Teach Through Educational Travel: Granada, Spain
Granada is the capital city of Granada Province, Andalusia, Spain. Geographically, it’s located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and at the confluence of 4 (!) different rivers. Granada is most famous for the Alhambra, a Moorish Palace that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But there’s something else to do in Granada, one that will explore different cultures and textiles – shopping!
- Granada’s Old Arab market, called the Alcaiceria, is a must-see when you’re in Granada. While there are many different markets in Granada, this is the one that tourists hit, for both its history and beautiful items for sale. Translated, Alcaiceria means ‘belonging to Caesar,’ because the ancient Roman Empire granted the Moors in Granada permission to sell silk and other textiles. And, indeed, there is much silk for sale here. When you enter Alcaiceria, you’ll feel transported to Morocco, with narrow streets lined with colorful silk items for sale, and an Arabic air to the place. Read of the origins of this shopping district. As with so much of history, there is often a great event (earthquake, war, fire) that changes a city. How do you think Granada recovered from the fire that destroyed Alcaiceria?
- Read this travel writer’s experience in Alcaiceria. Watch this video of the Alcaiceria – did you see anything you’d want to buy? Have you ever shopped at a local market in a different country – and haggled for lower prices? Discuss how shopping customs differ around the world – what examples do you have to share?
- Check out this awesome slideshare on the history and architecture of the Alcaiceria. The thoughts raised on slide 63, about a modern shopping mall that is a copy of Alcaiceria, that is a copy of historic Alcaiceria, is not too far from the truth. Have you visited Disney’s Epcot Center, and walked through the Moroccan Souk? Can you find other shopping experiences that showcase flavors from another geographic area? It can range from small ethnic grocery stores to larger malls (such as the Epcot Moroccan Bazaar). Discuss the common threads of entrepreneurial spirit and cultural traditions in new lands, and how people always want a bit of their homeland with them – as well as experiencing new and different cultures, closer to home.