The street Calle Elvira – the Muslim zanagat Ilbira– was the main and longest street in Islamic Granada from its development in the 11th century. It started at the Puerta Elvira, in the northern part of the Medina’s walled area, and reached the heart of the same area where it ended at the then uncovered river, the río Darro.
In the beginning it was a street with an even more irregular and narrow shape than it has today. Despite its lack of width, the street was notably wider than those in the surrounding urban area, characteristic of medieval Muslim cities, which combined with its considerable length and strategic location from the very beginning turned it into a key artery for the development of flows of people and goods in the city, and as a result, for the busy commercial activity being established down it.
Calle Elvira The urban meeting point of Muslim and Christian Granada.
Calle Elvira intersected Calle Zacatín, the other major commercial artery of the medina, since up to the end of the 19th century, that street was longer than at present; until the development of Gran Vía de Colón entailed the elimination of around half its length.
The opening of Gran Vía meant Calle Elvira would definitively lose its historical role as the main transit route in the city and would now have a secondary role in the urban structure in the city centre.
Along it there are landmarks that bear witness to the urban importance the street had in the past. The street starts with the monumental Puerta de Elvira and there is another historic structure of Muslim architecture near by, El Baño Hernando de Zafra, as well as a number of Christian buildings such as the parish church of San Andrés and the church of Los Hospitalicos.
This street is a part of our Granada Must-Do Tour