November 27, 2021

Granada (Spanish pronunciation [ɡɾaˈnaða] or [ɡɾaˈna] in dialect) or Granata (/ ɡraˈnata /) is a Spanish city, capital of the Andalusian province of the same name.

Physical geography

The city is located in the eastern part of Andalusia in the Bético System, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada, located on the confluence of the Darro River with the Genil.


Despite the proximity to the sea and the flow of the Darro river within its walls, the climate is dry and continental. Rain is rare and the high mountains of the Sierra Nevada prevent the sea from mitigating the climate. For this reason, in winter temperatures often drop below freezing and in summer they almost always exceed thirty degrees. There is also a large temperature difference between day and night, often with a difference of fifteen degrees. The hours of sunshine during the year are 2662.

Origins of the name

In the 11th century the Ziridi moved the capital from Medina Elvira ("City Elvira") to Medina Garnata. The etymology of the toponym is still debated and could come both from the Arabic (Gar-anat, «Pilgrims' Hill»), as from the Latin (granatum, «pomegranate»).


Its best period was after the period in which al-Andalus (Islamic Spain) was first an Emirate and then Umayyad Caliphate, based in Cordoba. With the reinos de taifas, the city - which housed a rich and active Jewish community, settled above all in the Realejo district, so much so that the city of Granada was called the Jews - was governed from 1013 in a progressively independent way by the Zirids, a dynasty founded by Zāwī ibn Zīrī, a Berber who came from North Africa to participate in the wars triggered in al-Andalus by the collapse of the Caliphate. During the Islamic rule, Granada was one of the major trading cities for the exchange of precious stones, skins, weapons and gunpowder. Some of these objects also came from the Far East such as China and Mongolia, although the first importers of objects from these territories were the ancient Romans, in their period of great prosperity. During the Almoravid and Almohad domination, Granada lost its independence, forced to bow to the will of the lords who came from the Maghreb, but recovered its role when, in 1238, Muḥammad ibn Yūsufu ibn Nāẓar (or Naṣr) entered the city from the Puerta de Elvira to occupy the Rooster of the Wind Palace and link the fate of her Nasrid dynasty to the Sultanate of Granada. The Nasrids gave the city twenty sultans, until its fall in January 1492. The Nasrids transformed their capital into one of the most brilliant centers of the entire Iberian Peninsula, both from an economic and social point of view as well as from a purely cultural one. It was the last realm to be "reconquered" by the Christians who, for a long period, allowed it to survive, albeit in a state of substantial fiefdom, to the crown of Castile, until, in 1492, Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon forced the last Sultan Abū ʿAbd Allāh (the "Boabdil" of the Christian chronicles of the time) to surrender and exile. There is a place called "Sospiro del Moro" from where, before proceeding towards the coast, the panorama of the city is seen for the last time, and according to tradition, Boabdil stopped here to regret his lost kingdom. According to tradition, the latter's mother scolded him saying: "You cry like a woman because you didn't know how to defend your kingdom like a man". The fact that the "very Catholic" kings had decided to elect the palace of the sultans of the Alhambra as their royal seat in Granada (from the Arabic al-Ḥamrāʾ, or "the Red", perhaps due to the pink color of the wall structures or , perhaps, of the reddish color of the first sultan's beard) preserved it from the devastating damnatio memoriae of the victors. Today the Alhambra is considered one of the World Heritage Sites

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