Anniversary of the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa today
July 16th 1212: the important battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, in Andalucia, was fought and won by the Christian armies of Spain and Portugal. It was also Pope Innocent III’s fourth Crusade( 2 had been to the Holy Land and the other against the Albigensian heretics). It was a great feat to get the warring and jealous kings of Aragon, Navarre and Portugal to fight alongside Castille, but it was very necessary. The Moors had been on the Iberian Peninsula since the Arab chief Tarik crossed at what is now Gibraltar, in 711AD.
The battle did not see the eviction of the Moors from Spain, but it was the beginning of Spanish resurgence, which would culminate with Ferdinand and Isabella’s capture of their last stronghold, that of Granada in 1492.
Never again did Europe have to fear from Muslim invasion from this direction.
The next wave would come from the East and towards Constantinople and then Vienna.