The Albaicin has some of the best views of the Alhambra. It is not a place to explore for anybody who has difficulty in walking because many of the cobbled streets are steep with many steps.
It is pointless to use a map when you are in the centre of the Albayzin, the streets are just too complicated. It is best to forget the maps for a while and just head in general directions. You will normally be pleasantly surprised by what you will find.
The traditional type of house is the carmen, consisting of a house surrounded by a high wall that separates it from the street which includes a small orchard or garden. You may see that the houses have metal bars on them called "rejas". Many years ago it was common for young couples to conduct a courtship through the rejas with a boy visiting a girl behind the bars. The father would be content that nothing too serious could happen and the bars would protect the chastity of his daughters.
The Albayzin owes its present name to the inhabitants of the city of Baeza, called "Beatia" by the Romans, who were banished after the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa and settled here outside the walls. Other linguists believe that the name derives from the Arabic al-bayyazin meaning "suburb of falconers". However this is disputed.
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