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"The Reconquista was the process by which the Christian countries of Spain and Portugal were reconquered from the Moors after 770 years of Muslim occupation." --Sholem Stein

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Reconquista (Spanish and Portuguese for the "reconquest") is the period of history of the Iberian Peninsula spanning approximately 770 years between the Islamic conquest of Hispania in 711 and the fall of the last Islamic state in Iberia at Granada to the expanding Christian kingdoms in 1492. The Reconquista ended just before the European discovery of the Americas—the "New World"—which ushered in the era of the Portuguese and Spanish colonial empires.

Historians traditionally mark the beginning of the Reconquista with the Battle of Covadonga (718 or 722), the first victory by Christian military forces since the 711 Islamic conquest of Iberia by the Umayyad Caliphate. During the Battle of Covadonga, a small Christian army led by the nobleman Pelagius defeated the caliphate's army in the mountains of northern Iberia and established the independent Christian Kingdom of Asturias.

Timeline of major dates

  • 711: The invasion of Christian-ruled Iberia by Arab-Berber armies of the Umayyad Caliphate begins.
  • 717: First Umayyad foray over the Pyrenees into Visigothic Gaul.
  • 719: Islamic Umayyad rule in Iberia at its widest, covering almost all of the Iberian Peninsula and across the Pyrenees in Narbonne.
  • 718 or 722: Battle of Covadonga in the north-west of Iberia, establishing a Christian Kingdom in Asturias.
  • 739 Berber garrison driven from Galicia.
  • 742: Berber garrisons give up their positions north of the Duero River to join the Berber rebellion.
  • 759: Pepin the Short conquers the last Muslim strongholds in present-day France.
  • 801: The Carolingians led by Louis the Pious conquer Barcelona, sack Lleida, and establish the Spanish March.
  • 809: The Carolingians fail to take and hold Tarragona and Tortosa, retreating to their Ebro marches.
  • 868: Conquest of the city of Porto, leading to the establishment of the County of Portucale (Latin for later Portugal).
  • 871: Capture of Coimbra by the Asturians, County of Coimbra established.
  • 914: Iberian Muslims briefly retake Barcelona.
  • 929 Abd al-Rahman III declares caliphate in Córdoba, taking the title of "commander of the faithful" (caliph).
  • 1085: Landmark conquest of Toledo by Castilian forces. Over half of Iberia conquered by Christian-ruled kingdoms.
  • 1086: Almoravid defeated Castilian army and halted its advance at Battle of Sagrajas.
  • 1097: First Crusade; two-thirds of the Iberian peninsula conquered by Christian-ruled kingdoms.
  • 1118: Navarro-Aragonese troops capture the Muslim strongholds of Tudela and Zaragoza.
  • 1147: Siege of Lisbon, where Second Crusade and the Kingdom of Portugal defeat the Almoravids.
  • 1195: The Battle of Alarcos establishes Almohad authority in the south of the Iberia.
  • 1212: The key battle of Navas de Tolosa heralds the steady political decline of the Iberian Muslim kingdoms.
  • 1236: Cádiz and the former capital of the caliphate Córdoba are conquered by Castilian forces.
  • 1248: Christian armies under Ferdinand III of Castile take Seville after 16 months of siege.
  • 1249: King Afonso III of Portugal takes Faro (in the Algarve), ending the Portuguese Reconquista in 1249.
  • 1249: The Emirate of Granada remains the only Muslim state in Iberia.
  • 14th and 15th centuries: Marinid Muslims seize control of some towns on the southern coast but are soon driven out, leaving only a few isolated towns in the south of Granada still controlled by the Moors.
  • 1492: Following the Treaty of Granada (25 November 1491), the Moors surrender the city, completing the military phase of the Reconquista.
  • 1492: Alhambra Decree issued by the Catholic Monarchs 31 March expelling Jews from Spain

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Reconquista" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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