views updated Jun 08 2018


GRANADA. Located in the southeastern sector of the Iberian Peninsula, the city of Granada lies in the northern foothills of the Sierra Nevada, some sixty kilometers from the Mediterranean. It rose to prominence in the mid-thirteenth century as capital of the Muslim kingdom of Granada, the last surviving state of medieval Al-Andalus or Islamic Iberia. During the latter half of the fifteenth century, Granada faced growing internal instability and the increasing militancy of its northern neighbor, the Christian kingdom of Castile.

Granada's capitulation in 1492 to the forces of Ferdinand V and Isabella I (ruled 14741504), king and queen of Aragón and Castile, signaled the end of independent Muslim power on the Iberian Peninsula. Though the treaty of surrender guaranteed Granadans their traditional religion, forced conversions in 1499 drove the Muslim community to insurrection. The crown responded by rescinding the treaty and demanding mass baptisms. By 1501 the city's Muslim populationestimated at fifty thousand souls in 1492either emigrated to North Africa or became Moriscos (Muslim converts to Christianity). Thousands of "Old Christian" newcomers from southern and central Castile soon replaced the émigrés. By 1561, immigrants to the city numbered around thirty thousand, perhaps twice the dwindling Morisco population. Both Moriscos and immigrants found employment in Granada's lucrative silk industry. Granadan Moriscos dyed the raw silk produced by rural Morisco peasants; immigrants, however, dominated the weaving process. Merchantsoften Genoeseexported raw silk to textile centers in the Castilian interior and finished cloth to Italy, North Africa, Flanders, and the Americas.

New local and national institutions marked Granada's incorporation into the crown of Castile and signaled the city's rising national stature. Internal security and coastal defenses were the province of the captain general, headquartered in the Alhambra, Granada's famed medieval Muslim fortress. The 1505 transfer to Granada of the Chancillería, one of two permanent high courts of appeal, established the city as one of Castile's principal bureaucratic centers. A new municipal council, chaired by a royal representative, the corregidor, governed civic affairs. Two council members represented Granada at the Castilian Cortes, a parliamentary body representing a select group of prominent cities. Granadans' spiritual welfare was the province of the Roman Catholic Church, led by the archbishop and the cathedral chapter. The crown exercised unusual control over church appointments in Granada through its Real Patronato, a papal concession of 1486 later extended to all of Spanish America.

These new institutions joined in converting and acculturating the subject Morisco population. In 1567, however, the Catholic authorities' growing intolerance of Morisco rejections of Castilian culture and religion resulted in stringent laws against Morisco cultural practices. The desperate Morisco revolt of 1568 was quelled with equal violence and forced resettlements to the Castilian interior. The expulsions reduced Granada's population by a third, devastated the silk industry, and exacerbated Granada's share of the general economic troubles of late sixteenth-century and seventeenth-century Europe. Seville, gateway to the Americas, soon surpassed Granada in population, prosperity, and prominence, and Granada was relegated to only regional importance for the remainder of the early modern period.

See also Ferdinand of Aragón ; Isabella of Castile ; Islam in the Ottoman Empire ; Moriscos ; Moriscos, Expulsion of (Spain) ; Spain .


Barrios Aguilera, Manuel. Granada morisca, la convivencia negada. Granada, Spain, 2002. Analytic essays and primary texts on ethnic relations during the sixteenth century.

Cortés Peña, Antonio Luis, and Bernard Vincent. Historia de Granada. Vol. 3: La época moderna, siglos XVI, XVII y XVIII. Granada, Spain, 1986.

Peinado Santaella, Rafael G., ed. Historia del Reino de Granada. 3 vols. Granada, Spain, 2000. Excellent collection of essays on all aspects of Granada's past from prehistory to 1833.

A. Katie Harris


views updated May 08 2018


GRANADA , city and province in Andalusia, S. Spain. According to tradition in the legends of Spanish Jewry, some of the Jews exiled by Nebuchadnezzar settled in Granada (Solomon ibn Verga, Shevet Yehudah, ed. by A. Shochat (1947), 33–34), which they called "the pomegranate of Spain." Even the Moors thought that the Jews had founded the city, which they called Garnat al-Yahud ("Granada of the Jews"). The earliest extant information on the Jewish community in Granada is that the garrison stationed in the city after its conquest by the Moors in 711 was composed of Jews and Moors. During the Umayyad period Granada was one of the most important communities in all Spain. In the 11th century as a result of the fragmentation of Andalusia – when Granada became an independent principality - Jews received a large share in its administration. *Samuel ha-Nagid was not only leader of his own people but also vizier and military commander in the state. Prominent Jews were also among his political opponents who fled from the principality after the victory of Samuel's faction (Ibn Daud, Tradition, 74). The Jewish position in the leadership of the state is explained by the conditions within the principality - controlled by a Berber military clique that did not strike roots within the state. In the many court intrigues the king could depend on a Jew who had no aspirations for the throne. At that time, the Jewish population of Granada was estimated at 5,000 people, constituting around 20% of the population, and Samuel led the Jews for the benefit of the state. Various libelous documents were issued against the position of the Jews, and were circulated through neighboring principalities. An anti-Jewish polemical tone was even voiced in their wars against Granada.

Samuel's son, Joseph ha-Nagid, fell victim to a mass revolt in 1066 in which the "[Jewish] community of Granada" perished along with him (ibid., 76). According to a later testimony, "more than 1,500 householders" were killed (Ibn Verga, op. cit., 22). Soon afterward the Jews returned to a position of influence in Granada, however not for long. At the time of the conquest of the city by the Almoravid Ibn Tāshfin in 1090, the community was destroyed and the *Ibn Ezra family was among the refugees. During the Almohad regime (1148–1212), only Jews who had converted to Islam were permitted to live in the city. The attempt of Jews and Christians to overthrow Almohad rule in 1162 met with failure. At first, Jews, together with Christians, were expelled from the town during the wars of the Reconquest (1232). They returned to Granada when the kingdom of Granada was ruled by the Muslim Nasrid dynasty (1232–1492). There is no available information on the Jews of Granada during the 13th–15th centuries, yet it is known that several of the kings of Aragon sent Jews as legates to Granada.

After 1391 *Conversos found shelter in Granada, where they openly returned to Judaism. In the agreement of surrender signed between the king of Granada and Ferdinand and Isabella in 1491 it was stated that Jews who were natives of Granada and its environs, and designated to be transferred to Spain, would be granted protection; those who wished to leave the country for North Africa would be given the opportunity to do so. Conversos who returned to Judaism were given a deadline to leave the country. It was also agreed that no Jew would have the right of judgment over the Moors, and that Jews would not serve as tax collectors.

On March 31, 1492, the edict of expulsion of the Jews from Spain was signed in the recently captured Granada. The traveler Hieronymus Muenzer, who visited Granada in 1494–1495, states that Ferdinand ordered the razing of the Jewish quarter in 1492, where, according to Muenzer, 20,000 Jews resided. Sources from the Archivo de Simancas prove this figure to be an exaggeration. According to Laredo Quesada the number of Jews in Granada in 1492 was around 550. In addition to the families of Samuel ha-Nagid and Ibn Ezra, natives of Granada included Judah ibn *Tibbon, Saadiah b. Maimon *Ibn Danān, Solomon b. Joseph ibn Ayyūb, and many other scholars and authors. The Jewish quarter in Granada was not located in a single place throughout the centuries of Muslim rule. It was moved, expanded, or contracted by the various dynasties which ruled the city. According to one source, Garnat al-Yahud (the City of the Jews) was on the hill by the Alcazaba, from the Torres Bermejas up to the Daro River, while according to Muenzer as far as the Puerta Real. The Jewish quarter was completely demolished, by order of King Ferdinand, and on its location a cathedral and a hospital were erected. In the Alhambra Palace, according to some scholars, the fountain in the Patio of the Lions was brought from the palace of Joseph ibn Nagrela. Ibn Nagrela's fountain is described in the contemporary Hebrew poetry. In the Alhambra, in the Ambassadors Hall the Catholic monarchs signed the Edict of Expulsion on March 31, 1492, three months after the fall of the Kingdom of Granada.


Harkavy, in: Me'assef, ed. by L. Rabbinowitz, 1 (1902), 1–56; Baer, Urkunden, 2 (1936), 394, 413; Baer, Spain, index; S. Katz, The Jews in the Visigothic and Frankish Kingdoms of Spain and Gaul (1932), 116; H. Muenzer, Viaje por España y Portugal 14941495 (1951), 44; J. de Mata Carriazo, in: Al-Andalus, 11 (1946), 69–130; L. Torres-Balbas, ibid., 19 (1954), 193f.; Schirmann, Sefarad, 1 (1954), 74–78; Ashtor, in: Zion, 28 (1963), 51f.; Ashtor, Korot, 1 (19662), 204ff.; 2 (1966), 84–120; L. del Marmol Carvajal, Historia del rebelion y castigo de los moriscos del reyno de Granada (1600). add. bibliography: S. Kibrick, Por tierras de Sefarad, vol. 3 (1975); J.M. García Fuentes, La Inquisición en Granada en el siglo xvi; fuentes para su estudio (1981); S. Gilman, in: Nueva Revista de Filología Hispánica, 30 (1981), 586–93; S. Katz, in: Sinai, 96 (1984–5), 114–34 (Hebrew); J. Edwards, in: Renaissance and Modern Studies, 21 (1987), 20–33; M.A. Ladero Quesada, Granada después de la conquista; repobladores y mudéjares (1988), 245–59; M.A. Bel Bravo, El auto-de-fe de 1593 (1988); J. Blázques Miguel, in: Hispania Sacra, 40 (1988), 133–64; J.E. López de Coca Castañer, El reino de Granada en la época de los Reyes Católicos, vol. 1 (1989), 153–70; R. de Lera García, in: Inquisição (1990), 1087–1108; D. Gonzalo Maeso, Garnata al-yahud, Granada en la historia del judaísmo español (1990); F. García Ivars, La represión en el tribunal inquisitorial de Granada, 15501819 (1991).

[Haim Beinart]

Granada (Sultanate)

views updated May 23 2018

Granada (Sultanate)

A Moorish realm established in what is now southern Spain, the Granada Sultanate was the last remnant of the Moorish invasion of Europe from northern Africa in the early eighth century. Granada originated as a provincial capital of the caliphate of Cordoba. In the eleventh century, the Zirid dynasty was founded and Granada became an independent sultanate. In 1228, the leader Mohammad Ibn al-Ahmar established a new dynasty, known as the Nasrids, that later began paying tribute to the Christian kingdom of Castile and helped the Castilian kings put down Moorish revolts in their own realm. In Granada, the sultan Muhammed V built an elaborate palace, the Alhambra, that still stands as the most important work of Moorish architecture in Europe.

Granada became a center of Moorish scholarship and learning with the establishment of a university, known as the Madraza, under the sultan Yusuf I in 1349. The city also provided Spain and the rest of Europe with an important link to markets in North Africa. Through Granada, European goods were traded for gold, ivory, and other items brought north across the Sahara Desert in long caravans. The kingdom's economic importance declined, however, as the Portuguese opened up new sea routes to western and southern Africa. In the fifteenth century, with the unification of Castile and Aragon, the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella resolved to conquest the remaining Moorish states in the Iberian peninsula, and the territory of Granada gradually shrank under repeated assaults by the Christian armies. In 1492, Muhammad XII, also known to the Christians as Boabdil, surrendered Granada after a siege, and the Reconquista was complete. By the Alhambra Decree, the rulers of Spain demanded the sincere conversion of the Moors from Islam (as well as Jews) to Christianity. Those who resisted or falsely converted were tried by the Inquisition and executed, while others fled to Africa. The city's mosques were converted to Christian churches, and the Madraza was rededicated as the University of Granada by Emperor Charles V in 1526.

Granada's art and architecture had a lasting effect in Spain. The Moorish artists and builders, known as the Mudejars, had developed an intricate geometrical style, inspired by the Islamic strictures against depicting the human form. Skilled Mudejars worked in stone, brick, wood, and tile, and their motifs and designs were later incorporated into many public buildings in Granada and the surrounding region.

See Also: Ferdinand II of Aragon; Isabella of Castile; Spain


views updated May 11 2018

Granada City in Andalusia, s Spain; capital of Granada province. Founded in the 8th century as a Moorish fortress, it became the capital of the independent Muslim kingdom of Granada in 1238. The last Moorish stronghold in Spain, it surrendered to the Christian armies of Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492. The central splendour of Granada is the Alhambra. Industries: tourism and textiles. Pop. (2000) 244,500.


views updated May 18 2018

Granada a city in Andalusia in southern Spain. Founded in the 8th century, it became the capital of the Moorish kingdom of Granada in 1238, and was the last Moorish stronghold to fall in the reconquest of Spain in 1492. It is the site of the Alhambra palace.