Major Events and Consequences of the Granada War

Facts about the Granada War

Raging from 1482 to 1492, the Granada War was an extremely important conflict in Europe as it marked the end of Muslim rule in the Iberian Peninsula and the consolidation of power by the Christian kingdoms.

The war further unified forces of Castile and Aragon under Isabella and Ferdinand. This victory set the stage for Spain’s rise as a dominant European power and its extensive global explorations and conquests in the subsequent centuries.

Muhammad XII (Boabdil) surrenders to Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492. Image: The Surrender of Granada by F. Pradilla

World History Edu provides a quick look at the major events of the war as well its consequences.

Beginning of Hostilities (1482)

The war commenced with a campaign against the town of Alhama de Granada, a strategic fortress close to the city of Granada. The Castilian forces captured it, securing a pivotal foothold near the Nasrid capital.

Siege of Málaga (1487)

One of the most significant battles of the war, the Siege of Málaga lasted for several months. It resulted in a victory for the Catholic Monarchs and marked a crucial step in isolating the city of Granada.

Wedding portrait of Catholic Monarchs Queen Isabella I of Castile (right) and King Ferdinand II of Aragon (left), married in 1469

Siege of Baza (1489)

Baza was another essential stronghold for the Nasrids. Its fall further weakened the defense of the city of Granada and solidified the dominance of the Castilian forces in the region.

The Final Siege and Surrender (1491-1492)

The war culminated in the Siege of Granada, which began in the spring of 1491. By November, terms of surrender were being negotiated, and on January 2, 1492, the city was handed over (by Muhammad  XII of Granada) to the Catholic Monarchs.

The war culminated with the surrender of Muhammad XII, also known as Boabdil, on January 2, 1492. He handed over the keys of the Alhambra palace to the Catholic Monarchs, symbolizing the transfer of power. Image: Muhammad XII – 22nd and last Nasrid ruler of the Emirate of Granada in Iberia.

Treaty of Granada

Before the city’s formal surrender, a treaty was signed in 1491 ensuring certain rights for the Muslims, including freedom of religion. However, these terms were soon violated, leading to forced conversions and eventual expulsions.

Consequences of the Granada War

The capture of Granada marked the end of 781 years of Muslim rule in the Iberian Peninsula, completing the Christian Reconquista.

Shortly after the conquest of Granada, the Catholic Monarchs issued the Alhambra Decree in 1492, which ordered the expulsion of all Jews from Castile and Aragon unless they converted to Christianity.

Initially, the terms of Granada’s surrender guaranteed religious freedom for its Muslim inhabitants. However, over the next few decades, the policies became more repressive, with forced conversions and, eventually, the expulsion of the Moriscos (Muslims who had converted to Christianity) in the early 17th century.

Finally, the victory in Granada, along with the marriage of Isabella and Ferdinand, helped lay the foundations for a unified Spanish state.


The Granada War was not just a military campaign but a significant event that shaped the cultural, religious, and political fabric of Spain for centuries to come. The end of the war and the subsequent unification of Spain under the Catholic Monarchs set the stage for Spain’s emergence as a global superpower during the Age of Exploration.

READ MORE: Most Famous Spanish Monarchs and their Reigns

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *