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It is the most renowned building of the Andalusian Islamic historical legacy with its many cultural attractions that make Granada a popular destination among the tourist cities of Spain.

The Almohad influence on architecture is also preserved in the Granada neighborhood called the Albaicín with its fine examples of Moorish and Morisco construction.

In a short time this town was transformed into one of the most important cities of Al-Andalus.

In the early 11th century, after the collapse of the Umayyad Caliphate, the Berber Zawi ben Ziri established an independent kingdom for himself, the Taifa of Granada.

Jews did not hold the foreigner (dhimmi) status typical of Islamic rule.

Samuel ibn Nagrilla, recognized by Sephardic Jews everywhere as the quasi-political ha-Nagid ('The Prince'), was king in all but name.

Granada's historical name in the Arabic language was The word Gárnata (or Karnatah) possibly means "hill of strangers".

Because the city was situated on a low plain and, as a result, difficult to protect from attacks, the ruler decided to transfer his residence to the higher situated area of Gárnata.

It sits at an average elevation of 738 m (2,421 ft) above sea level, yet is only one hour by car from the Mediterranean coast, the Costa Tropical.

Nearby is the Sierra Nevada Ski Station, where the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 1996 were held.

With the Reconquista in full swing after the conquest of Córdoba in 1236, the Nasrids aligned themselves with Fernando III of Castile, officially becoming the Emirate of Granada in 1238.

Granada was a tributary state to the Kingdom of Castile since that year.

The region surrounding what today is Granada has been populated since at least 5500 BC and experienced Roman and Visigothic influences.

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