The Moor's Last Sigh - The Capitulation of Granada in 1492

2 January 1492, the Spanish Reconquista of the Iberian peninsula ended with the fall of Granada.

"Thou dost weep like a woman for what thou couldst not defend as a man." (Aïcha al-Horra, mother of Muhammad XII)

The Spanish painter Francisco Pradilla Orti’s (1848 – 1921) The Capitulation of Granada (1882)

The last Islamic ruler in Spain, Abū ‘Abd Allāh Muḥammad al-thānī ‘ashar, Boabdil to the Giaours, turned around at the spot known as último suspiro del Moro, (the Moor's last sigh) for a last glance at the al-Ḥamrā, the Red One, before meeting Ferdinand and Isabella to hand over the city of Granada. With its last foothold in Spain taken by the Reconquista, the Islamic culture of Al Andalus, beginning almost 800 years before with the defeat of the Visigothic king Roderic at the Battle of Guadalete, was no more. 

Francisco Pradilla Orti: "El Suspiro del Moro" (The Moor's Last Sigh", 1892)

Columbus, being present at the ceremony, wrote: "After your Highnesses ended the war of the Moors who reigned in Europe, and finished the war of the great city of Granada, where this present year [1492] on the 2nd January I saw the royal banners of Your Highnesses planted by force of arms on the towers of the Alhambra, which is the fortress of the said city, I saw the Moorish sultan issue from the gates of the said city, and kiss the royal hands of Your Highnesses..." a bit of toadying on his side was rather appropriate, since the end of the Reconquista turned the attention and funds of Ferdinand and Isabella to other things, among them the fitting out of Columbus' expedition to find a sea route to India across the Great Ocean, setting sail in August.

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