In this series we cover the rise of Islamic Spain or Al-Andalus followed by the gradual reconquest of Spain by the Spanish Christian Kingdoms.
We take a look at the Iberian peninsular from Roman rule to the establishment of the Visigoths.
We examine the lead up to the battle of 711 and the final years of Visigothic rule.
We discuss the Battle of 711, which brought the Muslim conquerers to the Iberian peninsula.
Following the Muslim victory, someone hid the treasures of the Visigothic Kings at a place called Guerrazar, near Toledo. The hiding place was so effective that the treasure remained hidden for over 1000 years. Thankfully it was rediscovered in 1858 and pieces of the find are now on display in Paris and Madrid.
We explore how the Muslim invaders were able to consolidate their hold on the Iberian peninsula.
One of the reasons why the Muslim invaders were ultimately successful, was the raft of Roman infrastructure already in place across the peninsula. One stunning example of this is the Alcantara Bridge. Already over 600 years old at the time of the Muslim invasion, it is still standing today - nearly 2000 years after it was constructed.
The Muslim rulers of Al-Andalus put down a Berber uprising, only to face some bigger problems caused by some troublesome newcomers.
The last surviving member of the Umayyad dynasty makes his way to al-Andalus.
Abd al-Rahman died in 788. Which one of his three sons will succeed him?
We cover the lengthy reign of al-Hakam then journey to the northern coast of the Iberian Peninsula where some independent Christian states are beginning to emerge.
We take a look at the creation of the tiny rebel Christian Kingdom of Asturias.
We take a look at the Iberian peninsula after 100 or so years of Muslim rule.
We take up the narrative in the year 822 and welcome a new Emir to the stage, Abd al-Rahman II, who faces a new threat in the form of the Vikings.
We take a look at the effect of the colourful reign of Abd al-Rahman II on the Christians of al-Andalus
We see how Christians who left al-Andalus for the northern Christian regions during the rule of Abd al-Rahman II affected the places they settled in. We also take a closer look at the Basque region.
One example of Arabic culture being transferred from al-Andalus to the north, comes in the form of illustrations by Magius, a Christian artist who left Cordoba and settled in the Kingdom of Asturias. The pictures he drew for a copy of a manuscript by Beatus of Liebana depict clear Arabic influences.
The rule of Abd al-Rahman II comes to an end and we welcome a new Emir to al-Andalus.
While the Emir of al-Andalus Muhammad I is busy trying to control the rebellions breaking out across his territory, a new threat emerges in the form of King Alphonso III of Asturias.
While King Alfonso III of Asturias continues his programme of expansion in the north of the Iberian peninsula, a new rebel leader emerges to the south of Cordoba.
The new Emir Abd-Allah begins his lengthy and disastrous period of rule in al-Andalus.
We welcome a new Emir to al-Andalus.
Abd al-Rahman III orders construction to commence on an enormous new palace complex near Cordoba.
Abd al-Rahman III continues his wildly successful period of rule.
We take a look at the influence of the respected Jewish scholar Hasdai ibn Shaprut and see how al-Hakam II fared as the new Caliph of al-Andalus.
When al-Hakam II suffers a downturn in his health, an ambitious palace official senses an opportunity.
With the Caliphate in a vulnerable state, al-Mansur plots his own rise to power.
Having taken control of the adminstration of al-Andalus, al-Mansur turns his attention to the Caliphate's military forces, a move which will bring him into direct conflict with his father-in-law Ghalib.
Al-Mansur reaches the height of his power and celebrates by launching an attack against the heart of the Christian north - the sacred site of Santiago de Compostela.
We examine the legacy of the twenty year long period of rule by al-Mansur following his death in 1002. Will his son and successor Abd al-Malik be able to rule the Caliphate as effectively as his father?
We take a look at the short but disastrous rule of the latest person to rule al-Andalus on behalf of the Caliph, Sanchuelo.
The Caliphate stumbles from crisis to crisis before collapsing completely, while the Caliph Hisham II makes a surprise return.
We track developments in the Kingdom of Navarre, up until the end of the Caliphate.
King Sancho III of Navarre (aka Sancho el Major or Sancho the Great) was responible for extending the borders of his tiny Kingdom across the Christian North, over the Pyrenees into modern day France and down to Barcelona on the Mediterranean coast. His sucesses will pave the way for the establishment of the kingdom of Aragon and the Kingdom of Castile.
We continue our examination of the Christian states by taking a look at Catalonia and the emerging Kingdom of Aragon.
We take a look at the Christian north, at the time of the fall of the Caliphate.
Following the collapse of the Caliphate, a number of regional kingdoms or Taifas, emerged to fill the power vacuum
A new power-figure is emerging on the Iberian peninsula, in the form of King Fernando I of Leon and Castile.
We follow the successful reign of King Fernando I until his death in 1065.
Following the death of King Fernando I of Leon and Castile, his heirs clash in an epic succession battle.
We move over to the Pyrenees to find the Kingdom of Aragon attempting to extend its territry into Muslim Zaragoza
Amies from France and beyond fail to permanently conquer territory inside the taifa of Zaragoza.
During the 1070s, two assassinations - one in al-Andalus and one in the Christian north - send shockwaves across the Iberian peninsula.
The taifa of Toledo hits a rough patch which King Alfonso VI manipulates to his advantage. Meanwhile, Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar (later known as El Cid) makes a couple of poor choices and ends up in exile.
In the first major victory of the Reconquista, Toledo falls to King Alfonso VI.
As King Alfonso turns his attention to the east of al-Andalus, different factions inside Toledo struggle for power.
As King Alfonso VI and Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar prepare to face off at the siege of Zaragoza, a new threat emerges to the south.
The Almoravids arrive in al-Andalus and clash with King Alfonso VI at the battle of Sagrajas in October 1086.
Between the departure of the Almoravids and their return in 1089, a number of significant events take place.
We examine events which take place between the departure of the Almoravids in 1088 and their return in 1090.
The Almoravids arrive in al-Andalus in 1080 and begin to conquer the taifas.
Against all odds, El Cid conquers Valencia in 1094.
Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar (aka El Cid) scores a memorable victory against the Almoravids at the battle of Cuarte in 1094.
The Kingdom of Leon and Castile and the Christian terriitory of Valencia both grapple with succession issues.
While King Alfonso VI continues to face succession issues, a shift in popular consciousness begins to take place following the death of El Cid.
Just when King Alfonso VI believes he has finally resolved his succession issues, an unexpected event throws all his plans into chaos.
The marriage of Alfonso I of Aragon to Urraca of Leon and Castile gets off to a rocky, gravelly and croaky start - just like my voice in this episode!
Following the breakdown of the marriage between Queen Urraca and Alfonso of Aragon, family rivalries threaten to destabilise the Kingdom of Leon and Castile.
King Alfonso of Aragon and Queen Urraca finally decide to set their differences aside and keep the peace.
The Kingdom of Portugal emerges, while Queen Urraca endures one of the worst days of her reign in Santiago de Compostela.
King Alfonso of Aragon embarks on an ambitious campaign to conquer Zaragoza in 1118.
With King Alfonso occupied in Zaragoza, Queen Uracca moves against her enemies in the north of the peninsula.