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November 25, 2015

25 Nov 1491: Moors surrender Granada

On this day in 1491, after an eight-month siege by Spanish forces, the Moors surrendered Granada, their last European stronghold.

Granada is still the home of the famous fortress Alhambra, rebuilt by the Moors in the mid-13th century.

Francisco Pradilla Ortiz. Rendición de Granada (1882)

Some more details on the Moors:

  • they were North African Muslims who invaded at Gibraltar in 711
    • they were a mix of Berbers and Arabs
    • Mauritania means “land of the Moors”
  • they got as far as France in the 730s but were repelled by Charles “The Hammer” Martel
  • their empire was centered in al-Andalus, now known as Andalusia; the region’s present capital, Seville, also served as the Moorish capital for 500 years
  • the Emir of Cordoba built the forerunner of Madrid, a military fortress called Magerit
  • 11th century knight El Cid served as a mercenary for both the Moors and opposing Christian forces
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