The Emirate of Granada, 1236-1492



Early in the 13th century most of the RECONQUISTA was accomplished : Aragon conquered Valencia (1238) and the Balearic Islands (1229/35), Portugal took the Algarve (ca. 1250), Castile gained Cordoba (1236), Murcia (1248), Sevilla (1248), Cadiz (1262), Jerez de la Frontera (1264).
The only Islamic kingdom left on the Iberian peninsula was the Emirate of Granada, ruled by the NASRID DYNASTY since 1236. Paying tribute to Castile, it continued to exist, with unchanged borders, until 1492.
For the Emirate of Granada it was a period of peace and prosperity. The ALHAMBRA, the royal palace overlooking Granada, erected by the Nasrids in 1340-1391, continues to be Spain's most impressive architectural site. The society of the Granadan Emirate saw Muslims, Jews and Christians live together peacefully. Ouside the borders of the Emirate, the Muslim and Jewish population in the areas conquered by the knights of Castile were pressed to convert to Catholicism. Many fled into the kingdom of Granada.
During the 14th and 15th century, Granada from time to time faced war with Castille, but was able to fend the Castillian armies off. When, in 1479, Aragon and Castile formed a personal union under the Catholic monarchs, that would ultimately merge into the Kingdom of Spain. Granada seized to be a vital source of revenue for Castile, and, following successon conflict in Granada and the refusal of the Emir to continue paying tribute, in Castile the old idea of Reconquista was taken up again (1481). The result of the War of Castile-Aragon against Granada was never in doubt; the Nasrid kingdom fell in 1492, the year in which Columbus sailed for the Indies. BOABDIL, the last Nasrid king, crossed over into Africa.
In 1499 the Moorish population of Granada rose in rebellion. The latter was crushed, and the Moors forces to either convert or leave the country. Many converted, to continue practising their old religion in secret; they were called the MORISCOS. They would rise a last time in 1568/70, after which Islamic communities in Spain ceased to exist.






EXTERNAL
FILES
Granada, from World Heritage Cities, illustrations and short comment
The History of Granada, from tuspain
The Nasrid Kings of Granada, from The History of Moorish Spain, genealogical table; dito, from Regmal Chronologies : Islamic Spain, scroll down for Granada
The History of Granada, from About Granada
DOCUMENTS Treaty of Granada 1492, posted by Cyberistan
La Conquista de Granada en 1492, document, posted by Andalucia, Documentos y Narraciones, in Spanish
The Expulsion of Jews from Spain, 1492, from Jewish History Sourcebook
REFERENCE Hugh Kennedy, Muslim Spain and Portugal, A Political History of al-Andalus, Harlow : Pearson 1996, 342 pp.; KMLA Lib.Sign. 946.02 K35m



This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on November 9th 2004

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