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Spain and Portugal

landscape, nature, river, Spain, Portugal

The Almohads abandoned Spain, and Muslim Spain became divided amongst several small emirates. This allowed the Christian kingdoms to make good progress in their “Reconquesta“, and the Muslims are now confined to one state, Granada. Isolated though it is, Granada, with its court located in the magnificent Alhambra palace, is the centre of a brilliant Islamic culture.

Castile and Aragon are now the leading Christian kingdoms in Spain. Aragon has become a major maritime power in the Mediterranean, having gained control of the Balearic Islands, Sicily and Sardinia. Castile has merged with Leon to become the dominant military power within Spain itself. In both kingdoms, much of their territory has been taken from the Muslims, as is the case also in Portugal.

In Portugal, this is the age of Prince Henry the Navigator. Under his guidance, numerous expeditions have been sailing down the west coast of Africa, probing further and further south. Portuguese ships have by now reached the coasts of West Africa. They are laying the foundations to the great age of European exploration, which will eventually transform the entire world.

The marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile united Spain, and the two monarchs set about creating a strong centralized state. Within a few years the last Muslim state, Granada, had been conquered, and the Spanish government installed the Inquisition to bring about the Christianization of the conquered territory.

Christopher Columbus, sailing in the service of Spain, discovered the New World. In the following decades Spain acquired an enormous new empire in Central and South America, whose gold and silver made her the wealthiest and most powerful nation in Europe.


Kingdom of Portugal, Crown of Castile, Emirate of Granada (Tributary state of the Crown of Castile), Kingdom of Navarre, Crown of Aragon

(Wilderness Area) Pyrenees Mountains

(Trade Route) Silk Road

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