Granada, located in the Andalusia region of Spain, is a mountainous landscape with lots of rich history. There are many interpretations of who founded Granada. The information gathered today tells us that the earliest individuals who planted their footprint first is the Iberian tribe of the Turdulos, one of the first groups to make their mark on the Iberian Peninsula. The Turdulos named the city Ihverir, and archeological finds mark this date of first habitation somewhere around 5500 BCE. From here, the Phonecians domesticated the area and began to use the coastline for economic purposes. Granada, located near the Mediterranean Sea, became a powerhouse in trade and economic development. In time, Granada would be home to many different religions, cultures, and a rich history which still influences the area today.
The expansion of the Roman Empire was endured by many during this time before Christ, and Ihverir was no exception. After the Battle of Ilipa during the Second Punic War, the Romans conquered the city in the 1st-century BCE and thus initiated the transformation of the city into the spectacle that it is known as today. Taking the name Ihverir, from the previous inhabitants the Turdulos, the Romans coined the area of modern Granada to the name Iliberis. During the 5th-century, the Roman Empire found itself slipping in Granada, and with their slip, the Visigoths from the north took advantage and took control of Iliberis.
The Visigothic era of Granada was short, only around 200 years, but very meaningful in terms of development for the area, and its people. For the first time, Christianity began to flood Granada, and a mass of people were introduced to the religion. Also during this time, Granada was used for its geography and was dubbed a place that held importance. During this time a small Jewish community began to penetrate the religious mix that was Granada. With the addition to different religions and cultures, also came architecture. The Visigoths had major influence on the region at this time and those architectural practices from the Germanic areas began to take hold in Granada. By the year 700, Granada was a melting pot for religion, culture, architecture, and so much more.
The Moors arrived in 713, led by Tariq, a member of the Caliphate (ancestor from the bloodline of Muhammad) took power of the land, and labeled the city Ilbira, and the rest of Spain, al-Andalus. From this time, Ilbira saw a massive change in terms of territory, and for the next 300 years, Granada was expanded without stopping. After 300 years of growth, in 1010, the infrastructure of the governmental system was destroyed due to the elimination of the Caliphate, and a quarrel between many different clans of Arabs who attempted to take power in the region. After three years of destruction, another group came to take possession of Granada.
By the year 1013, Granada was in disarray, and the Zirids came to bring structure to the region. Coming from Northern Africa, the Zirids took control of Granada and established the area as a part of the Taifa Kingdom. With the arrival of the Zirids and the Umayyads, (a different branch of individuals who came from Northern Africa) a new governmental system was put in place known as the Taifa, and the Taifa Kingdoms. The new ruler of Granada, Zawi ben Ziri, established the area as an independent kingdom. As an independent state, Granada was fortified and walls were built to protect the city. Vast infrastructure demands were met and the city was at its height from 1027-1066.
After the 1066 Granada massacre, in which hostile Muslim masses stormed the royal palace and ended the Jewish reign of Granada, exiling all of those of did not desire to follow the way of Muhammad and his teachings. The Berbers took control, and Granada was ruled by the Almoravids until 1166, then the Almohads until the early 13th century. With the arrival of the Almoravids, Granada was still arguably at its height, but saw a major decline when the Almohads came into power. al-Anadalus as a Muslim state began to go away, and the last Almohad ruler, Idris al-Ma’mun, left the Iberian Peninsula.
By the year 1238 with the arrival of the Nazari dynasty, Granada was now included into a large kingdom that included the areas of Cordoba, Cadiz, Malaga, and Sevilla. The Nazari were able to take control of this area due to King Fernando III of Spain, who named the Nazari king Ibn al-Ahmar an official vassal to himself. Granada became a state under the Christian Kingdom of Castile. Here, Muslims helped to repel invaders from Castile, and the Christians supported by helping defeat other Nasrid invaders into the city of Granada. The city saw another economic boom with the trade of high value goods, and was included in the European trade network with the help from the Christian Castilians. This peace between the Muslims and Christians did not last forever however.
The Reconquista, or mission to reconquer Muslim controlled Spain, was sweeping its way throughout Spain as a whole, and eventually made its way to the sea-bordered Granada. The final Muslim ruler surrendered to Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, two Catholic monarchs, in 1492. During this time, Spain and Granada endured a mass change to all ways of life that had been established many years prior. Muslims, and those of whom did not religiously conform to the standards set by Ferdinand and Isabella, were second class citizens who were taxed heavily, could not speak Spanish, and banned from wearing their traditional clothes. Only those granted freedom by the Treaty of Granada were allowed to practice and exercise their religion. In this time, we see a mass exile of Muslims, just as the Jews had to do once before. A cloud of instability reigned over Granada until King Phillip II completely closed down his kingdoms of Castile and Aragon, which Granada was under the control of.
From that time, Granada was left alone from any outside force (except Napoleon of course) and could begin to develop. Small city-states and kingdoms were no more. With the development into the modern world, it was countries who had the power and not kingdoms. Through a Civil War, Spain found longevity with Francisco Franco in the mid 20th century, and could begin to be the country as we know today.