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'Reconquista' (Spanish and Portuguese for "reconquest") refers to the process of conquest of the Moorish kingdoms of Spain by Christian rulers, culminating the 2nd of January[?] of 1492 when Ferdinand and Isabella, Los Reyes Catolicos, ("The Catholic Monarchs") expelled the last of the Moorish rulers, Boabdil of Granada[?], from Iberia, uniting most of what is now Spain under their rule (Navarre was not incorporated until 1512).

It wasn't until later centuries that the Christians started to see their conquests as part of a secular effort to restore the unity of the Visigothic kingdom.

The battle against Moors didn't keep the Christian kingdoms of battling among themselves or allying with Islamic kings. For example, the earlier kings of Navarre were family of the Banu Qasi[?] of Tudela[?]. The Moorish kings often have wives or mothers born Christians. Also Christian champions like the Cid were contracted byt Taifa[?] kings to fight against their neighbours.

In the late years of Al-Andalus[?], Castile had the military power to conquest the remains of the kingdom of Granada, but the kings preferred to claim the tribute of the parias[?]. The commerce of Granadan goods and the parias were a main way for the African gold to enter medioeval Europe[?].

In the High Middle Ages[?], the fight against the Moors in Iberia was linked to the fight of the whole Christendom. Military orders like order of Santiago[?], Montesa[?], the Temple Knights were founded or called. The Popes called the knights of Europe to the Crusades in the Peninsula. French, Navarrese, Castilian and Aragonese armies united in the massive battle of Las Navas de Tolosa (1212).

The Christians called Saint James their protector saint (today he is still the patron of Spain) under the advocation of Santiago Matamoros[?] ("St. James the Moor-killer").

The big territories awarded to military orders and nobles were the origin of the latifundies[?] in today's Andalusia and Extremadura.

The mixing of Christians, Muslims and Jews was to cause later crisis and the limpieza de sangre[?] rules of ethnic purity of the Modern Ages[?].

Social types under the Reconquista The advances and retreats created several social types:

  • the Mozarabs[?]: Descendants of Visigothic or Romanic dwellers who dind't convert to Islam. Some of them migrated to the North in times of persecution.
  • the Muladi[?]: Christians who converted to Islam after the invasion.
  • the Renegade[?]: Christian individuals who embraced Islam and often fight against their former compatriots.
  • the Mudejar[?]: Muslims dwelling land conquered by the Christians. They were usually peasants. Their characteristic architecture of adobe bricks was frequently employed in churches commissioned by the new lords. Their descendants after 1492 were called Moriscos

Currently, along the Mediterranean coast, the festivals of moros y cristianos[?] ("Moors and Christians") recreate the fights as colourful parades with elaborate garments and lots of fireworks.

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