Reconquista and Islam in Spain

The Reconquista is the name given to a long series of wars between the Christian Kingdoms and the Muslim Moors for control of the Iberian Peninsula. It lasted from 718 to 1492. There were many battles won and lost on both sides.

The Iberian Peninsula is located in the far southwest of Europe in the present-day countries Spain and Portugal. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Pyrenees Mountains. The Moors were Muslims who lived in the northern African countries of Morocco and Algeria. They called the land of the Iberian Peninsula "Al-Andalus."

The Reconquista was considered a holy war similar to the Crusades. The Catholic Church wanted to remove the Muslims from Europe. Several military orders of the church fought in the Reconquista.

Timeline of the Reconquista

711: The Moors conquer the Iberian Peninsula.

718: The Reconquista begins with the victory of Pelayo at the Battle of Covadonga.

721: The Moors are turned back from France with a defeat at the Battle of Toulouse.

791: King Alfonso II becomes King of Asterieas in northern Iberia.

930 to 950: The King of Leon defeats the Moors in several battles.

950: The Duchy of Castile is established as an independent Christian state.

1085: Christian warriors capture Toledo.

1086: The Almoravids of North Africa help the Moors push back the Christians.

1094: El Cid takes control of Valencia.

1143: The Kingdom of Portugal is established.

1236: Half of Iberia is retaken by Christian forces.

1309: Fernando IV takes Gibraltar.

1468: King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile are married and form a united Spain. The Moors still rule Granada.

1492: Ferdinand and Isabella authorize the expedition of Christopher Columbus in 1492. Their united forces recapture Grenada in 1492. The Reconquista ends. Muslims and Jews living in Spain are forced to convert to Christianity or be expelled from the country.

Source: Reconquista and Islam in Spain
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