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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"Nasrids." In Encyclopedia of Islam. 2nd ed.
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.
In an apartment he rented in an old house located in the medieval core of Granada, the architect noticed a number of features - such as arches in the Moorish style - pointing to an early construction date for the overall structure. In 1982, suspecting that other elements might be concealed under transformations and additions executed in the first decades of this century, Mr Sanchez Gomez decided to buy the house in order to restore it and use it as his own residence.
The project includes the comple restoration of the house and its re-adaptation and re-utilization as residence. Modern sanitary and electrical installations, a lift and a garage at basement level have been added without altering the original character of the building. The town house, built on a slightly sloping site, covers an almost rectangular surface and shares party walls with adjoining structures on either side. It is laid out around three sides of an open patio; one wing rises to a height of two-storeys over the basement while the opposite side is three-storey high. The first step was to remove later additions to uncover the original 14th century elements which were still extant. As the excavations proceeded, new features such as pavings, remains of arches, carved stucco work and painted wooden ceilings were brought to light. These elements were incorporated in the new design in an effort to re-create the original character of a typical 14th century Arab/Andalusiari courtyard house. Traditional handicraft restoration techniques were utilized in the execution of the works and original volumes were preserved inasmuch as possible.