Grana'da, an ancient Moorish kingdom of Spain, embracing the south-eastern portion of Andalusia, and now divided into the three modern provinces of Granada, Almeria, and Malaga. Area, over 11,000 sq. m., with a population of 1,500,000. Except in the narrow strip of coast-region along the Mediterranean, the surface is a succession of mountain and plateau rising in the centre to the snow-capped Sierra Nevada; but the soil is fertile, and the ancient Granada, which became an independent kingdom after the fall of the caliphate of Cordova in 1236, supported a population of 3 millions, and sent 100,000 men into the field, but in 1492 was conquered by the Spaniards. Area of the modern province, 4928 sq. m. ; pop. (1877) 479,066 ; (1900) 492,460.
Granada, the town, has sadly declined since the days of its Moorish masters, but still ranks as one of the larger cities of Spain. It lies at the foot of the Sierra Nevada, on and between two hills, the southernmost being the site of the famous Alhambra (q.v.), and is 2245 feet above sea-level, and 126 (by rail 179) miles E. by S. of Seville. It overlooks a fertile and extensive plain, and stands on the right bank of the Jenil. The modern town is commonplace and dull, with wide streets and open squares; but the old houses, with their flat roofs, turrets, particoloured awnings, balconies, and fountains, preserve a half oriental aspect, and the labyrinths of narrow, tortuous, ill-paved, ancient streets offer picturesque views. Granada is the seat of an archbishop, and has a university (1531) attended by nearly 1000 students. The cathedral, begun in 1529, contains the tombs of Ferdinand and Isabella, and of Philip I. and his consort Juana, fine specimens of Italian Renaissance sculpture. In the monastery of San Geronimo the 'Great Captain,' Gonsalvo di Cordova, is buried. The industry and trade of the town are inconsiderable. Population, about 76,000. Granada was founded by the Moors in the 8th century, not far from the ruins of an ancient Celtiberian town, Illiberis, and rapidly rose to distinction as a wealthy trading city and as a seat of arts.