If a divine ray took away the Alps Mountains, Sierra Nevada would dominate Central Europe regarding altitude. Did you know that?
It seems that, around thirty-five million years ago, the planet was happily shaken in this area and two of the three highest peaks of the Spanish Peninsula were formed: the Veleta, 3,395 meters (11,135 ft) and the Mulhacén, 3,482 meters (11,413 ft) . We will not leave you wondering, and we'll tell you that the Aneto Peak in the Pyrenees takes the second place of this trio with its 3,404 meters (11,168 ft).
Returning to Granada, we can tell you that these mountains have been called many different names in the last twenty centuries: like the Solarius, the Monte del Sol ( Sun Mountain) and the Monte del Aire ( Air Mountain), but at the end, back in the eighteenth century, the Sierra Nevada, which means the Snowy Mountain Range, was the one that succeeded . Today is a national park located between Granada and Almeria which, take our word for it, is a must see.
But the Sierra Nevada not only gives joy to many skiers and lovers of nature, no. It also has its legends, so, we are going to tell you the one that explains why its highest peak is called the way it is. How much of it is true? As true as legends are… some more than others.
Muley Hassen was Boabdil’s father, whose place in history is established as the last Moorish king of al-Andalus. The thing is, he fell in love with Isabel de Solís, a Christian who he decided to call Zoraida or Soraya, and that love affair unleashed the fury of the legitimate wife of Muley, who had to think the best way to take revenge thoroughly.
She managed to alienate her husband with his own brother, El Zagal, and the matter ended up in a civil war. Things didn’t go well for Muley, who had to abdicate the winner, infuriating incidentally, his heir Boabdil. With the result that Boabdil took up arms against his uncle and they both fought until the Christians took advantage of the circumstances and took everything.
Muley died saddened and disappointed, and he left the word to be buried in the mountains near Granada. To honour his memory, his favourite woman, Zoraida, came up with the name of Muley Hassen, today Mulhacén, to the large peak that dominates this Sierra Nevada, nowadays full of beauty and ski slopes.