The city of Granada is located near the southern tip of Spain, on the hills at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. An important city during the period of Umayyad rule (756-1031 AD) and under the Almohad and Almoravid dynasties of the twelfth and thirteenth-centuries, Granada is most famous for the palaces within the palatine city of the Alhambra.
Founded by Muhammad ibn Yusuf ibn Nasr, who escaped to Granada after the Castilian conquest of his native Zaragoza, Granada was the capital of the Nasrid Sultanate, and as such became the last Islamic kingdom of the Iberian Peninsula following the Castilian conquest of al-Andalus in the thirteenth-century.
The medieval city was composed of separate quarters, each with its own mosques and baths. Granada's suburbs developed along the banks of the Darro River, on the plain and hills below the Alhambra. The government functions of the Nasrid rulers were concentrated in the Alhambra, while commercial, religious, and civic institutions were concentrated in Granada proper.
The Albaicín, a walled suburb on the hill opposite that of the Alhambra, is the best-preserved section of the medieval city, but retains only a fraction of the mosques and celebrated courtyard houses that once existed there.
Dickie, James. 1992. "Granada: A Case Study of Arab Urbanism in Muslim Spain." In The Legacy of Muslim Spain, edited by S. K. Jayyusi and M. Marín. Leiden ; New York: E.J. Brill, 88-111.
Hermann, Elizabeth Dean. 1996. Urban formation and landscape: symbol and agent of social, political and environmental change in fifteenth-century Nasrid Granada. Harvard Univ.: PhD. Dissertation.
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Roca Roumens, M., Moreno Onorato, M. A. & Lizcano Prestel, R. 1988. El Albaicín y los orígenes de la ciudad de Granada. Granada: Universidad de Granada.
The Palace of the Partal was built in the early fourteenth century during the reign of Muhammad III. Only two components of the original palace are extant: the Torre de las Damas, with its tower overlooking the surrounding landscape and arcade opening onto a wide pool; and the adjacent Torre del Mihrab, built by Yusuf I as a small garden oratory with a mihrab and windows overlooking the landscape. Both structures are ornamented with delicately carved stucco.
Dickie, James. 1981. The Alhambra: Some Reflections Prompted by a Recent Study by Oleg Grabar. In Studia Arabica et Islamica : Festschrift for Ihsan Abbas on his sixtieth birthday. ed. Wadad al-Qadi. Beirut: American UP, 127-49.
ibid. 1992. The Palaces of the Alhambra. In al-Andalus : the art of Islamic Spain . Edited by Jerrilynn D. Dodds. New York: Abrams, 135-51.
Fernandez Puertas, Antonio. 1997. The Alhambra. 2 v. London : Saqi Books.
Ruggles, D.F. 2000. The Partal and Tendilla Palaces. In Gardens, Landscape, and Vision in the Palaces of Islamic Spain. University Park: Pennsylvania State UP, 175-180.