• 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
• They became Christians and based their laws on Roman laws.
• They also adopted the Hispano-Roman culture.
• The Visigoths lived in villages. They didn’t 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
• 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.
THE EMIRATE AND CALIPHATE OF CORDOBA
• In 756 A.D, Abd ar-Rahman I established Al Andalus as an independent province
• 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.
SOCIETY AND CULTURAL HERITAGE
• 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
● 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
Medieval society consisted of
three groups of people:
• The nobles were very rich, and
• The clergy were a group
formed by monks, bishops and
• 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.