Granada is situated in the south of Spain on the northwest slope of the Sierra Navada Mountain. It is served by two rivers—the Genil to the south and the Darro to the east.
The history of Granada can be traced back to the fifth century BC when it was the site of an Iberian settlement originally called Elibyrge. It became part of the Roman Empire and was named Illiberis by both the Romans and the subsequent invaders, the Visigoths. The city gained importance when it was taken over by the Moors in the early twelfth century and was named Granada. It has been speculated that the name originates from the Spanish word for pomegranate granada, a fruit that grows in the area. Although this fruit now adorns the city’s coat of arms, the name may in fact derive from the Moorish word Karnattah (or Gharnatah).
In 1238 the city became the capital of the Moorish kingdom of Gharnatah, which encompassed what is now Granada, Málaga and Almería. Foreign trade through the coastal...