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.
"Gharnata." In Encyclopedia of Islam. 2nd ed.
"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.
The Qaysariyya of Granada was the Nasrid royal market that specialised in silk and other luxury items, and was part of an important commercial quarter adjacent to the city's congregational mosque. An independent structure with a relatively regular grid plan, the Qaysariyya's numerous shops were arranged along narrow interior "streets." At night the ten portals that provided access to the interior could be locked, protecting the valuable merchandise within.
Maintained by the Castilian monarchs after their conquest of Granada in 1492, the Qayseriyya was destroyed by fire in 1843. As it exists today its appearance is the product of a restoration accomplished soon after the fire. The further regularisation of the plan and the heavy emphasis on ornament, which was probably not characteristic of its Nasrid appearance, reflect the nineteenth-century restorers' sensibility.
Dickie, James. 1993. "Granada: A Case Study of Arab Urbanism in Muslim Spain." In The Legacy of Muslim Spain, edited by S. K. Jayyusi. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 95-98.
Orihuela Uzal, Antonio. 1995. "Granada, Capital del Reino Nazarí."In La Arquitectura del Islam Occidental. p. 203-204.