is a city
, Central America
, located at 11.94° North, 85.96° West, on the western shore of Lake Nicaragua
, and about 18 km north of the Pacific Ocean
shore. Granada's estimated population was some 92,000 people in 2002
. Granada is the capital of Nicaragua's Granada Department.
Granada, street scene, about 1905
Granada was founded in 1524 and was long the principle city in the Nicaragua region of New Spain. It was raided by pirates from France and England in the 17th century.
After Nicaragua became independent from the United States of Central America in 1839, Granada alternated with León, Nicaragua as the capital of Nicaragua (Granada was prefered by Conservative regemes and León by Liberal ones) until the national capital was permanently established at Managua in 1858.
Granada was long a center of commerce, including woods, cacao, and gold and silver working.
Granada remains Nicaragua's third largest city, and is known for preserving some fine Colonial architecture.