Islamic Spain c. 1030

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Map Code: Ax00155

Cordoba’s collapse in 1031 marked the end of southern Spain’s Islamic golden age and the beginning of the disintegration of its empire. Amir Abd al-Rahman I, the emir of Cordoba, had successfully united the separate Muslim kingdoms, creating stability and a climate of religious and ethnic tolerance. Jews and Christians could worship in their own synagogues and churches. Over time, divisions appeared between the different caliphates and Cordoba splintered into multiple mini-states called ‘taifas’. There was also growing Christian resistance to escalating restrictions imposed upon them as non-Muslims. This created an atmosphere of conflict and rebellion, which worsened during the Almoravid Era (1031–1130). The Christian states in the north saw the collapse of Cordoba as a signal to send its crusaders to the south, where they lay siege to the Islamic kingdoms on the Iberian peninsula. Toledo, capital of pre-Islamic Spain, was the first to fall in 1085.

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