Connected Histories

Timeline of Medieval Spain and the Iberian Peninsula

About This Resource

As background to Rosa Maria Menocal’s Ornament of the World events from the Visigothic period in the Iberian Peninsula, to the rise of Muslim rule to 1492 and the Fall of Granada to Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain.



North African commander Tariq ibn Ziyad leads Umayyad forces across the Strait of Gibraltar into Spain. Muslim forces defeat the Visigoth army, marking the beginning of Muslim rule in Iberia.

750 - 755

Umayyad prince Abd al-Rahman escapes the Abbasid Revolution and arrives in Spain, establishes leadership in Cordoba, and builds an independent state.


Abd al-Rahman begins construction of the Great Mosque of Cordoba.


Abd al-Rahman III declares himself caliph in Cordoba, challenging Abbasid and Fatimid claims of authority over Muslims.


Alfonso VI of Leon-Castile takes control of the city of Toledo.


Taifa (petty kingdom) rulers of Granada and Seville invite Almoravid ruler Yusuf ibn Tashufin to send forces from North Africa to prevent further losses to Christian forces. Al-Andalus comes under Almoravid rule.


Pope Urban II launches the First Crusade.


Almohad rulers succeed Almoravids in al-Andalus and build the Great Mosque of Seville.


Combined Christian allies Castile, Aragon, Navarre, and Portugal defeat Almohads in the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa. Almohad power in Spain declines, leaving Andalusian cities vulnerable to conquest.


The Nasrid dynasty rises to power in Granada.


Pope Innocent III proclaims the crusade in Spain.


Alfonso X, son of Fernando III, consolidates power in Iberia. Known as Al-Sabio, or “the Wise,” he orders Latin translations of Arabic works on medicine, astronomy, philosophy and other subjects.


Isabel of Castile and Fernando of Aragon marry and combine their kingdoms.


The Spanish Inquisition begins, targeting mainly Jews and Muslims.


Boabdil, the last King of Granada, allies with Isabel and Ferdinand in rebellion against his father, leading to the fall of Granada.


King Felipe III expels the Moriscos from Spain. Over 300,000 people are banished, including a third of Valencia’s population.


Fletcher, R. A. Moorish Spain. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006; “Some Important Dates in Medieval Spanish History.” UCLA Humanities. Accessed May 3, 2013. Image credit: Cordoba Mosque mihrab, Album / Art Resource, NY, Source #ORZ079444.

How to Cite This Page

"Muslim Journeys | Item #159: Timeline of Medieval Spain and the Iberian Peninsula", April 17, 2024


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