorish Bazaar in Plaza de Bib-Rambla (Granada, Spain)

I found Alcaiceria, the Moorish bazaar in Granada (Andalucia, Spain) which is actually an old arab market, by pure accident. While Dutchman was happily tinkering away with his blackberry after our afternoon tapas, I decided to take a walk around Plaza de Bib-Rambla so I can take fotos. Naturally, the curious me who likes to inspect every corner of the square caught this narrow alley on sight that lead to a colourful and lively market. I was ecstatic with my find and can only hope the Dutchman will not get bored waiting for me while I peruse my new discovery.

An arched gateway, one of the side entrances of Alcaiceria, an old arab market, also known as the ‘zoco’ that fell into fire in 1843. The present day area is only a small fraction of the old market (that is said to reach all the way to Plaza Nueva in Albayzin).

This bazaar, literally tucked away neatly in the side streets of Plaza de Bib-Rambla used to be the city’s silk market during the Moorish days. Today it is still standing with the old remaining Moorish structure, although looking ramshackle with unfinished doorways, exposed steel bars and wirings and graffiti, I have to admit though there is an intriguing charm to it, maybe with the combination of its labyrinth of narrow alleys surely helps aid that depiction. The Alcaiceria is still a bazaar nowadays but mainly catering to the tourists. Arabic and Spanish products and crafts such as clothes, scarves, souvenirs, knick-knacks, personal and home accesories, lamps, pottery, jewelry, rugs, and the likes are sold here.

Moorish influences, the keyhole design, on the wall structures.

The labyrinth of narrow alleys in Alcaiceria.

A spacious area inside the bazaar's grid network of mazes.

My having my souvenir foto in the Alcaiceria bazaar. I look very tanned here, thanks to the 35C to 40C sun in Costa del Sol. I am liking my color.

Mudejar stucco details (carved plaster work) on the walls reflecting the Moorish past. 

Very typical Andalusia—black grilled balconies and hanging pots of plants. Not sure if there are still artesan shops here but in the past there were.

The Spanish abanico fan in lace.

Trivia: Did you know that Ermita is a place in the Philippines as well? It is the Old Manila, the old historical city of the country. In the Philippines, we also have the abanico as a typical accessory for the Philippine national dress, ‘Baro’t saya’, clearly an influence from the Spanish colonial era. We also call it the same but the spelling is—abaniko, with a K.

Visiting the Alcaiceria was like a déjà vu to me really. It brought back exotic memories of my Morocco trip last year. I might blog in detail my Marrakech souk experience one day, perhaps when I am done with the Spanish diaries.

The Alcaiceria bazaar is located just beside the Plaza de Bib-Rambla,

Travel Period: August 2010
Destination: Granada (Andalucia), Spain

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