History of the Sierra Nevada, Granada, Andalucia, Spain


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Sierra Nevada has had a unstable past throughout history. In the first century, it was called the Monte Solarius and was used as the border between the Roman provinces of Hispania and Taraconense. In the Visigoth period, the name changed to Monte Solorio. Later, after the arrival of the muslims, and because of their strong presence in Granada (where the Alhambra Palace was built, one of the richest cultural landmarks of our country), the name was changed again to Yabal Sulayr (or Monte de Sol in Spanish - Sun Mountain in English). It has also been known as Monte de la Nieve (Snowy mountain), Sierra de la Helada (Icy snowy peaked mountains), and after the 18th Century, it took the current name of Sierra Nevada (Snowy-peaked mountains).

The Sierra Nevada has been a direct testament to the turbulent chapters in Spain's history. It was the staged scene of the arrival of the muslims, observer to the arrival of the Romans, and also direct witness to events such as the Rebelión de las Alpujarras (Rebellion of the Alpujarras) in the 16th Century.

The 18th Century marked the turning point in Sierra Nevada's history. During this time, Spain witnessed the period of the Ilustración, the Century of Lights, and a new interest in exploring and discovering the mountains in all of their detail. Frequent expeditions were made by zoologists, biologists, botanists, geologists, and experts from other scientific fields who found in Sierra Nevada a virgin paradise to explore.

In the world of literature, Sierra Nevada and its white, snowy peaks, have been a source of inspiration for many a writer.

Sierra Nevada's most important moment in modern history happened in 1986 when UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) declared it a Biosphere Reserve, and later in 1989 when it was declared a Natural Park, and again in 1999 when it reached the status of being a National Park.

Sierra Nevada as a Ski Resort

The beginning of its history as a ski resort started in the late 19th century, but the first historical reference of skiing in the Sierra Nevada are traced back to 1912, with the foundation of the Sierra Nevada Society, which is actually Spain's third oldest club.

In the 1920's, after the highway of Granada was modernized, Sierra Nevada became a more attractive vacation spot for the people of Granada, and little by little, skiing started to become a popular sport there.

In 1964 Cetursa, a business dedicated to reserving ski tickets, was born. From this point on, the development of the ski resort in Sierra Nevada has reached the capacity and fame seen today.

Ganivet and the Andalusian Fin

The writer, Angel Ganivet was from the city of Helsinki. There he developed his job at the consular, and defined the Sierra Nevada as the Finland of Andalucia because of its constant, picturesque blankets of snow, and images similar to those of his Scandanavian country.

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