On this day, January 6th in 1492, the world turned. Ferdinand and Isabella entered Granada, ending over 700 years of Muslim occupation of Spain. The Joint monarchs, Isabella of Castille and Ferdinand of Aragon, ended a journey that began in the year 718 at the Battle of Covadonga when Pelagius led his small Asturian army to glory against the Umayyad Caliphate. The Muslim armies swept across the Strait of Gibraltar in 711 and by 719 they were across the Pyrenees and fighting in southern France. For the next 700 years the Spanish and Portuguese Christians fought the long road to drive the Muslim armies from “Al Andalus” ( the land of the Vandals).
The taking of Granada had a profound impact upon the entire world. For the first time the Spanish could turn from looking inwards to looking outwards. Instead of devoting their energies to the reconquista, the reconquering of their hereditary home, they could look beyond their natural borders.
In Granada Christopher Columbus presented to Ferdinand and Isabella his scheme to round the world and reach the spice islands by sailing west across the Atlantic. The Catholic Monarchs decided to sponsor Columbus and funded him to the tune of three ships.
So it was that in 1492 Europe discovered a “New World”.