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GRANADA MOSQUE & ISLAMIC CENTRE


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References: 1. Instituto National de Estadistica: Press Release 19th November 2012 - Population Projections 2012 (www.ine.es/en/prensa/prensa_en.htm) 2. PewResearchCentre: January 2011 - The Future of the Global Muslim Population (http://features.pewforum.org/muslim-population-graphic/#/Spain)


Conversation with Hayy Abdal Hakim Praena: Richard: How many Muslims in Granada? Hayy: Not sure on true figures however cencus records can be inaccurate as people don’t declare being a Muslim due to the sensitive history in Spain. Richard: Hayy:

On average how many people currently attend this mosque for prayer? The average attendance for prayer is between 30-50 people with mornings being the busiest. Friday prayer is the busiest of all with an attendance between 400-500. The Friday prayer can be so busy we have to spill out into the courtyard to accommodate for everybody.

Richard: Hayy: Richard: Hayy:

Do you think this mosque needs to be larger? Yes, because more and more people are converting to Muslim and emigrating here as Islam is slowly becoming more accepted in the community. Is this the only mosque in Granada City? Yes, however there are a number of unofficial small prayer spaces within the city.

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01 | Historical Development

Around 550BC the Carthaginian took over from the Phoenicians and took control of trade and commerce. They began to populate Granada.

In 1000BC the Phoenicians settled Along the coastline and had small Colonies living inside Granada.

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1500BC

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700BC

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550BC

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Small Iberian tribes lived around The region of Granada.

Around 700BC Romans took whole control over Iberian Peninsula, however, the town did not play an Important role in the Roman empire.


Under the Visigoths, Christianity started to rise in popularity amongst the population. For the first time, the town was used as an Important military point. A small community of Jewish people settled in, renaming it Garnata-al-Yahut which is similar to the town name we know today.

For the next 300 years under Moorish occupation, the town consistently grew and expanded.

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500AD

711AD

500AD

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1013AD

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When the Roman empire fell in the 5th century AD, The Visigoths took control of the region. During this period, the town expanded In terms of size and importance.

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The Visigoth period only lasted 200 years. At this point, the Moors invaded in 711AD and The final conquest took in 713AD.

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After the longest Islamic rule in Granada’s history, rule passed to Christianity in 1492. However under the Alhambra Decree Treaty, Muslim inhabitants were still permitted to practice their faith and customs Unhindered until 1499.

Elvira itself sat on a low plain of land. This would make it difficult to defend from any attackers. Therefore they moved to Granada, as it sits on a higher plain, making defending the city much easier. Elvira

Granada 711AD

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1492AD

1492AD

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Modern Granada was founded in the 11th century during a civil war. In 1013 AD the war was solved known as The Dynasty of the Ziries: They declared independence from Morocco and formed their own kingdom, which was at the time named Granata and they moved the town from Sierra Elvira to the Albacin to protect the town from invasion.

2nd January 1492 was the surrender of Granada from Islamic rule of Emir Muhammad XII to Christian rule of Ferdinand II. This marked the completion of “Reconquista of Al-Andakus”


In 1501 after the Alhambra Decree Treaty was rescinded by The Crown, Muslims now had to either convert to the converso class or to emigrate out of the country and leave Christian rule.

Each religion had cells that would practice their own original faith in secrecy through fear of persecution.

1499AD

1501AD

1501AD

1501AD

Archbishop Fernando de Talavera

711AD

Cardinal Franeso Jimenez de Cisneros

1492AD

1499AD

There had been an effort of 1st Archbishop Fernando de Talvera to convey non-christian to Christians. In 1499, Cardinal Franeso Jimenez de Cisneros was angry at the slow pace and took matters into his own hands.

Both converso classes of Catholics of Muslim decent and Catholics of Jewish decent were both open to persecution, execution and exile even though They had converted to Christianity.

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The 19th Century ended with an economic crisis and natural disasters. (The earthquake 1884, the Cholera epidemic 1885 and the economic crisis still had a hold over Spain and Granada).

French and English design started to influence the planning of the town. This can be seen in the open squares of the area such as ‘El Saln’ or ‘La Bomba’

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1501AD

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1810AD

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1884AD

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Mosques in the city were either converted into new Christian structures such as churches or cathedrals. Some mosques however were completely destroyed And new Christian structures built on their ruins.

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In 1810 Napoleons entered Spanish territory, however this French invasion only lasted 2 years and was followed by a period of political instability in Granada.


In 2003 the first Mosque was opened since the ‘Reconquista of Al-Andakus in 1492’ This was the first stepping stone into accepting the Islamic faith back into the community.

In the 1930’s, Spain was dominated by political instability and this ended in the Spanish Civil War from 1936 - 39.

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In the 1920’s Granada became the centre of the artistic movement in Spain.

2003AD

During the 1970’s there was a university boom in Granada, as going to university became an option for everyone and not just the privileged upper class.

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02 | Granada City Development

The city expanded north of the river along the remaining flat land in a more organized grid layout before reaching the hills to the north.

The defensive walls of the city of Granada once had huge impact on the layout of buildings in the city, especially on steep terrain.

Granada developed in a vague grid layout along the fertile lands south of the River Darro.

The remaining build-able areas outside the grid layout became more irregular because of the Contours of the land.


By contrast, the buildings built on the hillside In the Albaicin region of Granada do Not conform to any grid layout. The residential buildings are all low-rise, built around narrow cobbled pathways left over from the region’s Moorish heritage, which is a World Heritage Site.

The older areas of the city in areas surrounding the Alhambra are built on hillsides so settlements follow the contour lines. The urban grain becomes less dense the steeper the contours become.

The newer areas of Granada are characterised by straight roads and regular building blocks. The flat land allows buildings to be placed Efficiently on the site.

The CastaĂąo-Mirasierra region of Granada is a good example of the typical grid layout in the city. The region consists of primarily mid-rise high density residential apartment blocks, with retail at ground level.

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Granada Mosque & Islamic Centre  

Still in development