Through the investigation of primary and secondary sources, students in this lesson will identify, understand and be able to explain the details of Al-Andalus (Moorish Iberia), including how Muslim forces came to rule over Christian Iberia, the cultural contributions Iberian Moors developed, and ultimately what led to their downfall after such a long rule.
Praise be to God, who ordered that he who speaks with pride of Al-Andalus may do so without fear and as boldly as he pleases, nor meet any that may contradict him …
Al-Shaqundi, "Of the Excellence of Al-Andalus"
… and there was no one who did not weep abundantly with pleasure giving thanks to Our Lord for what they saw, for they could not keep back the tears; and the Moorish sultan and the Moors who were with him for their part could not disguise the sadness and pain they felt for the joy of the Christians, and certainly with much reason on account of their loss, for Granada is the most distinguished and chief thing in the world …
Contemporary Christian account (unnamed) of the surrender of Granada to Spanish forces, 02 Jan 1492
On 02 Jan 1492, Muhammad XII, Sultan of Granada and last ruler of the Nasrid dynasty, surrendered the Emirate of Granada to King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile, united Catholic Monarchs of Spain. The Reconquista was over. For over 700 years, Christian soldiers and kingdoms had been fighting Muslims for control of the Iberian Peninsula. Seven centuries of fighting were over. Seven centuries of division were over. Seven centuries of Moorish control were over.
Catholic Spain would go on to explore and dominate the New World. Spanish institution, religious practices and language dialects would be brought to the corners of the globe. Over the next few centuries, through the use of the Catholic Inquisition and Auto-da-fe practices, Muslims in Spain were either forced to leave the peninsula, forced to convert to Catholicism or executed by the state as criminals. Over time, much of Moorish Spain (known as Al-Andalus) was forgotten by a Christian population determined to show the Reconquista as God’s will. After centuries of mistrust, that trend is reversing. Moorish Spain was a center of culture, artistic achievements, exceptional literary works and scientific advances far above anything Christian Europe could hope to produce. Cordoba, the longtime capital of Al-Andalus and a world-renowned center for learning and tolerance, boasted a population of over 100,000 at a time when Europe was struggling to recover from the Dark Ages.
Through the investigation of primary and secondary sources, students in this lesson will identify, understand and be able to explain the details of Al-Andalus (Moorish Iberia), including how Muslim forces came to rule over Christian Iberia, the cultural contributions Spanish Moors developed, and ultimately what led to their downfall after such a long rule.
To view resource web pages, download the lesson plan PDF above.
While on tour, you will visit the Prado Museum to see the world-famous paintings of El Greco, Goya and Velázquez, among other collections from the 12th to the 19th centuries. Spain’s most famous collection has works from Moorish artists as well. Students will have the opportunity to see for themselves how the Al-Andalus period of Spanish history is portrayed in a variety of media from both Christian and Muslim sources.
passports Educational Group Travel partners with teachers across the United States to provide high-quality educational travel experiences to their students. Educational tours visit destinations around the world - primarily France, Italy, England, Spain and Costa Rica - at low, guaranteed prices.
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