Granada

Granada

Overview
Granada is a city and the capital of the province of Granada, in the autonomous community
Autonomous communities of Spain
An autonomous community In other languages of Spain:*Catalan/Valencian .*Galician .*Basque . The second article of the constitution recognizes the rights of "nationalities and regions" to self-government and declares the "indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation".Political power in Spain is...

 of Andalusia
Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada
Sierra Nevada (Spain)
The Sierra Nevada is a mountain range in the region of provinces of Granada and Almería in Spain. It contains the highest point of continental Spain, Mulhacén at 3478 m above sea level....

 mountains, at the confluence of three rivers, the Beiro, the Darro and the Genil
Genil
The Genil River is the main tributary of the river Guadalquivir in Andalusia, Spain. The Roman Singilis, its modern name derives from the Moorish rendering of the Roman name: Sinyil, Sannil, and Sinnil. The source of the Genil is in the Sierra Nevada mountains, north of its highest peak Mulhacén....

. It sits at an elevation of 738 metres above sea level
Above mean sea level
The term above mean sea level refers to the elevation or altitude of any object, relative to the average sea level datum. AMSL is used extensively in radio by engineers to determine the coverage area a station will be able to reach...

, yet is only one hour from the Mediterranean coast, the Costa Tropical
Costa Tropical
Costa Tropical is a comarca in southern Spain, corresponding to the Mediterranean coastline of the province of Granada, Andalusia. It is also but less frequently called the “Costa de Granada” or "Costa Granadina"...

. Nearby is the Sierra Nevada Ski Station
Sierra Nevada Ski Station
The Sierra Nevada Ski Station is a ski resort in the Sierra Nevada mountains in the province Granada in southeastern Spain. The ski area is on the northern slopes of Veleta, the third highest peak in Spain. This is the most southerly ski resort of Europe....

, where the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 1996
FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 1996
The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 1996 were held at Sierra Nevada near Granada city in southeastern Spain, February 12-25, 1996. The championships were to be held in 1995, but were postponed due to lack of snow.-Medals table:...

 were held.

In the 2005 national census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

, 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.
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Encyclopedia
Granada is a city and the capital of the province of Granada, in the autonomous community
Autonomous communities of Spain
An autonomous community In other languages of Spain:*Catalan/Valencian .*Galician .*Basque . The second article of the constitution recognizes the rights of "nationalities and regions" to self-government and declares the "indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation".Political power in Spain is...

 of Andalusia
Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada
Sierra Nevada (Spain)
The Sierra Nevada is a mountain range in the region of provinces of Granada and Almería in Spain. It contains the highest point of continental Spain, Mulhacén at 3478 m above sea level....

 mountains, at the confluence of three rivers, the Beiro, the Darro and the Genil
Genil
The Genil River is the main tributary of the river Guadalquivir in Andalusia, Spain. The Roman Singilis, its modern name derives from the Moorish rendering of the Roman name: Sinyil, Sannil, and Sinnil. The source of the Genil is in the Sierra Nevada mountains, north of its highest peak Mulhacén....

. It sits at an elevation of 738 metres above sea level
Above mean sea level
The term above mean sea level refers to the elevation or altitude of any object, relative to the average sea level datum. AMSL is used extensively in radio by engineers to determine the coverage area a station will be able to reach...

, yet is only one hour from the Mediterranean coast, the Costa Tropical
Costa Tropical
Costa Tropical is a comarca in southern Spain, corresponding to the Mediterranean coastline of the province of Granada, Andalusia. It is also but less frequently called the “Costa de Granada” or "Costa Granadina"...

. Nearby is the Sierra Nevada Ski Station
Sierra Nevada Ski Station
The Sierra Nevada Ski Station is a ski resort in the Sierra Nevada mountains in the province Granada in southeastern Spain. The ski area is on the northern slopes of Veleta, the third highest peak in Spain. This is the most southerly ski resort of Europe....

, where the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 1996
FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 1996
The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 1996 were held at Sierra Nevada near Granada city in southeastern Spain, February 12-25, 1996. The championships were to be held in 1995, but were postponed due to lack of snow.-Medals table:...

 were held.

In the 2005 national census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

, 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%) coming from South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

. Its nearest airport is Federico García Lorca Airport Granada-Jaén Airport.

The Alhambra
Alhambra
The Alhambra , the complete form of which was Calat Alhambra , is a palace and fortress complex located in the Granada, Andalusia, Spain...

, a Moorish
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

 citadel and palace, is in Granada. It is the most renowned building of the Andalusian Islamic historical legacy with its many cultural attractions that make Granada a popular destination among the touristic cities of Spain. The Almohad
Almohad
The Almohad Dynasty , was a Moroccan Berber-Muslim dynasty founded in the 12th century that established a Berber state in Tinmel in the Atlas Mountains in roughly 1120.The movement was started by Ibn Tumart in the Masmuda tribe, followed by Abd al-Mu'min al-Gumi between 1130 and his...

 influence on architecture is preserved in the area of the city called the Albaicín with its fine examples of Moorish and Morisco
Morisco
Moriscos or Mouriscos , meaning "Moorish", were the converted Christian inhabitants of Spain and Portugal of Muslim heritage. Over time the term was used in a pejorative sense applied to those nominal Catholics who were suspected of secretly practicing Islam.-Demographics:By the beginning of the...

 construction. Granada is also well-known within Spain for the prestigious University of Granada
University of Granada
The University of Granada is a public university located in Granada, Spain that enrolls approximately 80,000 students. The university also has campuses in Ceuta and Melilla. Every year, over 2,000 European students enroll in the UGR through the Erasmus Programme, making it the most popular...

 which has about 80,000 students spread over five different campuses in the city. The pomegranate
Pomegranate
The pomegranate , Punica granatum, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing between five and eight meters tall.Native to the area of modern day Iran, the pomegranate has been cultivated in the Caucasus since ancient times. From there it spread to Asian areas such as the Caucasus as...

 (in Spanish, granada) is the heraldic
Heraldry
Heraldry is the profession, study, or art of creating, granting, and blazoning arms and ruling on questions of rank or protocol, as exercised by an officer of arms. Heraldry comes from Anglo-Norman herald, from the Germanic compound harja-waldaz, "army commander"...

 device of Granada.

History




Early history



The city of Granada's origins were as a well-defended Ibero-Celtic
Celtiberians
The Celtiberians were Celtic-speaking people of the Iberian Peninsula in the final centuries BC. The group used the Celtic Celtiberian language.Archaeologically, the Celtiberians participated in the Hallstatt culture in what is now north-central Spain...

 settlement. By the 5th century BCE, the Greeks had established a colony which they named Elibyrge or Elybirge (Greek: ). Under the ancient Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 rule of Hispania
Hispania
Another theory holds that the name derives from Ezpanna, the Basque word for "border" or "edge", thus meaning the farthest area or place. Isidore of Sevilla considered Hispania derived from Hispalis....

, in the early centuries CE, this city name had become "Illiberis". As Illiberis, the city minted its own coins as part of the economy of Hispania
Economy of Hispania
The economy of Hispania, or Roman Iberia, experienced a strong revolution during and after the conquest of the peninsular territory by Rome, in such a way that, from an unknown but promising land, it came to be one of the most valuable acquisitions of both the Republic and Empire and a basic pillar...

. During the fall of the Western Roman Empire the Visigoths maintained the city as an important centre of both ecclesiastical and civil administration and also established it as a military stronghold. It was reconquered and ruled by the Eastern Roman Empire for a century.

Moorish Al Andalus



In 711, the Moors, after the Umayyad conquest of Hispania
Umayyad conquest of Hispania
The Umayyad conquest of Hispania is the initial Islamic Ummayad Caliphate's conquest, between 711 and 718, of the Christian Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania, centered in the Iberian Peninsula, which was known to them under the Arabic name al-Andalus....

, occupied large parts of the Iberian Peninsula, thus establishing Al-Andalus (Moorish Spain). The Moors maintained much of the Roman legacy, repairing and extending the Roman-built infrastructure and using it for irrigation while introducing new agricultural practices and novel crops, such as citrus fruit and apricots in Granada. The Jewish people
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 had established a community on the edge of the city, called "Gárnata" or "Gárnata al-yahud" ('Granada of the Jews'), and with their help the Moorish forces under Tariq ibn Ziyad first took the city in 711, though it was not fully conquered until 713. The Jews referred to the city using the Iberian name "Ilbira", with the remaining Christian community calling it "Elvira". It became the capital of a province of the Caliphate of Córdoba
Caliphate of Córdoba
The Caliphate of Córdoba ruled the Iberian peninsula and part of North Africa, from the city of Córdoba, from 929 to 1031. This period was characterized by remarkable success in trade and culture; many of the masterpieces of Islamic Iberia were constructed in this period, including the famous...

.

Civil conflicts that wracked the Caliphate in the early 11th century led to the destruction of the city in 1010. In the subsequent reconstruction, the suburb of Gharnāṭah (Arabic: غَرْنَاطَة) was incorporated in the city, and the modern name derives from this . With the arrival of the Zirid
Zirid
The Zirid dynasty were a Sanhadja Berber dynasty, originating in modern Algeria, initially on behalf of the Fatimids, for about two centuries, until weakened by the Banu Hilal and finally destroyed by the Almohads. Their capital was Kairouan...

 dynasty in 1013, Granada became an independent emirate Taifa of Granada
Taifa of Granada
The Taifa of Granada was a Moorish kingdom in Al-Andalus, within the present day Granada Province in southern Spain...

. In 1066 a Muslim mob crucified the Jewish vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela and massacred about 4,000 Jews. This is arguably not the first big pogrom
Pogrom
A pogrom is a form of violent riot, a mob attack directed against a minority group, and characterized by killings and destruction of their homes and properties, businesses, and religious centres...

 on European soil, as pogroms require a form of government approval or implicit authorization, and nothing in the historical record shows that the rulers supported the massacre in any way. 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 Albayzín
Albayzín
El Albayzín is a district of present day Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain, that retains the narrow winding streets of its Medieval Moorish past...

 (also Albaicín or El Albaicín) neighborhood (a world heritage site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

). The Almohad dynasty ruled Granada in this period.

Nasrid Dynasty—Emirate of Granada



In 1228, with the departure of the Almohad prince, Idris, who left Iberia to take the Almohad leadership, the ambitious Ibn al-Ahmar established the longest lasting Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 dynasty on the Iberian peninsula - the Nasrids
Nasrid dynasty
The Nasrid dynasty was the last Moorish and Muslim dynasty in Spain. The Nasrid dynasty rose to power after the defeat of the Almohad Caliphate in 1212 at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa...

. With the Reconquista
Reconquista
The Reconquista was a period of almost 800 years in the Middle Ages during which several Christian kingdoms succeeded in retaking the Muslim-controlled areas of the Iberian Peninsula broadly known as Al-Andalus...

 in full swing after the conquest of Cordoba in 1236, the Nasrids aligned themselves with Ferdinand III of Castile
Ferdinand III of Castile
Saint Ferdinand III, T.O.S.F., was the King of Castile from 1217 and León from 1230. He was the son of Alfonso IX of León and Berenguela of Castile. Through his second marriage he was also Count of Aumale. He finished the work done by his maternal grandfather Alfonso VIII and consolidated the...

, officially becoming the Emirate of Granada in 1238.
According to some historians, Granada was a tributary state
Tributary state
The term tributary state refers to one of the two main ways in which a pre-modern state might be subordinate to a more powerful neighbour. The heart of the relationship was that the tributary would send a regular token of submission to the superior power...

 to the Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile was one of the medieval kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula. It emerged as a political autonomous entity in the 9th century. It was called County of Castile and was held in vassalage from the Kingdom of León. Its name comes from the host of castles constructed in the region...

 since that year. It provided connections with the Muslim and Arab trade centers, particularly for gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 from sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa as a geographical term refers to the area of the African continent which lies south of the Sahara. A political definition of Sub-Saharan Africa, instead, covers all African countries which are fully or partially located south of the Sahara...

 and the Maghreb
Maghreb
The Maghreb is the region of Northwest Africa, west of Egypt. It includes five countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania and the disputed territory of Western Sahara...

. The Nasrids also supplied troops for Castile, from the Emirate and mercenaries from North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

.

Ibne Batuta, a famous traveler 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. If it was really a vassal state, it was contrary to the policy of the Reconquista to allow it to flourish for almost two centuries and a half after the fall of Sevilla in 1248.

Reconquista and the 16th century


On January 2, 1492, the last Muslim ruler in Iberia, Emir Muhammad XII, known as Boabdil to the Spanish, surrendered complete control of the Emirate of Granada
Emirate of Granada
The Emirate of Granada , also known as the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada , was an emirate established in 1238 following the defeat of Muhammad an-Nasir of the Almohad dynasty by an alliance of Christian kingdoms at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212...

 to Ferdinand II and Isabella I, Los Reyes Católicos ('The Catholic Monarchs'), after the last battle of the Granada War
Granada War
The Granada War was a series of military campaigns between 1482 and 1492, during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, against the Nasrid dynasty's Emirate of Granada...

.

The 1492 surrender of the Islamic Emirate of Granada to the Catholic Monarchs
Catholic Monarchs
The Catholic Monarchs is the collective title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They were both from the House of Trastámara and were second cousins, being both descended from John I of Castile; they were given a papal dispensation to deal with...

 is one of the most significant events in Granada's history as it marks the completion of the Reconquista
Reconquista
The Reconquista was a period of almost 800 years in the Middle Ages during which several Christian kingdoms succeeded in retaking the Muslim-controlled areas of the Iberian Peninsula broadly known as Al-Andalus...

 of Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

. The terms of the surrender, expressed in the Alhambra Decree
Alhambra decree
The Alhambra Decree was an edict issued on 31 March 1492 by the joint Catholic Monarchs of Spain ordering the expulsion of Jews from the Kingdom of Spain and its territories and possessions by 31 July of that year.The edict was formally revoked on 16 December 1968, following the Second...

 treaty, explicitly allowed the city's Muslim inhabitants to continue unmolested in the practice of their faith and customs, known as Mudéjar
Mudéjar
Mudéjar is the name given to individual Moors or Muslims of Al-Andalus who remained in Iberia after the Christian Reconquista but were not converted to Christianity...

. By 1499, however, Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros grew frustrated with the slow pace of the efforts of Granada's first Archbishop, Fernando de Talavera, to convert non-Christians to Christianity and undertook a program of forced Christian baptisms, creating the Converso
Converso
A converso and its feminine form conversa was a Jew or Muslim—or a descendant of Jews or Muslims—who converted to Catholicism in Spain or Portugal, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries. Mass conversions once took place under significant government pressure...

 (convert) class for Moors and Jews. Cisneros's new tactics, which were a direct violation of the terms of the treaty, provoked an armed Muslim revolt centered in the rural Alpujarras
Alpujarras
thumb|250px|A typical Alpujarran village, [[Busquístar]].La Alpujarra is a landlocked historical region in Southern Spain, which stretches south from the Sierra Nevada mountains near Granada in the autonomous community of Andalusia. The western part of the region lies in the province of Granada...

 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 must 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 Marrano
Marrano
Marranos were Jews living in the Iberian peninsula who converted to Christianity rather than be expelled but continued to observe rabbinic Judaism in secret...

s (meaning "pigs" in spanish), or Catholics of Jewish descent. Many of the elite Muslim class susequently emigrated to North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

. The majority of the Granada's Mudéjar Muslims stayed to convert, however, becoming Morisco
Morisco
Moriscos or Mouriscos , meaning "Moorish", were the converted Christian inhabitants of Spain and Portugal of Muslim heritage. Over time the term was used in a pejorative sense applied to those nominal Catholics who were suspected of secretly practicing Islam.-Demographics:By the beginning of the...

s, or Catholics of Moorish descent. 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 mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

s 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
Jewish quarter (diaspora)
In the Jewish Diaspora, a Jewish quarter is the area of a city traditionally inhabited by Jews. Jewish quarters, like the Jewish ghettos in Europe, were often the outgrowths of segregated ghettos instituted by the surrounding Christian authorities. A Yiddish term for a Jewish quarter or...

 (ghetto
Ghetto
A ghetto is a section of a city predominantly occupied by a group who live there, especially because of social, economic, or legal issues.The term was originally used in Venice to describe the area where Jews were compelled to live. The term now refers to an overcrowded urban area often associated...

) was demolished to make way for new Catholic and Castilian institutions and uses.

Legacy



The fall of Granada
Battle of Granada
The Battle of Granada was a siege of the city of Granada fought over a period of months leading up to its surrender on January 2, 1492. The city was captured by the combined forces of Aragon and Castile from the armies of the Muslim Emirate of Granada...

 has a significant place among the important events that mark the latter half of the Spanish 15th century. It completed the Reconquista
Reconquista
The Reconquista was a period of almost 800 years in the Middle Ages during which several Christian kingdoms succeeded in retaking the Muslim-controlled areas of the Iberian Peninsula broadly known as Al-Andalus...

 of the eight hundred year-long Moorish occupation in the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

. 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
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

 resulted in what is usually claimed to be the first European sighting of the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

, although Leif Ericson is often regarded as the first European to land in the New World, 500 years before Christopher Columbus. The resources of the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

 enriched the crown and the country, allowing Isabella I and Ferdinand II
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand the Catholic was King of Aragon , Sicily , Naples , Valencia, Sardinia, and Navarre, Count of Barcelona, jure uxoris King of Castile and then regent of that country also from 1508 to his death, in the name of...

 to consolidate their rule as Catholic Monarchs of the united kingdoms. Subsequent conquests, and the Spanish colonization of the Americas
Spanish colonization of the Americas
Colonial expansion under the Spanish Empire was initiated by the Spanish conquistadores and developed by the Monarchy of Spain through its administrators and missionaries. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Christian faith through indigenous conversions...

 by the maritime expeditions they commissioned, created the vast Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

: for a time the largest in the world.

Heritage and monuments


The greatest artistic wealth of Granada is its Spanish-Muslim art — in particular, the compound of the Alhambra
Alhambra
The Alhambra , the complete form of which was Calat Alhambra , is a palace and fortress complex located in the Granada, Andalusia, Spain...

 and the Generalife
Generalife
The Palacio de Generalife was the summer palace and country estate of the Nasrid Emirs of the Emirate of Granada in Al-Andalus, now beside the city of Granada in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain.-History:...

. The Generalife is a pleasure palace
Palace
A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop. The word itself is derived from the Latin name Palātium, for Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills in Rome. In many parts of Europe, the...

 with attached romantic gardens, remarkable both for its location and layout, as well as for the diversity of its flowers, plant
Plant
Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. Precise definitions of the kingdom vary, but as the term is used here, plants include familiar organisms such as trees, flowers, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. The group is also called green plants or...

s and fountain
Fountain
A fountain is a piece of architecture which pours water into a basin or jets it into the air either to supply drinking water or for decorative or dramatic effect....

s. The Alhambra
Alhambra
The Alhambra , the complete form of which was Calat Alhambra , is a palace and fortress complex located in the Granada, Andalusia, Spain...

 is the architectural culmination of the works of Nasrid art  that were undertaken in the 13th and 14th centuries, with most of the Alhambra having been built at the time of Yusuf I
Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada
Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada was the seventh Nasrid ruler of the Moorish Emirate of Granada in Al-Andalus on the Iberian Peninsula. He was Sultan between 1333 and 1354.-Qualities:...

 and Mohammed V
Muhammed V, Sultan of Granada
Muhammed V was the eighth Nasrid ruler of the Moorish Emirate of Granada in Al-Andalus on the Iberian Peninsula.Muhammad V was the eldest son and heir of Yusuf I by his slave Butayna, born in 1338. He also had a younger full-blood sister, A'isha, two half brothers and five half-sisters...

, between 1333 and 1354.

At present, the buildings of Granada are typically bourgeois in appearance, with much of the architecture dating from the 19th Century, together with numerous Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 and Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 buildings.

The Alhambra
The Alhambra is a Nasrid
Nasrid dynasty
The Nasrid dynasty was the last Moorish and Muslim dynasty in Spain. The Nasrid dynasty rose to power after the defeat of the Almohad Caliphate in 1212 at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa...

 "palace city". It was declared a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

 by UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 in 1984. It is certainly Granada's most emblematic monument and one of the most visited in Spain. It consists of a defensive zone, the Alcazaba
Alcazaba
An alcazaba , alcáçova or alcassaba is a Moorish fortification in Spain and Portugal. The word derives from the Arabic word القصبة , a walled-fortification in a city....

, together with others of a residential and formal state character, the Nasrid Palaces and, lastly, the palace, gardens and orchards of El Generalife.

The Alhambra occupies a small plateau on the southeastern border of the city in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada
Sierra Nevada (Spain)
The Sierra Nevada is a mountain range in the region of provinces of Granada and Almería in Spain. It contains the highest point of continental Spain, Mulhacén at 3478 m above sea level....

 above the Assabica valley. Some of the buildings may have existed before the arrival of the Moors. The Alhambra as a whole is completely walled, bordered to the north by the valley of the Darro, to the south by the al-Sabika, and to the east of the Cuesta del Rey Chico, which in turn is separated from the Albaicín and Generalife, located in the Cerro del Sol.

In the 11th century the Castle of the Alhambra was developed as a walled town which became a military stronghold that dominated the whole city. But it was in the 13th century, with the arrival of the first monarch
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

 of the Nasrid dynasty
Nasrid dynasty
The Nasrid dynasty was the last Moorish and Muslim dynasty in Spain. The Nasrid dynasty rose to power after the defeat of the Almohad Caliphate in 1212 at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa...

, Mohammed I ibn Nasr (Mohammed I, 1238–1273), that the royal residence was established in the Alhambra. This marked the beginning of its heyday. The Alhambra became palace, citadel and fortress, and was the residence of the Nasrid sultans and their senior officials, including servants of the court and elite soldiers (13th-14th centuries).

In 1527 Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

 demolished part of the architectural complex to build the Palace
Palace of Charles V
The Palace of Charles V is a Renacentist construction in Granada, southern Spain, located on the top of the hill of the Assabica, inside the Nasrid fortification of the Alhambra. It was commanded by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, who wished to establish his residence close to the Alhambra palaces...

 which bears his name. Although the Catholic Monarchs had already altered some rooms of the Alhambra after the conquest of the city in 1492, Charles V wanted to construct a permanent residence befitting an emperor. Around 1537 he ordered the construction of the Peinador de la Reina, or Queen's dressing room, where his wife Isabel lived, over the Tower of Abu l-Hayyay.

There was a pause in the ongoing maintenance of the Alhambra from the 18th century for almost a hundred years, and during the French domination
First French Empire
The First French Empire , also known as the Greater French Empire or Napoleonic Empire, was the empire of Napoleon I of France...

 substantial portions of the fortress were blown apart. The repair, restoration and conservation that continues to this day did not begin until the 19th century. The complex currently includes the Museum of the Alhambra, with objects mainly from the site of the monument itself and the Museum of Fine Arts.
The Generalife


The Generalife is a garden area attached to the Alhambra which became a place of recreation and rest for the Granadan Muslim kings
Emirate of Granada
The Emirate of Granada , also known as the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada , was an emirate established in 1238 following the defeat of Muhammad an-Nasir of the Almohad dynasty by an alliance of Christian kingdoms at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212...

 when they wanted to flee the tedium of official life in the Palace. It occupies the slopes of the hill Cerro del Sol above the ravines of the Genil
Genil
The Genil River is the main tributary of the river Guadalquivir in Andalusia, Spain. The Roman Singilis, its modern name derives from the Moorish rendering of the Roman name: Sinyil, Sannil, and Sinnil. The source of the Genil is in the Sierra Nevada mountains, north of its highest peak Mulhacén....

 and the Darro and is visible from vantage points throughout the city. It was conceived as a rural village, consisting of landscaping, gardens and architecture. The palace and gardens were built during the reign of Muhammad III (1302–1309) and redecorated shortly after by Abu I-Walid Isma'il (1313–1324). It is of the Islamic
Islamic architecture
Islamic architecture encompasses a wide range of both secular and religious styles from the foundation of Islam to the present day, influencing the design and construction of buildings and structures in Islamic culture....

 Nasrid style, and is today one of the biggest attractions in the city of Granada. The Generalife was declared a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

 by UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 in 1984.

It is difficult to know the original appearance of the Generalife, as it has been subject to modifications and reconstructions throughout the Christian period which disfigured many of its former aspects. All buildings of the Generalife are of solid construction, and the overall decor is austere and simple. There is little variety to the Alhambra's decorative plaster
Plaster
Plaster is a building material used for coating walls and ceilings. Plaster starts as a dry powder similar to mortar or cement and like those materials it is mixed with water to form a paste which liberates heat and then hardens. Unlike mortar and cement, plaster remains quite soft after setting,...

, but the aesthetic is tasteful and extremely delicate. In the last third of the 20th century, a part of the garden was destroyed to build an auditorium
Auditorium
An auditorium is a room built to enable an audience to hear and watch performances at venues such as theatres. For movie theaters, the number of auditoriums is expressed as the number of screens.- Etymology :...

.

Cathedral
The cathedral
Cathedral
A cathedral is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop...

 of Granada is built over the Nasrid Great Mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

 of Granada, in the center of the city. Its construction began during the Spanish Renaissance
Spanish Renaissance
The Spanish Renaissance refers to a movement in Spain, emerging from the Italian Renaissance in Italy during the 14th century, that spread to Spain during the 15th and 16th centuries...

 in the early 16th century, shortly after the conquest of Granada
Granada War
The Granada War was a series of military campaigns between 1482 and 1492, during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, against the Nasrid dynasty's Emirate of Granada...

 by the Catholic Monarchs
Catholic Monarchs
The Catholic Monarchs is the collective title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They were both from the House of Trastámara and were second cousins, being both descended from John I of Castile; they were given a papal dispensation to deal with...

, who commissioned the works to Juan Gil de Hontañón
Juan Gil de Hontañón
Juan Gil de Hontañón was a master builder and Trasmeran mason of Spain during the 16th century. His first work was associated with Segovia, where he was associated with the school of Juan Guas...

 and Enrique Egas. Numerous grand buildings were built in the reign of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

, so that the cathedral is contemporary to the Christian palace of the Alhambra
Palace of Charles V
The Palace of Charles V is a Renacentist construction in Granada, southern Spain, located on the top of the hill of the Assabica, inside the Nasrid fortification of the Alhambra. It was commanded by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, who wished to establish his residence close to the Alhambra palaces...

, the University
University of Granada
The University of Granada is a public university located in Granada, Spain that enrolls approximately 80,000 students. The university also has campuses in Ceuta and Melilla. Every year, over 2,000 European students enroll in the UGR through the Erasmus Programme, making it the most popular...

 and the Real Chancillería (supreme court).

The church was conceived on the model of the Cathedral of Toledo
Cathedral of Toledo
The Primate Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Toledo, Spain, seat of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Toledo....

, for what initially was a Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 architectural project, as was customary in Spain in the early decades of the 16th century. However, Egas was relieved by the Catholic hierarchy in 1529, and the continuation of the work was assigned to Diego Siloe
Diego Siloe
Diego Siloe or Diego de Siloé was a Spanish Renaissance architect and sculptor, progenitor of the Granadan school of sculpture. He developed the majority of his work in Andalusia.-Biography:...

, who built upon the example of his predecessor, but changed the approach towards a fully Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 aesthetic.

The architect drew new Renaissance lines for the whole building over the Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 foundations, with an ambulatory and five naves instead of the usual three. Over time, the bishopric continued to commission new architectural projects of importance, such as the redesign of the main facade, undertaken in 1664 by Alonso Cano (1601–1667) to introduce Baroque elements. In 1706 Francisco de Hurtado Izquierdo and later his collaborator José Bada built the current tabernacle of the cathedral.

Highlights of the church's components include the Main chapel
Chapel
A chapel is a building used by Christians as a place of fellowship and worship. It may be part of a larger structure or complex, such as a church, college, hospital, palace, prison or funeral home, located on board a military or commercial ship, or it may be an entirely free-standing building,...

, where may be found the praying statues of the Catholic Monarchs
Catholic Monarchs
The Catholic Monarchs is the collective title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They were both from the House of Trastámara and were second cousins, being both descended from John I of Castile; they were given a papal dispensation to deal with...

, which consists of a series of Corinthian columns
Corinthian order
The Corinthian order is one of the three principal classical orders of ancient Greek and Roman architecture. The other two are the Doric and Ionic. When classical architecture was revived during the Renaissance, two more orders were added to the canon, the Tuscan order and the Composite order...

  with the entablature
Entablature
An entablature refers to the superstructure of moldings and bands which lie horizontally above columns, resting on their capitals. Entablatures are major elements of classical architecture, and are commonly divided into the architrave , the frieze ,...

 resting on their capitals
Capital (architecture)
In architecture the capital forms the topmost member of a column . It mediates between the column and the load thrusting down upon it, broadening the area of the column's supporting surface...

, and the vault
Vault (architecture)
A Vault is an architectural term for an arched form used to provide a space with a ceiling or roof. The parts of a vault exert lateral thrust that require a counter resistance. When vaults are built underground, the ground gives all the resistance required...

 over all. The spaces of the walls between the columns are perforated by a series of windows. The design of the tabernacle
Church tabernacle
A tabernacle is the fixed, locked box in which, in some Christian churches, the Eucharist is "reserved" . A less obvious container, set into the wall, is called an aumbry....

 of 1706 preserves the classic proportions of the church, with its multiple columns crossing the forms of Diego de Siloé.

Royal Chapel
The Catholic Monarchs
Catholic Monarchs
The Catholic Monarchs is the collective title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They were both from the House of Trastámara and were second cousins, being both descended from John I of Castile; they were given a papal dispensation to deal with...

 chose the city of Granada as their burial site by a royal decree dated September 13, 1504. The Royal Chapel of Granada, built over the former terrace of the Great Mosque, ranks with other important Granadan buildings such as the Lonja and the Catedral e Iglesia del Sagrario. In it are buried the Catholic Monarchs
Catholic Monarchs
The Catholic Monarchs is the collective title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They were both from the House of Trastámara and were second cousins, being both descended from John I of Castile; they were given a papal dispensation to deal with...

, their daughter Joanna of Castile
Joanna of Castile
Joanna , nicknamed Joanna the Mad , was the first queen regnant to reign over both the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon , a union which evolved into modern Spain...

 and Philip I of Castile
Philip I of Castile
Philip I , known as Philip the Handsome or the Fair, was the first Habsburg King of Castile...

. Construction of the Chapel started in 1505, directed by its designer, Enrique Egas. Built in several stages, the continuing evolution of its design joined Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 construction and decoration with Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 ideals, as seen in the tombs and the 17th and 18th century Granadan art in the Chapel of Santa Cruz. Over the years the church acquired a treasury of works of art, liturgical objects and relic
Relic
In religion, a relic is a part of the body of a saint or a venerated person, or else another type of ancient religious object, carefully preserved for purposes of veneration or as a tangible memorial...

s.

The Royal Chapel was declared a Historic Artistic Monument
Bien de Interés Cultural
A Bien de Interés Cultural is a category of the Spanish heritage register. This category dates from 1985 when it replaced the former heritage category of Monumento nacional in order to extend protection to a wider range of cultural property...

 on May 19, 1884, taking consideration of B.I.C. (Bien de Interés Cultural
Bien de Interés Cultural
A Bien de Interés Cultural is a category of the Spanish heritage register. This category dates from 1985 when it replaced the former heritage category of Monumento nacional in order to extend protection to a wider range of cultural property...

) in the current legislation of the Spanish Historical Heritage (Law 16/1985 of 25 June). The most important parts of the chapel are its main retable
Retable
A retable is a framed altarpiece, raised slightly above the back of the altar or communion table, on which are placed the cross, ceremonial candlesticks and other ornaments....

, grid and vault. In the Sacristy-Museum is the legacy of the Catholic Monarchs. Its art gallery is highlighted by works of the Flemish, Italian and Spanish schools.
Albayzín
The Albayzín (or Albaicín) is a neighborhood of Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

 origin, much visited by tourists who flock to the city because of its historical associations, architecture, and landscape.

The archeological findings in the area show that it has been inhabited since ancient times. It became more relevant with the arrival of the Zirid dynasty, in 1013, when it was surrounded by defensive walls. It is one of the ancient centers of Granada, like the Alhambra, the Realejo and the Arrabal de Bib-Rambla, in the flat part of the city. Its current extension runs from the walls of the Alcazaba
Alcazaba
An alcazaba , alcáçova or alcassaba is a Moorish fortification in Spain and Portugal. The word derives from the Arabic word القصبة , a walled-fortification in a city....

to the cerro of San Miguel and on the other hand, from the Puerta de Guadix to the Alcazaba.

This neighborhood had its greatest development in the Nasrid era, and therefore largely maintains the urban fabric of this period, with narrow streets arranged in an intricate network that extends from the upper area, called San Nicolás, to the river Darro and Calle Elvira, located in Plaza Nueva. The traditional type of housing is the Carmen granadino, consisting of a free house surrounded by a high wall that separates it from the street and includes a small orchard or garden.

In the Muslim era the Albaicín was characterized as the locus of many revolts against the caliphate. At that time it was the residence of craftsmen, industrialists and aristocrats
Aristocracy (class)
The aristocracy are people considered to be in the highest social class in a society which has or once had a political system of Aristocracy. Aristocrats possess hereditary titles granted by a monarch, which once granted them feudal or legal privileges, or deriving, as in Ancient Greece and India,...

. With the Christian reconquest
Reconquista
The Reconquista was a period of almost 800 years in the Middle Ages during which several Christian kingdoms succeeded in retaking the Muslim-controlled areas of the Iberian Peninsula broadly known as Al-Andalus...

, it would progressively lose its splendor. The Christians built churches and settled there the Real Chancillería. During the rule of Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

, after the rebellion and subsequent expulsion of the Moors
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

, the district was depopulated. In 1994 it was declared a Unesco
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

. Of its architectural wealth among others include the Ziri walls of the Alcazaba Cadima, the Nasrid walls, the towers of the Alcazaba, the churches of El Salvador (former main mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

), San Cristóbal, San Miguel Alto and the Real Chancillería.

Sacromonte
The Sacromonte neighborhood is located on the Valparaíso hill, one of several hills that make up Granada. This neighborhood is known as the old neighborhood of the gypsies, who settled in Granada after the conquest of the city. It is one of the most picturesque neighborhoods, full of whitewashed caves cut into the rock and used as residences. The sound of strumming guitars may still be heard there in the performance of flamenco cantes and "quejíos", so that over time it has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Granada.

At the top of this hill is the Abbey of Sacromonte and the College of Sacromonte, founded in the 17th century by the then Archbishop of Granada Pedro de Castro. The Abbey of Sacromonte was built to monitor and guard the relics of the evangelists of Baetica. Since the first findings the area has been a religious pilgrimage destination.

The abbey complex consists of the Catacombs, The Abbey (17th-18th centuries), the Colegio Viejo de San Dionisio Areopagita (17th century) and the Colegio Nuevo (19th century). The interior of the church is simple and small but has numerous excellent works of art, which accentuate the size and rich carving of the Crucificado de Risueño, an object of devotion for the gypsy people, who sing and dance in the procession of Holy Week. The facilities also include a museum, which houses the works acquired by the Foundation.

Charterhouse

The Charterhouse of Granada is a monastery of cloistered monks, located in what was a farm or Muslim almunia called Aynadamar ('Fountain of the Tears') that had an abundance of water and fruit trees. The initiative to build the monastery in that place was begun by Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba
Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba
Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba known as The Great Captain, Duke of Terranova and Santangelo, Andria, Montalto and Sessa, also known as Gonzalo de Córdoba, Italian: Gonsalvo or Consalvo Ernandes di Cordova was a Spanish general fighting in the times of the Conquest of Granada and the Italian Wars...

, known as El Gran Capitán
Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba
Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba known as The Great Captain, Duke of Terranova and Santangelo, Andria, Montalto and Sessa, also known as Gonzalo de Córdoba, Italian: Gonsalvo or Consalvo Ernandes di Cordova was a Spanish general fighting in the times of the Conquest of Granada and the Italian Wars...

. The charterhouse was founded in 1506; construction started ten years later, and continued for the following 300 years.

The Monastery suffered heavy damage during the Peninsular War
Peninsular War
The Peninsular War was a war between France and the allied powers of Spain, the United Kingdom, and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when French and Spanish armies crossed Spain and invaded Portugal in 1807. Then, in 1808, France turned on its...

 and lost considerable property in 1837 as a result of the confiscations of Mendizábal
Ecclesiastical Confiscations of Mendizábal
The Ecclesiastical Confiscations of Mendizabal, more often referred to simply as La Desamortización, encompasses a set of decrees from 1835-1837 that resulted in the expropriation, and privatization, of monastic properties in Spain....

. Currently, the monastery belongs to the Carthusians, reporting directly to the Archdiocese of Granada
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Granada
The Archdiocese of Granada is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Catholic Church in Spain. It was erected as the Diocese of Granada in the 3rd century, and was elevated to the rank of a metropolitan archdiocese by Pope Alexander VI on December 10, 1492, with the suffragan sees of...

.

The street entrance to the complex is an ornate arch of Plateresque
Plateresque
Plateresque, meaning "in the manner of a silversmith" , was an artistic movement, especially architectural, traditionally held to be exclusive to Spain and its territories, which appeared between the late Gothic and early Renaissance in the late 15th century, and spread over the next two centuries...

 style. Through it one reaches a large courtyard, at the end which is a wide staircase leading to the entrance of the church. The church, of early 16th century style and plan, has three entrances, one for the faithful and the other two for monks and clergy. Its plan has a single nave divided into four sections, highlighting the retable
Retable
A retable is a framed altarpiece, raised slightly above the back of the altar or communion table, on which are placed the cross, ceremonial candlesticks and other ornaments....

s of Juan Sánchez Cotán
Juan Sánchez Cotán
Juan Sánchez Cotán was a Spanish Baroque painter, a pioneer of realism in Spain. His still lifes, also called bodegones were painted in a strikingly austere style, especially when compared to similar works in Netherlands and Italy.- Life:Sánchez Cotán was born in the town of Orgaz, near Toledo, Spain...

 and the chancel's glass doors, adorned with mother-of-pearl, silver, precious woods and ivory. The presbytery
Presbytery (architecture)
The presbytery is the name for an area in a church building which is reserved for the clergy.In the oldest church it is separated by short walls, by small columns and pilasters in the Renaissance ones; it can also be raised, being reachable by a few steps, usually with railings....

 is covered by elliptical
Ellipse
In geometry, an ellipse is a plane curve that results from the intersection of a cone by a plane in a way that produces a closed curve. Circles are special cases of ellipses, obtained when the cutting plane is orthogonal to the cone's axis...

 vaulting
Vault (architecture)
A Vault is an architectural term for an arched form used to provide a space with a ceiling or roof. The parts of a vault exert lateral thrust that require a counter resistance. When vaults are built underground, the ground gives all the resistance required...

. The main altar, between the chancel arch and the church tabernacle
Church tabernacle
A tabernacle is the fixed, locked box in which, in some Christian churches, the Eucharist is "reserved" . A less obvious container, set into the wall, is called an aumbry....

, is gilded wood.

The Church tabernacle and Sancta Santorum is considered a masterpiece of baroque Spanish art in its blend of architecture, painting and sculpture. The dome that covers this area is decorated with frescoes by the Cordovan artist Antonio Palomino (18th century) representing the triumph of the Church Militant, the faith, and religious life.

The courtyard, with galleries of arches on Doric order
Doric order
The Doric order was one of the three orders or organizational systems of ancient Greek or classical architecture; the other two canonical orders were the Ionic and the Corinthian.-History:...

 columns opening on it, is centered by a fountain. The Chapter House of Legos is the oldest building of the monastery (1517). It is rectangular and covered with groin vaulting.

The Realejo


Realejo was the Jewish district at the time of the Nasride Granada. The Jewish population was so important that Granada was known from the Al-Andalus Country under the name of Granada de los judios (in Arabic, غرناطة اليهود gharnāṭah al-yahūd). It is today a district made up of many Andalusian villas, with gardens opening onto the streets, called Los Carmenes.

The Cartuja


This district contains the Carthusian monastery of the same name: Cartuja. This is an old monastery started in a late Gothic style with Baroque exuberant interior decorations. In this district also, many buildings were created with the extension of the University of Granada
University of Granada
The University of Granada is a public university located in Granada, Spain that enrolls approximately 80,000 students. The university also has campuses in Ceuta and Melilla. Every year, over 2,000 European students enroll in the UGR through the Erasmus Programme, making it the most popular...

.

Bib-Rambla


The toponym existed at the time of the Arabs. Nowadays, Bib-Rambla is a high point for gastronomy, especially in its terraces of restaurants, open on beautiful days. The Arab bazaar (Alcaicería) is made up of several narrow streets, which start from this place and continue as far as the cathedral

Sacromonte



The Sacromonte neighbourhood is located on the extension of the hill of Albaicín, along the Darro River. This area, which became famous by the nineteenth century for its predominantly Gitano inhabitants, is characterized by cave houses, which are dug into the hillside. The area has a reputation as a major center of flamenco song and dance, including the Zambra Gitana, Andalusian dance originating in the Middle East. The zone is a protected cultural environment under the auspices of the Centro de Interpretación del Sacromonte, a cultural center dedicated to the preservation of Gitano cultural forms.

Albayzín



Albayzín (also written as Albaicín), located on a hill on the right bank of the river Darro, is the ancient Moorish quarter of the city and transports the visitor to a unique world: the site of the ancient city of Elvira, so-called before the Zirid
Zirid
The Zirid dynasty were a Sanhadja Berber dynasty, originating in modern Algeria, initially on behalf of the Fatimids, for about two centuries, until weakened by the Banu Hilal and finally destroyed by the Almohads. Their capital was Kairouan...

 Moors
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

renamed it Granada. It housed the artists who went up to build the palaces of Alhambra on the hill facing it. Time allowed its embellishment. Of particular note is the Plaza de San Nicolas (Plaza of St Nicholas) from where a stunning view of the Alhambra can be seen. The artist George Owen Wynne Apperley RA RI (1884–1960) owned houses on both sides of the Placeta de San Nicolás, also known as El Mirador.

Zaidín


This blue collar neighbourhood houses 100,000 residents of Granada, making it the largest neighborhood or 'barrio'. Traditionally populated by gypsies, now many residents are from North and West Africa, China, and many South American countries. Every Saturday morning it hosts a large outdoor market or "mercadillo", where many gypsies come and sell their wares of fruits and vegetables, clothes and shoes, and other odds and ends.

Parks and gardens in Granada


The city of Granada has a significant number of parks and gardens with many historic and popular entailments, between these natural areas are the following:
  • The gardens of Alhambra
    Alhambra
    The Alhambra , the complete form of which was Calat Alhambra , is a palace and fortress complex located in the Granada, Andalusia, Spain...

     and Generalife
  • Campo del Príncipe Gardens
  • Gardens of the Royal Hospital
  • Gardens of Paseo del Salón and of la Bomba (BIC
    Bien de Interés Cultural
    A Bien de Interés Cultural is a category of the Spanish heritage register. This category dates from 1985 when it replaced the former heritage category of Monumento nacional in order to extend protection to a wider range of cultural property...

    )
  • Gardens of the Triumph
  • Gardens of Violón
  • The Córdoba Gardens Palace

  • Zaidín Park
  • Plaza de la Trinidad
  • 28 de Febrero Park
  • Almunia de Aynadamar Park
  • Federico García Lorca Park
  • Fuente Nueva University Park


Climate



Sport


Granada has three football teams:
  • Granada
    Granada CF
    Granada Club de Fútbol is a Spanish football club based in Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. Founded on 14 April 1931, it currently plays in La Liga, holding home matches at Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes....

    , in La Liga
    La Liga
    The Primera División of the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional , commonly known as La Liga or, for sponsorship reasons, Liga BBVA since 2008, is the top professional association football division of the Spanish football league system...

    .
  • Granada 74
    Granada 74 CF
    Granada 74 Club de Fútbol, S.A.D., commonly known as Granada 74, is a Spanish football team based in Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia...

    , in Tercera División
    Tercera División
    Tercera División is the fourth level of the Spanish football league system. The top three are the Primera División, often referred to as "La Liga" in English, the Segunda División, and Segunda División B.-Current Format:...

    .
  • Granada Atlético
    Granada Atlético CF
    Granada Atlético Club de Fútbol was a Spanish football team based in Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. Founded in 2004, it played its last season in Tercera División - Group 9, holding home games at Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes, with a capacity of 16,200 seats.-History:Granada...

    , in Tercera División
    Tercera División
    Tercera División is the fourth level of the Spanish football league system. The top three are the Primera División, often referred to as "La Liga" in English, the Segunda División, and Segunda División B.-Current Format:...

    .


Granada has a basketball team:
  • CB Granada
    CB Granada
    Club Baloncesto Granada, S.A.D. is a professional basketball team based in Granada, Andalusia. It plays in the LEB Oro. The team was founded in 1994 and has had notable players during its history, as Curtis Borchardt, Darvin Ham, Giorgos Sigalas, Scott Padgett, Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Richard...

    , in Liga ACB

Skiing:
  • FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 1996
    FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 1996
    The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 1996 were held at Sierra Nevada near Granada city in southeastern Spain, February 12-25, 1996. The championships were to be held in 1995, but were postponed due to lack of snow.-Medals table:...


Twin towns - sister cities

Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence
Aix , or Aix-en-Provence to distinguish it from other cities built over hot springs, is a city-commune in southern France, some north of Marseille. It is in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, in the département of Bouches-du-Rhône, of which it is a subprefecture. The population of Aix is...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte is the capital of and largest city in the state of Minas Gerais, located in the southeastern region of Brazil. It is the third largest metropolitan area in the country...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 Coral Gables
Coral Gables, Florida
Coral Gables is a city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, southwest of Downtown Miami, in the United States. The city is home to the University of Miami....

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 Marrakech
Marrakech
Marrakech or Marrakesh , known as the "Ochre city", is the most important former imperial city in Morocco's history...

, Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 Sharjah
Sharjah (city)
Sharjah is the third largest and most populous city in the United Arab Emirates. It is located along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula.Sharjah is the seat of government of the emirate of Sharjah...

, United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

 Tetuán, Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 Ghatampur
Ghatampur
Ghatampur is a city and a municipal board in Kanpur Nagar district in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is the headquarters of the taluk of the same name....

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 Tlemcen
Tlemcen
Tlemcen is a town in Northwestern Algeria, and the capital of the province of the same name. It is located inland in the center of a region known for its olive plantations and vineyards...

, Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...


External links