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  • Middle Ages



    In 409 A.D, the vandals and other Germanic tribes invaded Hispania.

    Then, the visigoths crossed the Pyrenees into Hispania, and settled in the centre of the peninsula, where they established a kingdom. Toledo became their capital.

    Later, they conquered the territories occupied by other Germanic tribes, such as the Suevs.

    Finally, they extended Visigothic rule over

    the entire peninsula.

  • THE VISIGOTHIC KINGDOM Initially,the peninsula was controlledby both the Visigoths and

    the Suevs, who inhabitated the north-west.

    The Visigothic kingdom was ruled by a king. One of the most important kings, Leovigild, made Toledo the capital of the kingdom and conquered the Suevs.

    The Visigothic kingdom lasted until 711 A.D, when Roderic, the last Visigothic king, was defeated by the Muslims.




    The Visigoths unified their new kingdom by changing: a. their own language b. religion c.. laws

    They became Christians and based their laws on Roman laws. They also adopted the Hispano-Roman culture. The Visigoths lived in villages. They didnt build cities like the Romans. Instead,

    they used the land for agriculture, livestock farming and pastures. They were expert metalworkers. They made jewellery with gold, silver and

    precious stones. They built small stone churches. The Visigothic kingdom ended after the Muslim invasion in 711 A.D.


    In 711 A.D, a small army of Muslims from northern Africa invaded Visigothic Spain. In only 7 years, they conquered most of the peninsula and the Balearic Islands. This territory was called Al Andalus, and its capital was Cordoba.

    Al Andalus became a province of the Muslim Empire and was goberned by the caliph of Damascus in Asia. The Muslims brought their customs, laws and religion to Al Andalus. Their religion was Islam.

    Many Muslims lived in cities, and worked as merchants and craftsmen.

    Christians continued to live in the north of the peninsula. Their highest authority was the king, and their religion was Christianity. Most Christians lived in the countryside and were farmers.


    For almost 8 hundred years, the centre and south of the peninsula were Muslim. They built cities, protected by walls, on hills. They built palaces, such as the Aljaferia in Zaragoza. They also built mosques, such as the Great Mosque of Cordoba, to practise their religion.

    The most important Muslim city was Cordoba, the capital of Al Andalus.


    In 756 A.D, Abd ar-Rahman I established Al Andalus as an independent province or emirate.

    Al Andalus became a caliphate under Abd ar Rahman III. It lasted until 1031 A.D. During this period, Al Andalus was

    divided into smaller kingdoms called

    taifas. The taifas fought among

    themselves and this helped the

    Christian kingdoms to gain territory.

    New groups of Muslims came from

    Africa to reunite the taifas. However,

    in 1212 the Christians defeated the

    Muslims at the Battle of Las Navas de

    Tolosa. In 1492 the Catholic Monarchs

    conquered the only remaining Muslim

    kingdom, the kingdom of Granada.


    Al Andalus society was formed by Muslims, Christians and Jews.

    It had great scientists, such as doctors, mathematicians and geographers.

    Its mathematicians created the system of numbers we use today.

    The Muslims made great contributions to society, such as new crops, for

    example, rice; instruments, like the compass; and irrigation systems.

  • THE CHRISTIAN KINGDOMS Around the year 1000, while Al Andalus weakened by theit lack of unity, the Christian kingdoms

    expanded and form alliances. Their populations grew and their cities became prosperous. The Christian Reconquest is the long period of expansion of the Christian kingdoms. It was

    completed in 1492, when the Catholic Monarchs conquered Granada. By around 1230, there were four large kingdoms in the Christian territory: the Kingdom of Portugal, which declared its independence from the Kingdom of Leon. the kingdom of Navarre, which included Navarre and part of La Rioja. the Crown of Aragon, which was formed by the Catalonian Counties, the Kingdom of Aragon, Valencia and Majorca. The Crown of Castille, which included the Kingdom of Leon. It later included part of Andalusia. In 1479, Isabella I of Castile married Ferdinand II of Aragon, and the Crowns of Castile and Aragon were united. In 1492, the Catholic Monarchs conquered Granada.


    Medieval society consisted of three groups of people:

    The nobles were very rich, and

    owned land.

    The clergy were a group formed by monks, bishops and priests.

    Most people were peasants, and most of them cultivated the land for the nobles.


    In the 12th century:

    The first universities , such as the University of Salamanca, were founded.

    Churches and monasteries were built in Romanesque style. They had thick walls and small windows.

    After the 13th century:

    Palaces and cathedrals were built in Gothic style. They had pointed arches and large stained-glass windows.