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Sunday, 14 July 2013


When Muslims arrived, in the seventh century, to a country called “Hispania”, attracted by rumours of riches and treasures, they discovered a fertile paradise valley, located in a basin bordered by mountains. That place had everything they cherished: good soil, rivers that ran freely and the natural protection of their mountains, so they stayed there.

Captivated by its beauty, they called it The Lecrin Valley (or "Valley of Joy"). It was also known to the Arabs as "district of sugarcane", since this region was on the way to the sugar cane plantations of the coast of Granada.

In addition, in that valley people lived happily for a long time, until at the end of the fifteenth century, they went into exile in North Africa, expelled by the Catholic Monarchs in the Reconquer Wars.

More than five hundred years after this garden full of crops and fruits, still retains its Moorish essence. In this valley, a heady fragrance of orange blossoms and lemon trees scent the air in spring. In addition, old flourmills, Muslims castles, canals and charming cottages, spread  over this entire quiet and bright region. It also enjoys a real microclimate, where there is little rainfall.

The Lecrin Valley is just 25 minutes from Granada going to the north and if you take the opposite direction, you can get to the Tropical Coast. Within 40 minutes you can ski in the Sierra Nevada heading east. In addition, in less than an hour you can visit  the villages of the Alpujarra. Therefore, for all this, its situation is magnificent and privileged.

This land and the villages and people who live in them (there are 23 villages), still remains serene and beautiful, receiving each year thousands of visitors from around the world, who want to find the authenticity of the simple life where one has the impression that time has stopped there.


Their houses are whitewashed inside and out, with this typical whiteness of all Andalucia, with a closed structure and the houses attached to each other forming blocks that are separated by narrow lanes.

Besides being an ideal place for relaxation and rest, so is to live fully the nature performing a wide range of activities such as gliding, horseback riding, hiking through rivers and mountains, cycling or practicing birds watching. In addition, very close to the valley you can ski in Sierra Nevada, play golf or practise scuba diving, snorkelling or surfing in the nearby waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

You can also make many different cultural routes, visiting their mills, orchards and castles, as well as visiting local festivals or open-air markets of farmers and artisans, enjoying its art and gastronomy, among many other activities. Not to mention the nearby city of Granada,  where  so many attractions are offered, the first of which is the world famous Alhambra Palace.

And among all those Muslims castles, there is that of Mondújar, where the Nazaries Kings of Granada, were buried and where it is believed that the last burial which was held, was of Morayma, wife of Boabdil.

Morayma, the last Moorish queen, was born in Loja (west of Granada) and was the daughter of Aliatar, Boabdil’s partner in the struggles in which they participated. One day when he was returning from one of his daily battles their eyes met forever.

At 15 she married Boabdil, in a royal wedding with great pomp and joy, surely one of the few happy moments of his life. According to historians, she was a beautiful woman with big eyes and sweet face.

A few days after the wedding, Mulay Hacén (Boabdil’s father) imprisoned his son, separating him from his young wife and locking her in a Carmen (house with garden and orchard) in Granada. For years he was a woman abandoned by her husband's ongoing battles and had to bear a life of constant confinement, away from her husband and her two sons (Ahmed and Yusuf), kidnapped by the Catholic Monarchs during 9 years, in return to release Boabdil, until capitulations signed by Boabdil took place.

Meanwhile all of this happened, Morayma lived with her mother in law, Aixa, a resentful and spiteful woman, due to the neglect of her husband, who fell into the arms of his new favourite, Zoraida (a Christian woman named Isabel de Solis) who would become his second wife. For this reason, Aixa was constantly encouraging his son to fight against his father.

It is said that one day Morayma consulted a wise astrologer, very famous in the kingdom, about the horoscope of King Boabdil. And the old man replied: "The stars say that the last Mazarin King will live long but also he will suffer a lot".

When she was 26 years old, shortly before her husband went into exile in Fez (Morocco), she died. She was buried in the village of Mondujar, along with the other nazaries kings. Her body was placed on the ground facing The Mecca, fulfilling her wishes, since Morayma was a very pious woman.

Surely Boabdil loved her loyal and faithful wife very much, since after leaving for the exile he never got married again. 

It is very paradoxical that this queen, whose life was not nearly as sweet as a fairy tale, it is finally resting somewhere in the beautiful  “Valley of Joy”, a place where Muslims were captivated and enthralled for centuries. And when you visit it some time, then you will realise and understand why .....


  1. It romantics story and yet very sad, the truth is personally like to be queen for a day no more.
    In life everything had a price.
    We live better, without official acts pressures, persecuted and escorted.
    Being independent, no one will know, lead a quiet life and peaceful.

    1. Yes MADRILEÑA, many times it happens that money and power don't bring happiness and even less don't bring freedom, which is something much more important than power and money.


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