Granada (Spain)

History of Granada


The first urban settlements in the current city of Granada date back to the middle of the 8th century BC, though it was not until the defeat of Carthage that this urban nucleus was recognized as a very important city and quickly assimilated by the Romans.

However, after the year 304, when it became the seat of one of the Christian Councils, something happened to the city because it was completely ruined and abandoned.

The great resurgence of Granada

During the first 200 years of the rule of the Emirate of Cordoba, the city remained in its ruinous state. However, after political instability due to quarrels within the Taifa Kingdoms, a new city was founded on the ruins abandoned by the Romans.

Thus, in the year 1013, Madínat Garmata was founded. In time, it would become Granada.
 
Alhambra (Granada - Spain)
The resurgence of Granada was not immediate. A long historical process of 400 years was necessary, in which there were stages of Zirí, Berber and, finally, Nasrid domination. The Kingdom of Granada was created and thus began the great resurgence of the city, exhibiting wealth and splendour never seen before.

Like any city of great strategic value, Granada was a totally walled complex and strongly protected by the Caliphate. That is why the city was one of the last Muslim redoubts to be reconquered after a bloody war that lasted until 1492.
 
After the reconquest, Granada experienced a stage of political and social transition that lasted for years. The Kingdom of Castile applied a policy of Christian reconversion by force and the total expropriation of Muslim assets, especially the mosques, which became churches. The remaining Muslims were expelled or prosecuted.

The early Christian era

The reconquest created an impressive mix of artistic and architectural styles whereby the Gothic style joined the Mudejar, creating buildings, temples and palaces of prodigious and impressive beauty, which gave the city great fame.
 
Alhambra (Granada - Spain)
However, many beautiful constructions of great patrimonial, artistic and historical value created by the Caliphate were ruined or destroyed after the reconquest became more virulent and extreme.

Throughout the following three centuries, the city experienced changes in the social, military, architectural, economic, political and cultural order until it formed an authentic fabric of identities within its urban area that persist in present-day Granada – for example, the famous Alhambra.
 
Political and economic instability worsened in the 17th century, which caused a dramatic decline in the population, motivated by popular insurrections. The one in 1648 was the most serious of all.

Not until the 18th century did a precarious socioeconomic balance allow Granada to recover its previous population. This led to a new urban reorganization that affected other emblematic constructions.

Napoleonic War and 19th century

When French troops invaded Spain, they found Granada converted into a sacred city of great wealth, thanks to its developed manufacturing and flourishing trade in goods and services. This made the city a strategic site for the Napoleonic armies.

The occupation lasted for three years, which affected the flow of merchandise and therefore the economic stability of its inhabitants, as they suffered the siege of the French and Spanish armies.
 
Granada (Spain)
The recovery after the withdrawal of the French was very slow, creating a true demographic and economic stagnation that lasted for a good part of the 19th century.

The situation was so desperate that Granada suffered a disastrous policy of confiscations that affected its great historical heritage. Not until the reign of Isabel II would the city finally begin to recover, thanks especially to investments in large industries such as the sugar industry and an ambitious health plan.
 
This new impetus resulted in a vast railway network and a new economic caste, though the patrimonial cost was very high. Together with Zaragoza, Granada is considered the Spanish city that suffered the greatest patrimonial destruction after the reconquest.

20th century and the future

With the arrival of the 20th century, Granada boasted impressive wealth and a prosperous economy thanks to agricultural industrialization that accelerated population growth. This was maintained for the first 30 years.

However, the economic depression of 1929 gave rise to a strong political dispute that lasted throughout the 1930s until the Spanish Civil War finally broke out, leaving the city under Franco's control.

During the Franco dictatorship, the city lost its economic drive. The arrival of democracy was necessary for Granada to recover its brilliance and fullness at a socioeconomic level.

Currently, and despite the terrible damage suffered over the centuries, Granada is one of the most beautiful, exotic and interesting cities in all of Spain and one of the most visited tourist destinations in Europe.
 
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    A Coruña
    Alicante
    Almeria
    Barcelona
    Bilbao
    Burgos
    Caceres
    Cadiz
    Cordoba
    Girona
    Granada
    Huelva
    Leon
    Madrid
    Malaga
    Murcia
    Oviedo
    Palma
    Salamanca
    Santander
    Santiago
    Segovia
    Seville
    Toledo
    Valencia
    Valladolid
    Zaragoza