Granada is a department in western Nicaragua and also the department’s seat. With an estimated population of 110,326 (2003), it is Nicaragua’s fourth most populous city and capital of the Granada Department. Granada is historically one of Nicaragua’s most important cities both economically and politically. It is situated on the northwestern shore of Lake Nicaragua. It was founded by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba on December 8, 1524. It has a rich colonial heritage, seen in its architecture and layout.