Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia
Comarcas of Spain
In Spain traditionally and some autonomous communities are divided into comarcas. Some comarcas have a defined status, are regulated by law and their comarcal councils have some power. In some other cases their legal status is not formal for they correspond to natural areas, like valleys, river basins and mountainous areas, or to historical regions overlapping different provinces and ancient kingdoms. In such comarcas or natural regions municipalities have resorted to organizing themselves in mancomunidad, like the Taula del Sénia, the only legal formula that has allowed those comarcas to manage their public municipal resources meaningfully. There is a comarca, the Cerdanya, divided between two states, the southwestern half being counted as a comarca of Spain, while the northeastern half is part of France. In English, a comarca is equivalent to a district, area or zone. Alto Almanzora Poniente Almeriense Níjar Los Vélez Levante Almería Bahía de Cádiz Bajo Guadalquivir called Costa Noroeste Campo de Gibraltar La Janda Campiña de Jerez called Marco de Jerez Sierra de Cádiz Alto Guadalquivir Campiña de Baena Campiña Este - Guadajoz Campiña Sur Los Pedroches Subbetica Valle del Guadiato Valle Medio del Guadalquivir Granadin Alpujarra Comarca de Alhama Comarca de Baza Comarca de Guadix Comarca de Huéscar Comarca de Loja Granadin Coast Los Montes Lecrin Valley Vega de Granada Andévalo Condado de Huelva Cuenca Minera de Huelva Costa Occidental de Huelva Huelva Sierra de Huelva Alto Guadalquivir - Cazorla La Campiña El Condado Área Metropolitana de Jaén La Loma Las Villas Norte Sierra Mágina Sierra de Segura Sierra Sur de Jaén Antequera Axarquía Costa del Sol Occidental Málaga Serranía de Ronda Valle del Guadalhorce Aljarafe Bajo Guadalquivir Campiña Estepa Marisma Sierra Norte Sierra Sur La Vega Alto Gállego Bajo Cinca called Baix Cinca Cinca Medio Hoya de Huesca called Plana de Uesca Jacetania La Litera called La Llitera Monegros Ribagorza Sobrarbe Somontano de Barbastro Bajo Martín Jiloca Cuencas Mineras Andorra-Sierra de Arcos Bajo Aragón Comunidad de Teruel Maestrazgo Sierra de Albarracín Comarca, named after the Sierra de Albarracín mountain range Gúdar-Javalambre Matarraña called Matarranya Aranda Bajo Aragón-Caspe called Baix Aragó-Casp Campo de Belchite Campo de Borja Campo de Cariñena Campo de Daroca Cinco Villas Comunidad de Calatayud Ribera Alta del Ebro Ribera Baja del Ebro Tarazona y el Moncayo Valdejalón Zaragoza Avilés Caudal Eo-Navia Gijón / Xixón Nalón Narcea Oriente Oviedo / Uviéu Serra de Tramuntana Es Raiguer Es Pla Migjorn Llevant Menorca Eivissa Formentera Añana Aiara / Ayala Agurain / Salvatierra Vitoria-Gasteiz Zuia Arabako Mendialdea / Montaña Alavesa Arabako Errioxa / Rioja Alavesa Arratia-Nerbioi Busturialdea Durangaldea Enkarterri Greater Bilbao Lea-Artibai Uribe Bidasoa-Txingudi Debabarrena Debagoiena Goierri Donostialdea Tolosaldea Urola Kosta Fuerteventura Lanzarote Las Palmas El Hierro La Gomera La Palma Tenerife Valle de Güímar Valle de la Orotava Icod Daute Isla Baja Isora-Teno Tenerife Sur Tenerife Sur Acentejo Metropolitana-Anaga Comarca de Santander Besaya Saja-Nansa Costa occidental Costa oriental Trasmiera Pas-Miera Asón-Agüera Liébana Campoo-Los Valles Alt Penedès Anoia Bages Baix Llobregat Barcelonès Berguedà Garraf Maresme Moianès Osona Vallès Occidental Vallès Oriental Alt Empordà Baix Empordà Baixa Cerdanya Garrotxa Gironès Osona Pla de l'Estany Ripollès Selva Alt Urgell Alta Ribagorça Baixa Cerdanya Garrigues Noguera Pallars Jussà Pallars Sobirà Pla d'Urgell Segarra Segrià Solsonès Urgell Val d'Aran Alt Camp Baix Camp Baix Ebre Baix Penedès Conca de Barberà Montsià Priorat Ribera d'Ebre Tarragonès Terra Alta Llanos de Albacete Campos de Hellín La Mancha del Júcar-Centro La Manchuela Monte Ibérico–Corredor de Almansa Sierra de Alcaraz y Campo de Montiel Sierra del Segura Campo de Montiel.
Alcarria conquense. La Mancha de Cuenca. Manchuela conquense. Serranía Alta. Serranía Baja. Serranía Media-Campichuelo. Campiña de Guadalajara Campiña del Henares La Alcarria La Serranía Señorío de Molina-Alto Tajo Campo de San Juan La Jara La Campana de Oropesa Mancha Alta de Toledo Mesa de Ocaña Montes de Toledo La Sagra Sierra de San Vicente Tierras de Talavera Torrijos La Moraña Comarca de Ávila Comarca de El Barco de Ávila - Piedrahíta Comarca de Burgohondo - El Tiemblo - Cebreros Comarca de Arenas de San Pedro Merindades Páramos La Bureba Ebro Odra-Pisuerga Alfoz de Burgos Montes de Oca Arlanza Sierra de la Demanda Ribera del Duero La Montaña de Luna La Montaña de Riaño La Cabrera Astorga El Bierzo Tierras de León La Bañeza El Páramo Esla-Campos Sahagún Cerrato Palentino Montaña Palentina Páramos Valles Tierra de Campos Comarca de Vitigudino Comarca de Ciudad Rodrigo La Armuña Las Villas Tierra de Peñaranda Tierra de Cantalapiedra Tierra de Ledesma Comarca de Guijuelo Tierra de Alba Sierra de Béjar Sierra de Francia Campo de Salamanca An official classification establishes three comarcas: Segovia.
Cuéllar. Sepúlveda.or sometimes four: Tierra de Pinares. Segovia. Sepúlveda. Tierra de Ayllón. However, historic approaches establish six comarcas: Tierra de Pinares. Tierra de Ayllón. Tierras de Cantalejo y
Andalusia is an autonomous community in southern Spain. It is the most populous, the second largest autonomous community in the country; the Andalusian autonomous community is recognised as a "historical nationality". The territory is divided into eight provinces: Almería, Cádiz, Córdoba, Huelva, Jaén, Málaga and Seville, its capital is the city of Seville. Andalusia is located in the south of the Iberian peninsula, in south-western Europe south of the autonomous communities of Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha. Andalusia is the only European region with both Atlantic coastlines; the small British overseas territory of Gibraltar shares a three-quarter-mile land border with the Andalusian province of Cádiz at the eastern end of the Strait of Gibraltar. The main mountain ranges of Andalusia are the Sierra Morena and the Baetic System, consisting of the Subbaetic and Penibaetic Mountains, separated by the Intrabaetic Basin. In the north, the Sierra Morena separates Andalusia from the plains of Extremadura and Castile–La Mancha on Spain's Meseta Central.
To the south the geographic subregion of Upper Andalusia lies within the Baetic System, while Lower Andalusia is in the Baetic Depression of the valley of the Guadalquivir. The name "Andalusia" is derived from the Arabic word Al-Andalus; the toponym al-Andalus is first attested by inscriptions on coins minted in 716 by the new Muslim government of Iberia. These coins, called dinars, were inscribed in both Arabic; the etymology of the name "al-Andalus" has traditionally been derived from the name of the Vandals. Halm in 1989 derived the name from a Gothic term, *landahlauts, in 2002, Bossong suggested its derivation from a pre-Roman substrate; the region's history and culture have been influenced by the native Iberians, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Jews, Muslim Moors and the Castilian and other Christian North Iberian nationalities who reconquered and settled the area in the latter phases of the Reconquista. Andalusia has been a agricultural region, compared to the rest of Spain and the rest of Europe.
However, the growth of the community in the sectors of industry and services was above average in Spain and higher than many communities in the Eurozone. The region has a strong identity. Many cultural phenomena that are seen internationally as distinctively Spanish are or Andalusian in origin; these include flamenco and, to a lesser extent and Hispano-Moorish architectural styles, both of which are prevalent in other regions of Spain. Andalusia's hinterland is the hottest area of Europe, with cities like Córdoba and Seville averaging above 36 °C in summer high temperatures. Late evening temperatures can sometimes stay around 35 °C until close to midnight, with daytime highs of over 40 °C common. Seville has the highest average annual temperature in mainland Spain and mainland Europe followed by Almería, its present form is derived from the Arabic name for Muslim Iberia, "Al-Andalus". However, the etymology of the name "Al-Andalus" is disputed, the extent of Iberian territory encompassed by the name has changed over the centuries.
The Spanish place name Andalucía was introduced into the Spanish languages in the 13th century under the form el Andalucía. The name was adopted to refer to those territories still under Moorish rule, south of Castilla Nueva and Valencia, corresponding with the former Roman province hitherto called Baetica in Latin sources; this was a Castilianization of Al-Andalusiya, the adjectival form of the Arabic language al-Andalus, the name given by the Arabs to all of the Iberian territories under Muslim rule from 711 to 1492. The etymology of al-Andalus is itself somewhat debated, but in fact it entered the Arabic language before this area came under Muslim rule. Like the Arabic term al-Andalus, in historical contexts the Spanish term Andalucía or the English term Andalusia do not refer to the exact territory designated by these terms today; the term referred to territories under Muslim control. In the Estoria de España of Alfonso X of Castile, written in the second half of the 13th century, the term Andalucía is used with three different meanings: As a literal translation of the Arabic al-Ándalus when Arabic texts are quoted.
To designate the territories the Christians had regained by that time in the Guadalquivir valley and in the Kingdoms of Granada and Murcia. In a document from 1253, Alfonso X styled himself León y de toda Andalucía. To designate the territories the Christians had regained by that time in the Guadalquivir valley but not the Kingdom of Granada; this was the most common significance in Early modern period. From an administrative point of view, Granada remained separate for many years after the completion of the Reconquista due, above all, to its emblematic character as the last territory regained, as the seat of the important Real Chancillería de Granada, a court of last resort. Stil
The Herrerian style of architecture was developed in Spain during the last third of the 16th century under the reign of Philip II, continued in force in the 17th century, but transformed by the Baroque current of the time. It corresponds to the third and final stage of the Spanish Renaissance architecture, which evolved into a progressive purification ornamental, from the initial plateresque to classical purism of the second third of the 16th century and total nudity decorative that introduced the Herrerian style, it originated with the construction of the Monastery of El Escorial and, more with the reorganization of the project made by Cantabrian architect Juan de Herrera, after the death of Juan Bautista de Toledo, author of the first design. Its main representatives are the mentioned Herrera, who the style owes its name, Francisco de Mora, disciple of the anterior and architect of the Ducal Palace of Lerma, other key works of Herrerian architecture; the Herrerian architecture, or Herrerian style is characterized by its geometric rigor, the mathematical relation between the various architectural features, the clean volumes, the dominance of the wall over the span and the total absence of decoration, why in time was called estilo desornamentado.
Is known as escorial style, referring to the building that serves as best example for the architectural style. The Herrerian buildings are noted for its severe horizontality, achieved through the balance of forms, preferably cubic, which are arranged symmetrically in the structure. Have wooden roofs covered with slate in the exterior and side towers, tipped with pointed toes pyramidal spire, which introduce an element of verticality, while helping to reinforce the sense of grandeur and elevation. At other cases, not looking both the horizontal and the bulkiness, reached through the geometrical design of the various architectural elements; this is the case of the model used in the construction of parish churches, with great facades, quadrangular towers and heavy buttresses. It is, in most cases, works of great size, imposing in its environment and impress with its austere and monumental air. In regard to decorative applications, these reduce the use of basic geometric shapes such as spheres and pyramids.
From a sociological standpoint, this sobriety is a response to Protestantism, in line with the guidelines set by the Council of Trent. The Herrerian style was the official architecture of the Habsburgs, from the reign of Philip II; the sociopolitical impact meant the construction of the Monastery of El Escorial facilitated its expansion. To this contributed the fact that Juan de Herrera was appointed in 1579 Inspector of Monuments of the Crown; the style spread through first in the comarcas of Madrid of the Sierra de Guadarrama, located within the catchment area of the Monastery of El Escorial, through two ways: works directly funded by the Royal Family and those promoted by the Guadarraman municipalities. The first category covers infrastructure such as the Puente Nuevo, in Galapagar, buildings for private use by Philip II, as the Casa Veleta in the same town, the Real Aposento de Torrelodones, both disappeared. Were built for comfort the movements of the King from Madrid to the Real Sitio de El Escorial.
In El Escorial Town, the Crown encouraged the development of various urban planning and the construction of the Church of San Bernabé, by Francisco de Mora, one of the contributors to Herrera in the works of the Royal Monastery. The Royal Family approved the granting of benefits to those municipalities to proceed with the renovation of its main public and religious buildings; the result of this measure is the Herrerian aspect of the parish churches of Valdemorillo and Navalagamella, both of medieval origin. The Herrerian style spread throughout Spain and America; some representative works are the Cathedral of Valladolid and the Puente de Segovia, both designed by Juan de Herrera. Special mention deserves the Ducal Palace of Lerma, by Francisco de Mora that began in 1601. Led to the adoption of the emerging Herrerian style by the emerging Baroque trends of the time and the establishment of a palatial architecture model, repeated throughout the 17th century. Most civic buildings erected in Madrid during the reign of Philip III and Philip IV continued the architectural guidelines of that palace.
This is the case of the Palacio de los Concejos, the Palacio de Santa Cruz and the Casa de la Villa, all of baroque bill, but with notable Herrerian reminiscent. The influence of Herrerian style is visible in the expansion that, had its distinctive spire pyramidal or "madrilian spire", with slate roofs; this item was adopted by many constructions after to 16th and 17th century in the bell towers and domes of the churches, in many civil constructions. The 18th and 19th century meant the decline of this architectural movement. In the 20th century came to pick up, during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco; the Plaza de la Moncloa, in Madrid, chaired by Air Force headquarters, among many large constructions of the time, symbolizes the resurgence of Herrerian architecture. El Madrid de los Austrias Roy
The term "Moors" refers to the Muslim inhabitants of the Maghreb, the Iberian Peninsula and Malta during the Middle Ages. The Moors were the indigenous Maghrebine Berbers; the name was also applied to Arabs. Moors are not a distinct or self-defined people, the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica observed that "The term'Moors' has no real ethnological value." Europeans of the Middle Ages and the early modern period variously applied the name to Arabs, North African Berbers, Muslim Europeans. The term has been used in Europe in a broader, somewhat derogatory sense to refer to Muslims in general those of Arab or Berber descent, whether living in Spain or North Africa. During the colonial era, the Portuguese introduced the names "Ceylon Moors" and "Indian Moors" in South Asia and Sri Lanka, the Bengali Muslims were called Moors. In the Philippines, the longstanding Muslim community, which predates the arrival of the Spanish, now self-identifies as the "Moro people", an exonym introduced by Spanish colonizers due to their Muslim faith.
In 711, troops formed by Moors from northern Africa led the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. The Iberian peninsula came to be known in Classical Arabic as al-Andalus, which at its peak included most of Septimania and modern-day Spain and Portugal. In 827, the Moors occupied Mazara on Sicily, they went on to consolidate the rest of the island. Differences in religion and culture led to a centuries-long conflict with the Christian kingdoms of Europe, which tried to reclaim control of Muslim areas. In 1224 the Muslims were expelled from Sicily to the settlement of Lucera, destroyed by European Christians in 1300; the fall of Granada in 1492 marked the end of Muslim rule in Iberia, although a Muslim minority persisted until their expulsion in 1609. During the classical period, the Romans interacted with, conquered, parts of Mauretania, a state that covered modern northern Morocco, western Algeria, the Spanish cities Ceuta and Melilla; the Berber tribes of the region were noted in the Classics as Mauri, subsequently rendered as "Moors" in English and in related variations in other European languages.
Mauri is recorded as the native name by Strabo in the early 1st century. This appellation was adopted into Latin, whereas the Greek name for the tribe was Maurusii; the Moors were mentioned by Tacitus as having revolted against the Roman Empire in 24 AD. During the Latin Middle Ages, Mauri was used to refer to Berbers and Arabs in the coastal regions of Northwest Africa; the 16th century scholar Leo Africanus identified the Moors as the native Berber inhabitants of the former Roman Africa Province. He described Moors as one of five main population groups on the continent alongside Egyptians, Abyssinians and Cafri. In medieval Romance languages, variations of the Latin word for the Moors developed different applications and connotations; the term denoted a specific Berber people in western Libya, but the name acquired more general meaning during the medieval period, associated with "Muslim", similar to associations with "Saracens". During the context of the Crusades and the Reconquista, the term Moors included the derogatory suggestion of "infidels".
Apart from these historic associations and context and Moorish designate a specific ethnic group speaking Hassaniya Arabic. They inhabit Mauritania and parts of Algeria, Western Sahara, Morocco and Mali. In Niger and Mali, these peoples are known as the Azawagh Arabs, after the Azawagh region of the Sahara; the authoritative dictionary of the Spanish language does not list any derogatory meaning for the word moro, a term referring to people of Maghrebian origin in particular or Muslims in general. Some authors have pointed out that in modern colloquial Spanish use of the term moro is derogatory for Moroccans in particular and Muslims in general. In the Philippines, a former Spanish colony, many modern Filipinos call the large, local Muslim minority concentrated in Mindanao and other southern islands Moros; the word is a catch-all term, as Moro may come from several distinct ethno-linguistic groups such as the Maranao people. The term was introduced by Spanish colonisers, has since been appropriated by Filipino Muslims as an endonym, with many self-identifying as members of the Bangsamoro "Moro Nation".
Moreno can mean "dark-skinned" in Spain, Portugal and the Philippines. In Spanish, morapio is a humorous name for "wine" that which has not been "baptized" or mixed with water, i.e. pure unadulterated wine. Among Spanish speakers, moro came to have a broader meaning, applied to both Filipino Moros from Mindanao, the moriscos of Granada. Moro refers to all things dark, as in "Moor", etc, it was used as a nickname. In Portugal, mouro may refer to supernatural beings known as enchanted moura, where "Moor" implies "alien" and "non-Christian"; these beings were siren-like fairies with a fair face. They were believed to have magical properties. From this root, the name moor is applied to unbaptized children. In Basque, mairu means moor and refers to a mythical people. Muslims located in South Asia were distinguished by the Portuguese historians into two groups: Mouros da Terra and the Mouros da Arabia/Mouros de Meca ("Moors from Arabia/Mecca" or "Paradesi
Granada 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 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, 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 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 preserved in the Granada neighborhood called the Albaicín with its fine examples of Moorish and Morisco construction. Granada is 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 is the heraldic device of Granada. 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 changed its name to Iliberri, after the Roman conquest of Iberia, to Municipium Florentinum Iliberitanum; 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; the word Gárnata 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. 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" — provide considerable detail for this brief period. The Zirid Taifa of Granada was a Jewish state in all but name, it is the only time between Biblical times and the twentieth century that a Jewish ruler commanded an army. It was the center of Jewish culture and scholarship. Early Arabic writers called it "Garnata al-Yahud".... Granada was in the eleventh century the center of Sephardic civilization at its peak, from 1027 until 1066 Granada was a powerful Jewish state. Jews did not hold the foreigner status typical of Islamic rule. Samuel ibn Nagrilla, recognized by Sephardic Jews everywhere as the quasi-political ha-Nagid, 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 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. Ibn Gabirol’s patrons and hosts were the Jewish viziers of Granada, Samuel ha-Nagid and his son Joseph; 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, included the Albaicín neighborhood; the Almoravids ruled Granada from 1090 and the Almohad dynasty from 1166. 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 becoming the Emirate of Granada in 1238. According to some historians, Granada was a tributary state to the Kingdom of Castile since that year, it provided connections with Muslim and Arab trade centers for gold from sub-Saharan Africa and the Maghreb, exported silk and dried fruits produced in the area. The Nasrids 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 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.”During the Moor rule, Granada was a city with adherents to many religions and ethnicities who lived in separate quarters. During this Nasrid period there were 137 Muslim mosques in the Medina of Granada.
On January 2, 1492, the last Muslim ruler in Iberia