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History and visit of Granada city

History and what to visit in Granada

By in Andalusian Cities and Villages with 0 Comments

Short introduction to the history of Granada

Granada began life as an Iberian settlement in the Albayzín district. Muslim forces took over from the Visigoths in 711 and around the foot of the Alhambra hill in what was called Garnata al Jahud, the jewish quarter. Hence the name of  Granada comes from this district.
Granada also happens to be the Spanish name for a pomegranate, the fruit on the city’s coat of arms.

granada pomegranate city

pomegranate stained glass symbol of the city of Granada


After the fall of  Cordoba (1236) and Seville (1248), Muslims sought refuge in Granada, where Mohammed ibn Yusuf ibn Nasr had set up an independent emirate. Stretching from the Strait of Gibraltar to east of Almería, this ‘Nasrid’ emirate became the final remnant of Al-Andalus, ruled from the Alhambra palace for 250 years. Therefore Granada became one of the richest cities in medieval Europe, flourishing with  many traders and artisans. Two centuries of artistic and scientific splendour peaked under emirs Yusuf I and Mohammed V in the 14th century. But in the end the kingdom of Granada lost influence during the endless wars with the Christians.

On 2 January 1492 the conquering Catholic Monarchs, Isabel and Fernando, entered Granada ceremonially in Muslim dress. They set up court in the Alhambra for several years.

They then decided to expell the Muslims from Granada, leaving the Alpujarra region the only place for them to settle.
All the Jews were expelled from Spain in this time. After the revolts of the Alpujarras (1568 and 1571) the Muslims were expelled definitevely from Spain.  As a result Granada city sank into a deep decline from which it only began to emerge with the interest drummed up by the Romantic movement from the 1830s on. This set the stage for the restoration of Granada’s Islamic heritage and the arrival of tourism.

Modern history of Granada

Another black period occurred when the Nationalists took over Granada at the start of the civil war, and an estimated 4000 granadinos (Granadians) with left or liberal connections were killed, among them Federico García Lorca, Granada’s most famous writer.

What to visit in Granada apart from the Alhambra

La Madraza
The Bib Rambla square
The souk called Alcaicería
Acera del Darro
Albaicin District
The Cathedral and the graves of the Catholic Monarchs in the Royal Chapel

If you want to read more about Granada and her momuments you might be read the following:
Monuments free to visit on saturday in Granada
Carmen of Max Moreau in Granada
Flamenco in Granada


Holiday rentals in Granada



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