Surrender Treaty of the Kingdom of Granada

(1491)

The Surrender Treaty of the Kingdom of Granada, signed in 1491, completed the Reconquista (“reconquest” or “recapture”). This term refers to the process by which Spain reclaimed territories on the Iberian Peninsula that for hundreds of years had been under the control of Muslims, called “Moors” in Spain.


The roots of the treaty extend back to the early 700s, when Islam was rapidly expanding throughout the Mediterranean region and captured large portions of the Iberian Peninsula. In the centuries that followed, Christians were restricted to the northern part of the peninsula, while Muslims dominated in the south. As early as 722, Christians began pushing southward, winning the Battle of Covadonga against a Muslim force that year. In the centuries that followed, Spanish Christians continued the effort to drive the Moors out of Spain and recapture their land. In 1212, Spanish Christian forces defeated a Muslim army from North Africa at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, a...

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Court of the Lions in the heart of the Alhambra, the Moorish citadel in Granada (Library of Congress)

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