What event made Spain turn to Christianity?
After the siege of Seville, Spain’s landscape was becoming predominantly Christian, and by 1250 the only remaining Islamic emirate in Europe was the Emirate of Granada.13 The mass expulsion of Muslims during the reconquest in Andalucia was somewhat economically detrimental to the area after many skilled craftsmen and agriculturalists had been banished. Notwithstanding this, many Castilian soldiers acquired the necessary skills to maintain the complex cultivation of commodities like olives and wine. As Christians gradually dominated the populace, large areas of land were being used for cattle grazing, and some wealthy noblemen and knights purchased large estates. They hegemonized acculturation and their ideology played a significant part in reshaping the political and social identity of Spain. The influence of which can be seen to this day. Muslims in the eastern kingdoms of Aragon and Valencia on the other hand, were treated slightly more leniently. Despite many switching to Christianity and compromising their cultural and economic status, they were not absorbed or integrated into society. After centuries of coexistence between Christians, Muslims and Jews, La Convivencia appeared to be dying out and intolerance began to grow toward non-Christians, much is it had toward non-Muslims during the Almohad dynasty.
The reconquest decelerated due to the black death and civil wars between Christian kingdoms which enabled Granada to survive almost three centuries as the last Muslim stronghold in Andalusia. In the fourteenth century, Castile’s concentration was on trying to conquer Portugal rather than Granada. This priority changed when Isabela married Ferdinand. United by religion and political ideology, they realised that political rivalry among Christians had to end before the final stage of the reconquest could be completed.15 From the Almohads, the Nasrid family emerged as Emirs and attempted to recreate the architectural feat of their predecessors by converting the Alhambra into a royal palace.