GRANADA, a city of Central America, state of Nicaragua, is situated on the N.W. bank of the Lake of Nicaragua, 30 miles N.N.W. of the town of that name. The suburbs are composed of cane huts occupied by the poorer inhabitants, but the city proper is formed of one-storied houses built of adobes or sun-dried bricks, roofed with tiles. They have balconied windows, and are surrounded by courtyards with ornamental gateways. It possesses several old churches and the remains of ancient fortifications. By means of the lake and the river San Juan, it communicates with the Caribbean Sea, and carries on a considerable trade in cocoa, cochineal, indigo, and hides. The steamer " Coburg " in the end of 1878, after several unsuccessful attempts; forced a passage up the river San Juan from the sea to Lake Nicaragua, thus establishing steam navigation between Granada, the Bay de la Vierge, San George, and other towns, and direct communication between Greyton and Granada. The feat is of importance in view of the project of constructing an oceanic canal by this route.
Granada was founded by Francisco Fernandez de Cordova in 1522, and he erected a fort for its protection. At an early period it surpassed Leon in importance, and was one of the richest cities in North America. It suffered greatly from the attacks of pirates in the latter half of the 17th century, and in 1606 was completely sacked by them. In 1855 it was taken by the filibuster William Walker, and partially destroyed by fire, and though retaken in 1857 it has never recovered its former prosperity, a great part of it being still in ruins. The population is about 10,000.