(Spanish: "reconquest", from Re- and conquistar, "conquer")

The Spanish term for the process whereby Christendom retook the Iberian Peninsula from Islam. The Reconquista began in 722, with the Battle of Covadonga. From the 11th century, when Muslim unity broke down, the Reconquista became an actual movement, and participants were considered crusaders.

As more and more land was seized from the Moors, Christian kingdoms rose out of the conquered land (Asturias, León, Galicia, Aragon, Navarra, Castille, and Portugal), but many of these were later dynastically united under a single Spanish monarchy. The Reconquista was completed in 1492, with the final conquest of Granada by the armies of Ferdinand V.

Ironically, Ferdinand (husband of Queen Isabella, who sent Christopher Columbus off on his blue-sky mission) was a descendant of Isabella of Denia, who had been born Zaida, daughter of the last Abbadid Emir of Sevilla. When Sevilla was conquered by Alfonso VI of Castille, Zaida was forcibly converted to Catholicism and equally forcibly married to her city's conqueror. The great irony of this is that the Abbadids could claim direct descent from the Prophet Muhammad. Through this forced marriage, the bloodline of the Prophet entered the dynastic intermixture of European royalty and nobility, ensuring that most European nobles - and all the currently ruling monarchs of Europe are descendants of Muhammad.