Over the centuries Granada has captured the imagination and hearts of many artists, writers and poets. These Granada quotes are the result of the timeless nature of the city. It doesn´t fail to enchant any visitor.
Here are some of the most well known quotations about the city of Granada. From the viewpoints across to the Alhambra from the Albaicin quarter, the narrow stepped alleys of the Realejo quarter or the sunsets with Sierra Nevada mountains. All of these panoramas leave indelible memories on the visitor.
Perhaps these quotations reflect your feelings and memories of the city. Or you may even have evening written your own Granada quotes.
15 Granada Quotes
To be Blind in Granada
Francisco de Icaza
A Mexican poet who spent most of his life in Spain (b.1863 – d.1925) perhaps wrote the most reknown phrase about the city of Granada. You can even see it on ceramic tiles, inside the Alhambra and on a fountain in Granada.
Give him alms, woman,that there is nothing in life as the sadness of being blind in Granada.
Dale limosna, mujer, que no hay en la vida nada como la pena de ser ciego en Granada.
Lope de Vega
Together with Cervantes, he is one of the most important literary figures in Spanish history. b. 1562 d.1635
Lope Félix de Vega y Carpio is known to be one of the greatest dramatists in Western Literature.
His quote about Granada is heavenly:
“I do not know what to call this land upon which I stand. If what is beneath my feet is paradise, then what is the Alhambra? Heaven?”
No sé si llamé cielo a esta tierra que piso, si esto de abajo es el paraíso ¿Qué será la Alhambra, cielo?.
Granada UNESCO City of Literature
In 2014 Granada was the first Spanish language city to be recognised as UNESCO City of Literature. It has been home to poets, intellectuals and many artists for centuries so this title fits the city well. Also home to Federico Garcia Lorca, in fact his legacy created part of the cultural city that exists today.
With many literary events throughout the year Granada is totally linked to publishing, literature, books and poetry. It really is an idyllic place for writers to congregate to.
Federico Garcia Lorca
There are many Granada quotes by Lorca. As he was born here and lived for many years in Granada his work and the city are totally intertwined. Some of the most evocative phrases are these three:
In the waters of Granada, only the sighs row
Por el agua de Granada, sólo reman los suspiros.
Granada is defenceless before the people; because against flattery nothing or no one can defend itself
Granada está indefensa ante la gente; pues ante los halagos nada ni nadie tiene manera de defenderse.
Granada is the perfect dream and fantasy, forever ineffable… Granada will always be more malleable than philosophical, more lyric than dramatic
Granada es apta para el sueño y el ensueño, por todas partes limita con lo inefable… Granada será siempre más plástica que filosófica, más lírica que dramática.
Born in Seville in 1875, Antonio Machado was an important Spanish Poet. But he also succumbed to Granadas magic.
“Every city has its own charm, but Granada has its own and that of the rest¨
Todas las ciudades tienen su encanto, Granada el suyo y el de todas las demás.
Miguel de Unamuno
Recently potrayed in the Alejandro Amenabar film While at War. Miguel de Unamuno was a novelist, playwright and philosopher. (b. 1864 d. 1936) A friend of Angel Ganivet (Granada born poet) Unamuno visited the city in September 1903 to give a conference and meet up with Angel Ganivet.
My eyes filled with tears; not tears of sorrow nor of happiness, but of fulfilment of a quiet, hidden life in Granada
Las lágrimas me subían a los ojos, y no eran lágrimas de pesar ni de alegría, eran de plenitud de vida silenciosa y oculta por estar en Granada.
In Summer 2010 the first lady, Michelle Obama visited Granada with her daughter Sasha. Visiting the Alhambra Palace, a Flamenco Cave in the Sacromonte district and enjoying an Ice cream at Los Italianos on Gran Via.
The brief visit to Granada clearly was memorable:
“Granada is a treasure and it will stay in my mind as my most beautiful memory, for a long time”.
Granada es un tesoro y permanecerá en mi mente como el más bello recuerdo por mucho tiempo.
The French Painter stayed in Andalucia in 1910-1911. Visiting the Alhambra Palace and Sacromonte, this short time in Granada inspired 35 works of art by the artist. He also spent time in Seville and Madrid during his stay in Spain.
Granada is so moving that it stimulates and melts all of the senses
Granada emociona hasta deshacer y fundir todos los sentidos.
François-René de Chateaubriand (b.1768 d.1848) a French diplomat and writer, known as the founder of Romaticism in French Literature. Wrote The Last of the Abencerrajes in 1826, recounting the downfall of the last rulers of the Alhambra palace. He also appreciated the city as we can see in these quotes:
“Granada is like the beautiful, delicate land of our dreams; all those who see her, dream of visiting her again”
Granada es como la novia de cristal de nuestros sueños, todo el que la ve, tiene la ilusión de volver a visitarla.
“Granada, last refuge from a tiring life. Eternal garden, shows remnants of paradise that still remain, in only a few privileged places on earth”.
Granada, último asilo de la cansada vida. Jardín eterno, muestra vestigios, que aún nos quedan, del paraíso en muy pocos lugares privilegiados de la tierra.
Although the most known work of Ernest Hemingway is probably For Whom the Bell Tolls, the American writer travelled extensively in Spain. Ronda, Pamplona, Madrid and Granada were all places that he spent time in.
His first trip to Spain was in 1923. Later in 1937/38 he reported on the Spanish Civil War and returned to Andalucia in 1959.
He highly recommended visiting Granada, not only in his writings but in this quote too:
“If you were to visit just one city in Spain, it should be Granada”
“Si tuviéramos que visitar una sola ciudad en España, esa debería ser Granada
One of the most widely read French authors, (b.1802 – d.1870) his most known work is The Three Musketeers. Dumas also visited Granada, in 1846 he came to attend the wedding of the Duke of Montpensier. Later writing about the trip in his book From París to Cádiz.
Granada clearly left a lasting impression on the frenchman.
The truth is, that I’m beginning to wonder if there is any greater pleasure in life than visiting Granada. …and it is going back and visiting it again.
“La verdad, señora, empiezo a pensar que hay un placer todavía mayor que el de ver Granada. Y es el de volverla a ver”.
Although the visit only lasted 4 hours in the Summer of 1997. Bill Clinton visited the Alhambra palace and manage to contemplate the Sunset from the Mirador de San Cristobal.
It is famously noted that the US President said:
Granada, the most beautiful sunset in the world
Granada, la puesta de sol más bella del mundo.
The quotation by Shakespeare himself is also well known but also quie true, even all these centuries on.
“All curious travellers keep Granada in their hearts, even without having visited it”
Todo curioso viajero guarda a Granada en su corazón, aún sin haberla visitado.
Maurits Cornelis Escher, a Dutch graphic artist and mathematician (b.1898 – d.1972) was blown away by the plasterwork, geometry and tessalations inside the Alhambra palace. So much so he visited twice in 1936 and 1937.
“The Alhambra in Granada is the most fertile source of inspiration of all those from which I have drunk”.
La Alhambra de Granada es la fuente de inspiración más fértil de todas de las que he bebido.
Iraqi Vice President at the time of his visit to Granada. Invited by Francisco Franco in 1974. He only ever visited two western countries in his lifetime, Spain and France.
I will never say that I trod on Granada but that I embraced it
Yo no diré nunca que he pisado Granada sino que la he abrazado.
Estrella Morente is a reknown Flamenco Singer born in the Sacromonte district. Her words resume the magical draw that the city has.
“Granada is part of my skin, my eyes, my hair, my song, my food, my children, my parents…I will always return to Granada”.
“Granada forma parte de mi piel, de mis ojos, de mi pelo, de mi cante, de mi comida, de mis hijos, de mis padres… Yo siempre volveré a Granada”