of the Moors
, the Almohads were the Berber Muslim
, Northern African Empire
during the Medieval period (which begin in 1000 A.D.). The Almohads originated
, but became outraged at nearby provinces
that were being forced into Christianity
, and so begins the vicious
campaign of progress and a four hundred year struggle
with Christian Spain.
The Almoravids were the Berber Muslim tribes that controlled Algeria, Morocco and Muslim Spain (which included the provinces Cordoba and Granada), but were under pressure from Christian Spain. They were both losing territory and slowly being influenced by Christian culture. The Muslims of Spain began crying out for Muslim defenders, and the Almohads answered this call. In 1120 A.D. the Almohads invaded Algeria, conquering it in short order and Morocco soon afterwards. The Spanish began to push into Cordoba, as the Almoravids were now under pressure from both fronts, but the Almohads continued into lower Spain and by 1174 the Almoravids were defeated and the Spanish driven from Cordoba.
The Almohad Khalifah now enterd Muslim Spain and was hailed as a saviour; now the Almohads had the task of consolidating their rule, driving out Christian elements, establishing a firm government in Spain and finally fortifying the frontier against the Spanish. Yet the Spanish Kings were in no mood for compromise, and after being drove from Cordoba they simply rebuilt and reorganised before invading again. The Almohads weren't ready to leave Spain just yet however, and when the Spanish and the Valencians attacked, they were routed and soundly defeated at the battle of Alacros in 1195. The Almohads chased the decimated Valencian army back to its province, conquering it quickly. Meanwhile, the Almohads had constructed a Citadel in Cordoba, and a Fortress at Granada, which became known as the Red Palace, and the most prominent sign of Muslim dominance in southern Spain.
Christianity in Spain seemed to be on its last tether, as both Navarre, Aragon and Portugal remained independent of Spanish rule and were not involved in the war, but Almohad power in Spain was about to collapse. The Spanish signed a treaty with the Portuguese, whom they had been at war with previously, and in 1212 the Portugese and Spanish armies destroyed most of the Almohad defenders at the battle of Navas de Tolosa, conquering Cordoba. The Almohads may have been able to recover, but at the same time the Egyptians invaded and conquered Cyrenaica, and the Almohad Kalifah ordered the retreat from Muslim Spain.
The Almohads signed a truce with the Spanish, and diverted all their troops to the Egyptian front. Things were about to go from bad to worse, however, as in 1268 the revolutionary Merinid dynasty began seizing control, and in 1269 Morocco was lost. Tunisia fell to the Egyptians soon after, but then revolted against the Egyptians. The dates here are relatively obscure, but around 1275 the Merinids had conquered Algeria and Tunisia, and the Almohad Khalifah was captured and executed, marking the end of the Almohad Empire.