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The ancient origins of the city of Granada can be traced back to 5500 B.C. when first settlers where established. However, the first evidence of the actual city of Granada dates from the first half of the 7th century B.C., when an Iberian village named "Ilturir" was founded. Later on, the village changed its name to "Illiberri", just prior the Carthaginian and Roman domination.
The village of Illiberri soon became a quite notable settlement under the Roman Rule of the Iberian Peninsula, and the roman imperator Julius Caesar awarded the village and its residents with the title of Roman Municipality as "Municipium Florentinum Iliberitanum".
The city of Granada is much better known however, as the very last bastion of the Islam Rule of the Iberian Peninsula.
Muslims occupied the Iberian Peninsula since 711 A.D. and were finally evicted after the occupation of the main city in the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada in 1492 A.D., by the Catholic Monarchs, Isabella I of Castille and Ferdinand II of Aragón, ending at this time the Reconquista, "Reconquest", of the Iberian Peninsula.
The best-known worldwide legacy of the Islam Rule in Spain the Alhambra; in Arabic Al-Ḥamrā', lit. "the red one"; a palace and fortress complex built in mid-11th century, listed under the World Heritage Sites list of the UNESCO and, deservedly, the most visited monument in Spain.
The city of Granada continued being a major political, cultural and religious center in the Catholic Spain after the Reconquista, as proven by the fact that the Catholic Monarchs ordered the construction of a mausoleum, "The Royal Chapel" in 1505 A.D. to house their remains.
As it happened with many other cities along the Reconquered Spain, Granada was also provided with a magnificent cathedral, as a defiant symbol of the new Catholic Rule in former Al-Andalus, however, it is important to remark that, unless most cathedrals in Spain, the construction of the Cathedral of Granada had to wait until the final conquer of the Nasrid Kingdom, and thus, while its early designs were originally Late Gothic, like the Royal Chapel, the final building was constructed once the Renaissance style had landed in Spain.
Finally, Granada is far more than just the Alhambra or the Cathedral. Granada is music and poetry; it is full of monuments, which are pure art and ancient culture themselves, but also the sights, the landscapes, the smell of blossom-perfumed streets in the Albaicín quarter, the sounds of flamenco in the Sacromonte and the taste of tapas and traditional cuisine. The city of Granada, Muslim and Christian, traditional and modern, can certainly captivate the senses.
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