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The University of Granada (UGR) is a public higher education institution, located in the city of Granada, southern Spain. Carrying on the city's tradition as a centre of education, it replaced the original Arab madrasah, being officially founded in 1531 by Emperor Carlos V, thanks to the papal bull issued by Pope Clemente VII.
The university has campuses in the Spanish cities of Granada, Ceuta and Melilla. Every year, over 2,000 European students attend the university through the LLP/ERASMUS programme, making it the programme's most popular destination. The UGR also participates in the EU's Erasmus Mundus Programme, alongside other European universities: CIMET, GEMMA, MUNDUSFOR and EUROPUBHEALTH. There is also the Erasmus Mundus External Co-operation Windows initiative, in which the UGR takes part, organising activities with Jordan, the Lebanon and Syria. The university's Modern Languages Centre receives over 10,000 international students a year, following the Spanish language and culture, and Hispanic Studies courses.
The roots of the University of Granada go back to 1349, when Sultan Yusuf I created the Madrasah of Granada, a building which remained in use until 1499-1500, when it was taken by the Catholic Monarchs of Spain. As a consequence, the Madrasah's library was destroyed in a fire, damaging written legacy of the Moorish civilisation of the time. Once the Arab university had disappeared, the building was then donated to local government use by King Ferdinand II of Aragon. The city of Granada would not have a university again until 1526, thanks to the patronage of Charles V. Since its origins, the city of Granada was successively influenced by the cultures of the Iberians, the Ancient Romans and then, later on, the Jews and the Muslims. The city was capital of the Nasrid Kingdom, the Moorish civilisation of the time. Granada was also the last city in the Iberian Peninsula to be taken by the Catholic Monarchs, in 1492, effectively driving the Moorish rulers out of Spain. The conquering forces at first obeyed the rules laid down by the monarchy with regard to the city. However, from 1499 onwards, there was increasing unrest, which culminated in a revolt instigated by Cardinal Cisneros who took advantage of the situation by burning libraries, thus trying to kill off Moorish culture and force the Moors to convert to Christianity. This highly tense situation of cultural pillaging was put to an end by Charles V.