Muslim Influence in Spain

In the year 711, a Muslim army, led by General Tariq ibn-Ziyad, toppled the centralized Visigothic government. The subsequent defense collapse, catalyzed by long-running political divisions within the area, allowed Ziyad and his army to conquer nearly the entire Iberian peninsula, and just like that, Spain was under Muslim control. And so it remained for eight centuries until King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella saw through the Reconquista, which instituted the banishment - or murder - of all openly professing Muslims from Spain. But eight centuries, needless to say, was more than enough time for the Muslim citizens to instill their values and, in many ways, lay the foundations for the modern Spanish culture. For example, traditional spanish food, famous around the world, is simply a mutated offshoot of African dishes, made from the same crops brought by Muslims. The extensive irrigation system, pioneered by Spanish Muslims, invigorated Spanish agriculture into its thriving form today and wrought gorgeous landscapes and gardens. And these facts seem marginal when one learns that much of Spanish is actually based off Arabic roots. Of course, the most clear evidence is the beautiful architecture seen in countless Spanish buildings. Just look at their arcs! Don’t they remind you of your local mosque? That’s why, if you ever visit Spain, one thing you’re bound to notice is the conspicuous Muslim influence in everything from Spanish architecture and culture.



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