From top left: The Alhambra, Generalife, Patio de los Leones in Alhambra, Royal Hall in Alhambra, Albayzín and Sacromonte, Huerto del Carlos, in Albayzín, Plaza Nueva, house in Albayzín, façade of the cathedral, bell tower of the cathedral, Royal Chapel
Flag of Granada
Coat of arms of Granada
Coat of arms
Granada is located in Spain
Location of Granada in Spain
Coordinates: 37°10′41″N 3°36′03″W / 37°10′41″N 3°36′03″W / 37.17806; -3.60083

Granada (ə/ NAH-də, Spanish: [ɡɾaˈnaða]) [a], locally [ɡɾaˈna][5] is the capital city of the province of Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, at the confluence of four rivers, the Darro, the Genil, the Monachil and the Beiro. It sits at an average elevation of 738 m (2,421 ft) above sea level, yet is only one hour by car from the Mediterranean coast, the Costa Tropical. Nearby is the Sierra Nevada Ski Station, where the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 1996 were held.

In the 2005 national census, the population of the city of Granada proper was 236,982, and the population of the entire urban area was estimated to be 472,638, ranking as the 13th-largest urban area of Spain. About 3.3% of the population did not hold Spanish citizenship, the largest number of these people (31%; or 1% of the total population) coming from South America. Its nearest airport is Federico García Lorca Granada-Jaén Airport.

The Alhambra, an Arab citadel and palace, is located in Granada. It is the most renowned building of the Islamic historical legacy with its many cultural attractions that make Granada a popular destination among the tourist cities of Spain. The Almohad influence on architecture is also preserved in the Granada neighborhood called the Albaicín with its fine examples of Moorish and Morisco construction. Granada is also well-known within Spain for the University of Granada which has an estimated 82,000 students spread over five different campuses in the city. The pomegranate (in Spanish, granada) is the heraldic device of Granada.


Arco/Puerta de Elvira in Granada
Historic map of Granada by Piri Reis

Pre-Umayyad history

The region surrounding what today is Granada has been populated since at least 5500 BC and experienced Roman and Visigothic influences. The most ancient ruins found in the city belong to an Iberian oppidum called Ilturir, in the region known as Bastetania. This oppidum eventually changed its name to Iliberri, and after the Roman conquest of Iberia, to Municipium Florentinum Iliberitanum.[6]

Founding and early history

The Umayyad conquest of Hispania, starting in AD 711, brought large parts of the Iberian Peninsula under Moorish control and established al-Andalus. Granada's historical name in the Arabic language was غرناطة (Ġarnāṭah).[6][7][8][9] The word Gárnata (or Karnatah) possibly means "hill of strangers". Because the city was situated on a low plain and, as a result, difficult to protect from attacks, the ruler decided to transfer his residence to the higher situated area of Gárnata. In a short time this town was transformed into one of the most important cities of al-Andalus.[6][8]

In the early 11th century, after the collapse of the Umayyad Caliphate, the Berber Zawi ben Ziri established an independent kingdom for himself, the Taifa of Granada. His surviving memoirs – the only ones for the Spanish "Middle Ages"[10] – provide considerable detail for this brief period. The Zirid Taifa of Granada was a Jewish state in all but name; the Muslim king is looked upon as a mainly symbolic figurehead. It was the center of Jewish Sephardi culture and scholarship.

Early Arabic writers repeatedly called it "Garnata al-Yahud" (Granada of the Jews).... Granada was in the eleventh century the center of Sephardic civilization at its peak, and from 1027 until 1066 Granada was a powerful Jewish state. Jews did not hold the foreigner (dhimmi) status typical of Islamic rule. Samuel ibn Nagrilla, recognized by Sephardic Jews everywhere as the quasi-political ha-Nagid ('The Prince'), was king in all but name. As vizier he made policy and—much more unusual—led the army.... It is said that Samuel's strengthening and fortification of Granada was what permitted it, later, to survive as the last Islamic state in the Iberian peninsula.

All of the greatest figures of eleventh-century Hispano-Jewish culture are associated with Granada. Moses Ibn Ezra was from Granada; on his invitation Judah ha-Levi spent several years there as his guest. Ibn Gabirol’s patrons and hosts were the Jewish viziers of Granada, Samuel ha-Nagid and his son Joseph.[11]

When Joseph took over after his father's death, he proved to lack his father's diplomacy, bringing on the 1066 Granada massacre, which ended the Golden age of Jewish culture in Spain.

By the end of the 11th century, the city had spread across the Darro to reach the hill of the future Alhambra, and included the Albaicín neighborhood (now a World Heritage site).[12] The Almoravids ruled Granada from 1090 and the Almohad dynasty from 1166.[13]

Nasrid dynasty—Emirate of Granada

Coat of arms of the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada in the Palacio de Comares room in the Alhambra.

In 1228, with the departure of the Almohad prince Idris al-Ma'mun, who left Iberia to take the Almohad leadership, the ambitious Ibn al-Ahmar established the last and longest reigning Muslim dynasty in the Iberian peninsula, the Nasrids. With the Reconquista in full swing after the conquest of Córdoba in 1236, the Nasrids aligned themselves with Fernando III of Castile, officially becoming the Emirate of Granada in 1238.[13] According to some historians,[who?] Granada was a tributary state to the Kingdom of Castile from that year. It provided connections with Muslim and Arab trade centers, particularly for gold from sub-Saharan Africa and the Maghreb, and exported silk and dried fruits produced in the area.[14] The Nasrids also supplied troops from the Emirate and mercenaries from North Africa for service to Castile.

Ibn Battuta, a famous traveller and an authentic historian, visited the Kingdom of Granada in 1350. He described it as a powerful and self-sufficient kingdom in its own right, although frequently embroiled in skirmishes with the Kingdom of Castile. In his journal, Ibn Battuta called Granada the "metropolis of Andalusia and the bride of its cities."[15]

During the Moor rule, Granada was a city with adherents to many religions and ethnicities (Arabs, Berbers, Christians and Jews) who lived in separate quarters. During this Nasrid period there were 137 Muslim mosques in the Medina (city) of Granada.[16]

Reconquista and the 16th century

The Capitulation of Granada by F. Padilla: Muhammad XII before Ferdinand and Isabella (circa 1882).

On January 2, 1492, the last Muslim ruler in Iberia, Emir Muhammad XII of Granada, known as "Boabdil" to the Spanish, surrendered complete control of the Emirate of Granada to Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, Los Reyes Católicos ("the Catholic Monarchs"), after the last battle of the Granada War.

The 1492 surrender of the Kingdom of Granada to the Catholic Monarchs is one of the most significant events in Granada's history as it marks the completion of the Reconquista. The terms of the surrender, expressed in the Alhambra Decree treaty, explicitly allowed the city's Muslim inhabitants, known as Mudéjars, to continue unmolested in the practice of their faith and customs. By 1499, however, Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros grew frustrated with the slow pace of the efforts of the first archbishop of Granada, Hernando de Talavera, to convert non-Christians to Christianity and undertook a program of forced Christian baptisms, creating the Converso (convert) class for Muslims and Jews. Cisneros's new tactics, which were a direct violation of the terms of the treaty, provoked the Rebellion of the Alpujarras (1568–71) centered in the rural Alpujarras region southwest of the city.

Responding to the rebellion of 1501, the Castilian Crown rescinded the Alhambra Decree treaty, and mandated that Granada's Muslims convert or emigrate. Under the 1492 Alhambra Decree, Spain's Jewish population, unlike the Muslims, had already been forced to convert under threat of expulsion or even execution, becoming Marranos (meaning "pigs" in Spanish), or Catholics of Jewish descent. Many of the elite Muslim class subsequently emigrated to North Africa. The majority of the Granada's Mudéjar Muslims converted so that they could stay, however, becoming Moriscos, or Catholics of Moorish descent ("Moor" being equivalent to Muslim). Both populations of conversos were subject to persecution, execution, or exile, and each had cells that practiced their original religion in secrecy.

Over the course of the 16th century, Granada took on an ever more Catholic and Castilian character, as immigrants came to the city from other parts of the Iberian Peninsula. The city's mosques were converted to Christian churches or completely destroyed. New structures, such as the cathedral and the Chancillería, or Royal Court of Appeals, transformed the urban landscape. After the 1492 Alhambra decree, which resulted in the majority of Granada's Jewish population being expelled, the Jewish quarter (ghetto) was demolished to make way for new Catholic and Castilian institutions and uses.


The fall of Granada has a significant place among the important events that mark the latter half of the Spanish 15th century. It completed the so-called "Reconquista" (or Christian reconquest) of the almost 800-year-long Islamic rule in the Iberian Peninsula. Spain, now without any major internal territorial conflict, embarked on a great phase of exploration and colonization around the globe. In the same year, the sailing expedition of Christopher Columbus resulted in what is usually claimed to be the first European sighting of the New World, although Leif Erikson is often regarded as the first European to land in the New World, 500 years before Christopher Columbus. The resources of the Americas enriched the crown and the country, allowing Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand to consolidate their rule as Catholic Monarchs of the united kingdoms. Subsequent conquests, and the Spanish colonization of the Americas by the maritime expeditions they commissioned, created the vast Spanish Empire: for a time, the largest in the world.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Granada
አማርኛ: ግራናዳ
العربية: غرناطة
aragonés: Granada
asturianu: Granada
Aymar aru: Granada
azərbaycanca: Qranada
تۆرکجه: قرانادا
বাংলা: গ্রানাডা
беларуская: Гранада
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Гранада
български: Гранада
brezhoneg: Granada (Spagn)
català: Granada
čeština: Granada
Cymraeg: Granada
dansk: Granada
Deutsch: Granada
eesti: Granada
Ελληνικά: Γρανάδα
эрзянь: Гранада
español: Granada
Esperanto: Granado
estremeñu: Graná
فارسی: گرانادا
Gaeilge: Granada
Gàidhlig: Granada
galego: Granada
한국어: 그라나다
Hausa: Granada
Hawaiʻi: Granada
հայերեն: Գրանադա
hrvatski: Granada
Bahasa Indonesia: Granada
Interlingue: Granada (Hispania)
íslenska: Granada
italiano: Granada
Jawa: Granada
ქართული: გრანადა
қазақша: Гранада
kernowek: Granada
Kiswahili: Granada
Kreyòl ayisyen: Grenade (Grenad)
Ladino: Granada
latviešu: Granada
Lëtzebuergesch: Granada
lietuvių: Granada
magyar: Granada
македонски: Гранада
Malagasy: Granada
मराठी: ग्रानादा
مصرى: جرانادا
Bahasa Melayu: Granada
Nederlands: Granada (stad)
नेपाली: ग्रानाडा
日本語: グラナダ
norsk: Granada
norsk nynorsk: Granada
occitan: Granada
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Granada
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਗਰਾਨਾਦਾ
پنجابی: غرناطہ
Plattdüütsch: Granada
português: Granada (Espanha)
Qaraqalpaqsha: Granada
română: Granada
Runa Simi: Granada
русский: Гранада
संस्कृतम्: ग्रानाडा
Scots: Granada
shqip: Granada
sicilianu: Granada
Simple English: Granada
slovenčina: Granada
slovenščina: Granada
کوردی: گرانادا
српски / srpski: Гранада
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Granada
suomi: Granada
தமிழ்: கிரனாதா
Taqbaylit: Granada
татарча/tatarça: Гранада
Türkçe: Granada
Twi: Granada
українська: Гранада
اردو: غرناطہ
Tiếng Việt: Granada
Volapük: Granada
Winaray: Granada
吴语: 盖纳达
粵語: 格蘭納達
Zazaki: Granada
中文: 格拉纳达