The Madrasah or Madraza - the First 13th-Century University in GranadaThe Madraza was the first university in Granada, founded by Yusuf I in 1349, who gave the building all the Nasrid splendorous style.
There were relevant poets, philosophers, politicians, doctors, etc... among its students and teachers. For instance, Ibn al-Khatib or Ibn Zamrak, whose poems decorate the walls and fountains of the Alhambra.
Located in the heart of Granada, in Oficios Street, is the only Nasrid building that remains in this area, a very important area at that time since here was the main Mosque of Granada and the main bazaar: the Alcaicería.
The name Madrasah (Madraza in Spanish) comes from the Arabic word "medersa", meaning Koranic school or college.
The Catholic Monarch, Ferdinand II, gave the building to the Cabildo´s house (town hall) in 1500, after the content of its library was burnt by Cisneros in Plaza Bib-Rambla. It was, sadly, one of the biggest public bonfires across Europe.
And since then it has been completely transformed to reach its current baroque appearance in 1722, demolishing the remains of the former Arab construction.
Until 1841 the Town Hall was located here - also known as the Old Town Hall - and finally, the state recovered it in 1943.
Nowdays is part of the University of Granada and became the headquarters of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes Nuestra Señora de las Angustias (Royal Academy of Fine Arts).
From its Nasrid splendorous past we can see only the Oratory and its beautiful mihrab. Admire its amazing octagonal dome. However, it underwent extensive restoration work. The rests of its white marble facade are at the Archaeological Museum of Granada (temporarily closed).
Contact Information and How to Get to the Madraza
Address:The Madraza is located at the heart of Granada in Calle Oficios, near the Cathedral, in front of the Royal Chapel (Capilla Real).
Phone:958 99 63 50.
How to get to Madraza:You can reach the Madraza by the city bus, routes 4, 8, 11, 21, 33 (the bus stop is 'Gran Via 1' or Cathedral), routes C31, C32, C34 (the bus stop is 'Plaza Isabel Catolica').
Opening Hours of MadrazaMonday to Sunday from 10:00 to 20:00 (summer time) and from 10.00 to 19:00 (winter time). Guided tours everyday at 10:30 (in Spanish)
Madraza EntranceEntrance fee: 2 euros.
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Opinions about the Madraza and Granada
A hidden Moorish treasure that was covered over for yearsBecause it was covered over by the Christian’s it wonderfully preserved and well worth a visit.
I have left my heart in GranadaOf all of the cities in the world I have visited, I have left my heart in Granada. It has a warm feel, and feels like home for me (Paul).