During the 12th and 13th centuries, The Christian kingdoms on the Iberian Peninsula (Portugal, Castile and Leon, Navarre and the Crown of Aragon) became more powerful. These kingdoms extended their power by conquering the Muslim territory.
THE CROWN OF CASTILE
In the 12th century, the Kingdom of Castile and Leon united and divided several times due to inheritance and marriage policies.
In 1230, Ferdinand III inherited the Kingdom of Castile from his mother and the kingdom of Leon from his father. From then both kingdoms were definitely united and formed the Crown of Castile.
THE KINDOM OF PORTUGAL
Portugal was part of the Kingdom of Castile and Leon until the 12th century. It became independent under King Alfonso Enriquez in 1128.
THE KINGDOM OF NAVARRE
In 1076, the Kingdom of Pamplona became part of the Kingdom of Aragon. When King Alfonso I of Aragon died in 1134, Pamplona separated from Aragon and became and independent kingdom.
The kingdom of Pamplona was located between the Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon so this made impossible for Pamplona to extend its territories as it did not share borders with the Muslims. In the second part of the 12th century, King Sancho VI the Wise changed the name to the Kingdom of Navarre.
THE CROWN OF ARAGON
The Kingdom of Aragon and the County of Barcelona were united in the 12th century by the marriage of the Count of Barcelona and the daughter of the king of Aragon. This new territory formed the Crown of Aragon. Its first king was Alfonso II of Aragon.
THE EXPANSION IN THE 13TH CENTURY
In the second half of the 12th century, the Christian kingdoms fought the Almohads. The Muslims were finally defeated at the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212. After their victory, the Christian Kingdoms advanced across the southern Peninsula Iberica in the 13th century:
- Ferdinand III of Castile conquered the Guadalquivir river valley and his son Alfonso X conquered Cadiz and Murcia.
- James I, king of the Crown of Aragon, occupied Valencia , Murcia and the Balearic Islands.
At the end of the 13th century, Granada was the only Muslim kingdom left on the Peninsula.