The Ginkgos
of Gran Vía

Around Columbus statue, in Isabel la Católica square groups of people gather every day to take pictures of themselves at the foot of the sculpture. Few places like this symbolise the impulse that led to a radical transformation in the world known so far. In Granada, partly by chance, the conditions were created that would open a decisive stage for humanity.

With the fascination that causes this piece of History, located in the heart of the city, no one seems to look back nor to notice the Gran Vía, that modernist avenue that was built with the profits that were generated with the sugar beet plantations on the coast, especially in the years after the loss of Cuba, at the beginning of the twentieth century. A back and forth story.

If we compare them with the countless milestones that this city has had from the Arab Granada to the Baroque one, passing through the Renaissance, the modernist, the literary, the artistic (in painting, sculpture, flamenco, dance, music), the ginkgoes in Gran Via, planted some years ago due to the remodelling of the pavements and lighting, seem like they are very little thing.

But these millennial trees that inspired Goethe, with their leaves brought from Orient, have given a new light to a centenary avenue, marking the seasons, from the shoots of Spring to the desolated branches of Winter, through the ochre colour of Autumn. They celebrate what nature has of art and inspiration for art, which is a recreation of life.

If you are one of those people who are taking photos of the Monument and, when you finish, you turn around for a moment and look at the Gran Vía, you may want to walk a few steps. To the left you will see the Capilla Real (but, before, to the right, do not miss an ice cream in Los Italianos, you will appreciate it). A little further, also to the left the Cathedral is visible.

If you go on walking, you will find, to the right, the old building of the Bank of Spain, today the Andalusian Public Prosecutor’s Office. Finally, at the fifth cross street starting from Isabel La Católica square, you will find Galería Ginkgo, with an Exhibition of an American Painter, Paul Roberts, which would not have been possible if Christopher Columbus had not existed.

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