November 23: The Beginning of the End

Written by Matthew Mendez, Journalist

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November 23, 1248 C.E. The city of Seville is conquered by the Catholic forces of Ferdinand III of Castile. For hundreds of years, Southern Spain had remained under the control of numerous Muslim dynasties, with Seville witnessing much prosperity at the time. By 1246 C.E. though, Muslim dominance in Iberia began to rapidly decline. With Seville and Granada standing as the last two bastions of Muslim power in Iberia, Ferdinand III sought to embark on the most ambitious plan of the early reconquest of Spain. By 1247 C.E., the city of Seville lay surrounded by Christian forces. Ferdinand even commanded that a small contingency of ships sail up the river Guadalquivir, which Seville was founded founded on, and split the city in two. Battered by experimental gunpowder weapons, blockaded by Castilian vessels, and faced with massive famine and starvation, Seville eventually capitulated, paving the way for the eventual collapse of Muslim power in the Iberian Peninsula.

Photo credits to Seth Knoop