Before the conquest of Granada paved the way for the discovery of a new world, and with it the meeting of American and European cultures, the city had already been Iberian, Roman and later Jewish and Islamic. Capital of the former Nazari Kingdom, Granada was the last city on the Iberian Peninsula to be conquered from the Muslims in 1492, an event which was to mark the formation of Spain.
The Christian conquest did not rob the city of its splendour as a cultural centre, in which sciences and humanities found the best way to develop. The University of Granada was founded in 1531, under the initiative of the Emperor Carlos V, by means of a Papal Bull from Pope Clemente VII. In this way, Granada asserted its vocation as a university city which was open to different cultures, people and beliefs. As a result, the University of Granada continued the tradition of the Arab University of Yusuf I (Madraza, 14th century).
With 475 years of tradition, the University of Granada has been an exceptional witness to history, as its influence in the city's social and cultural environment grew until it was to become, over a period of almost five centuries, an intellectual and cultural nucleus in Southern Spain in its own right. It is currently a committed institution which is deeply involved in its setting, as shown in the University Reform Law (LRU), which defines universities as centres at the service of society, by means of teaching, research and the provision of services. In recent years, the University of Granada has faced, under the protection of the LRU and university autonomy, the greatest growth in its history, placing it among the top Spanish universities. Some 80,000 people are directly linked with the University of Granada, among them students, teachers and administrative and service staff.