Alhambra Spain 1492
Astrology had accurately "predicted Boabdil's surrender" in 1492 of what was left of the al Andalus.
Islam in Parallel
The Turkish Threat
2 January 1492
The Importance of Granada
6th January 1492
The Truimphant Appearance
Christianity Replaced Islam
Rumours of Boabdil
Islam in Parallel: Long Shadows of Murder and Devastation Eclipsed the Islamic Empire
The Mongols Invaded Persia
Baghdad was destroyed in 1256 AD. There was a holocaust for over two million Moslem souls who perished.
Priceless knowledge stored in the House of Wisdom
(500 years of tireless research) were cast to flames. The Euphrates waters turned black. Ink seeped from thousands of books thrown into the river. The Islamic Golden Ages were being bled to death...
Urban systems: Institutions, schools, roads, irrigation systems were devastated. All were vital for trade and security. Bandits controlled any remaining roads. A few areas remained: science and philosophy tried to subsist but progress, eventually, ground to a complete halt. Technology and economy stagnated and died.
The Abbasidian Caliphate ended.
Other Historic Conflicts
The Turkish Threat and the Demise of the Byzantine Empire 1056 to 1453 AD
Equally, the Christian Byantine Emipre fell devastatingly to the Turks in 1453 - initiating the Ottoman Empire. Constantinople was renamed Istanbul. Christianity shifted inwards into Eastern Europe and Russia. The loss of Constantinople was a huge blow.
The Emirate of Granada was viewed as a "must fall." Much emphasis was placed on ousting the Arabs from the Iberian Peninsular, especially from the Vatican.
Islamic Spain lost Cordoba in 1256 AD to the Christians. Steadily, thereafter, the Arabs continued to lose territory after territory. Inevitably, the al-Andalus kingdom shrunk and shrunk until - there was only a small area left. The
were designed - to be impenetrable.
Boabdil was much blamed for his narrow-mindedness and weakness of character; but "someone" eventually had to be the person who would return the al-Andalus to the Christians. That person was Boabdil. The remaining Muslims never admitted defeat: they always referred to the surrender as a betrayal.
The 2nd of January for was a Rare Date
All of us (that were alive) "remember" what we were doing or where we were, the day President Kennedy was killed or when Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon
. And so it was for the three religions, involved in the events of the 2nd January Alhambra-takeover of 1492 AD.
Secrecy and Protection Tactics
Negotiations with the Christians had been conducted in utmost secrecy. Before dawn, on the 1st January 1492, officers knocked on most important Granadine family doors. They were taking prisoners of the most valued nobles - as protection - to prevent uprisings. Up to five hundred nobles were escorted out of the palatine city, exiting, through the Gate of Seven Stages.
They rode to a prearranged point where Castillean troops materialised. The Granada military returned to Granada; while the noble hostages were escorted inside Santa Fe.
Later that night, high ranking Castillean officers, accompanied the Vizier into Granada during the dark hours, in complete secrecy. They began preparations for the Catholic kings' takeover.
Daybreak found the meeting of two royal contingents near the Genil river: one coming from Santa Fe and one leading out of the Alhambra.
King Fernando and Queen Isabella followed by a retinue of nobility and guards met with the departing Emir. Boabdil separated from his group, while his family, loyal servants, guards and followers continued on their way.
The Christians had broken their mourning dress-code (for the king of Portugal), in exchange for extravagant Moorish attire, marking the memorable occasion. Boabdil made to dismount, to kiss the hands of the royal couple. Fernando dismissed his intention. Boabdil embraced Fernando's sleeve showing his loyalty and love for them.
"Boabdil delivered the keys of the city with an air of mingled melancholy and resignation. "These keys," said he, "are the last relics of the Arabian empire in Spain: thine, O king, are our trophies, our kingdom, and our person. Such is the will of God! Receive them with the clemency thou hast
promised, and which we look for at thy hands."See resources below"
The Queen held Boabdil's first-born son, Ahmed, who she now returned to Boabdil after eight years captivity - not able to speak a word of Arabic. Boabdil rode away with his son.
Count Tendilla and Hernando de Talavera, Bishop of Avila meanwhile had entered the Alhambra. The King and Queen waited for an All Clear signal.
Fernando's cross was fastened to the Torre de la Vela its silver glistened in the bright Andalucian morning sunshine. Trumpets and drums heralded that historic moment while Castillean flags were unfurled and raised throughout the palatine city. The Castillean army shouted: "Granada! Granada for the monarchs Don Fernando and Doña Isabella."
Hearing the truimph the kings and their court sank to their knees singing Te Deum Laudamas. The moment was indelibly etched on everyone present; written and depicted about at length.
The echoes of triumph were within earshot of the departing Moorish calvacade. Each step, was a step, further from their beloved city. About six miles away from the Alhambra Spain 1492, they reached a point where their previous home would disappear from view.
They paused and looked back for their last view, poignancy at its height. Ths sun was risen by then on that crisp January morning. Never had the Alhambra looked so beautiful...
"The heart of Boabdil, softened by misfortunes and overcharged with grief, could no longer contain itself. "Allah Akbar! God is great!" said he but the words of resignation died upon his lips and he burst into tears.
The mother, the intrepid Aixa, was indignant at his weakness. "You do well," said she, "to weep like a woman for what you failed to defend like a man."
The vizier Aben Comixa endeavored to console his royal master. "Consider, senor," said he, "that the most signal misfortunes often render men as renowned as the most prosperous achievements, provided they sustain them with magnanimity."
The unhappy monarch, however, was not to be consoled; his tears continued to flow. "Allah Akbar!" exclaimed he, "when did misfortune ever equal mine?" See resources below
Where they paused became known as: El Ultimo Suspiro del Moro: The Moor's Last Sigh.
January 2nd thereafter became celebrated as the Day of the Toma: the day of the seizure
, a public commemoration for the completion of the unification of the Iberian Peninsula under Catholicism under the rule of King Fernando and Queen Isabella. The city of Granada was the supreme symbol of the Reconquista
, Andalucia Spain
. See Physical Map of Spain and Political Map of Spain.
The Catholic kings chose to be buried in Granada in Andalucia because Granada had been such an important and vital conquest. The conquering of Granada was considered (at that time) as having achieved a "second Jerusalem."
The Pomegranate Symbol and the Spanish Coat of Arms
The Catholic kings incorporated the coat of arms and to this day the pomegranate symbol
The Official Ceremony
The Catholic kings did
enter the Alhambra on the 2nd January for a "key ceremony" but they purposely refrained from taking possession of the city until it was completely secured; their troops garrisoned.
A marble plaque was erected commemorating the Christian takeover in the Puerta de Justicia.
Boabddil's military surrendered on the 2nd January, however, there was much to examine before the Catholic kings' entered the Alhambra Spain 1492 palatine city, officially.
Prisononers: Alhambra Spain 1492
When the Catholic kings first entered the palatine city, they encountered a strange sight coming towards them...
A group of thin, pale, bedraggled and still-chained Christians who had been released from the Alhambra prisons. To the Catholic kings that encounter was momentous. The prisoners were greeted with eloquent blessings from the Queen, while the King showered them with praise for being Good Spaniards and for having withstood countless duresses, for the sake of the Christian cause.
The other set of prisoners (the 500 high-ranking Granadines) were released from Santa Fe. Fernando was adamant that life should continue its usual pattern, thus avoiding civil unrest and uprisings.
The offical date for the possession was the 6th January 1492
, the celebration of Epiphany or the Three Kings: Los Reyes Magos
Mosques meanwhile had been consecrated transforming them into Christian churches. The principal Alhambra Mosque became a Christian cathedral for the celebrations of the official ceremony.
A grand military parade preceeded the King and Queen's entry into Granada...
The cavalry heralded the royal procession in a splendid military display of pomp and ceremony. Plumes, sparkling helmets and armour-suits decked the officers and their steeds as the Christians, the new rulers, filed steadily into and through Granada, heading for the main Granada mosque.
Prince Juan, scintillating in diamonds and precious jewels, followed the entering cavalcade. Either-side of Prince Juan, rode Fray Hernando de Talavera, bishop of Aivila and arch-bishop elect of Granada and the Grand cardinal. Their dress code was purple-cloth reserved for festive occasions, both were astride mules.
Queen Isabella was next accompanied with her ladies. Next was King Fernando riding a dashing and arrogant stallion.
Loud fanfares of military music blasted and echoed in the Granadine streets, ostentatious royal banners swirled at every corner. The army marched solemnly behind the Catholic kings.
It was a One-Sided Parade
The Moors remained inside their homes, crying and moaning as softly as possible that the enemy might not hear of their reaction. Islam was being banished; the Moors were now at the mercy of these people.
The royal cortege entered the prinicple mosque of the Alhambra. Mass was celebrated for the entire court, cavlary and royal family. Grace had been granted to Christianity. Fernando prayed fervently, to keep alive Christian conquests; that those successes would continue to prevail. Everyone present identified with Fernando's words and truely believed him.
After mass ended, the cortege entered the Palatine city of the Alhambra through the Gate of Justice. For the first time the nobility and royal were able to see the gardens and palaces of the Alhambra.
The New Throne Room of the Catholic Kings
Official ceremonies commenced in the Ambassador's Hall (Alhambra Spain 1492). The first guests were the Moorish nobility of Granada, then, alguacils: mayors of the remaing few towns in the Alpujarras, not yet conquered by the Christians. Each swore their alliegiance and homage to the Christian kings - thus ending the Reconquista, officially with these acts.
One particular family were VIP guests, while paying homage and allegiance to the Catholic kings: Isabel de Solis and her children. Immediately, the Christians were in control, she renounced her Islamic faith and returned to her childhood faith of Catholicism. Isabel de Solis was received in great honour, her sons were given a new surname: Granada-Venegas.
The Catholic kings truely believed the conquer of Granada was a Divine gift
- possibly it was "this religious-based philosophy" which led to their welshing the terms of the Treaty of Granada AND the fact that their religious advisers, principally, Cardinal Francisco Jimenez Cisneros
(the Queen's confessor) who enforced a consistently high religious-based maxim in their ruling psychology.
1492 was a Truely Magical Year for Spain, which was Not Yet "Known" as Spain
The Iberian Peninsula was divided into five kingdoms: Aragon, Castilla, Granada, Navarra and Portugal
. Barcelona was added to the kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula, when Fernando conquered it, in 1512 AD.
Not only did Granada fall but Christopher Columbus, who had been present in Santa Fe, was finally recieved by King Fernando and Queen Isabella in the Ambassadors Hall. Christopher Columbus explained, he wished to discover a new route to the Indies - across the Atlantic.
A patronship was granted by the Catholic kings and Christopher Columbus, was able to set forth and his journey succeeded beyond belief. Spain was living in a magical moment.
Before he left the Alhambra Spain 1492, Boabdil had his ancestors dug up. He took their remains to safer grounds. Some say they were buried in his new kingdom, some say he took them and buried them elsewhere...
His enormous wealth, was possibly hidden, before they left the palatine city. Whether this really happened, it is impossible to say. There was no hope for his return... Maybe the war cost every penny. Who knows?
The Exhiled and Their Front Door Keys...
Those that chose exile, took what they could. They locked their front doors and walked away. Everything they had worked, dreamed and strugggled for was behind "a front door in Granada."
The Granada front door keys were hung on a wall of their new homes, in Morocco. Not a day passed without poignant memories of that beloved city, Granada and of their homes. The keys became icons of a much cherished life; many prayers were uttered to the keys.
Fathers' passed those keys onto their sons and they likewise, handed down those treasured keys onto their children. History was recounted over and over again, so no-one should ever forget the memories of the Paradise Lost of the al-Andalus.
Everyone's world had changed irrevocably by the events of 1492 AD.
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