Queen Isabella of Castile

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Known as Isabella the Catholic due to her victory over the Muslim Kingdom of Granada in 1492 the Queen of Castile is known as the ruler responsible for accomplishing the Reconquista. This was perhaps the biggest achievement of the Queen under her years of being the ruler of Spain because the Muslims had ruled Spain for several hundred years before their exquisite empire finally disintegrated and finally fell at the hands of Isabella’s men. It was through a long journey of twists and turns that Isabella of Portugal as she was previously known came to be the Queen of Castille.

Queen Isabella Religion & History

She was brought to the court of King Henry IV for the fear of being used by the opposing nobles to pressurize the King. When the oppositions plan to replace the king with Isabella’s younger brother Alfonso was foiled due to his death by poisoning the nobles offered the crown to Isabella. Although Isabella had refused to accept the crown the King had agreed to succeed the thrown to her in September. But Isabella’s marriage to Ferdinand of Portugal made the King take back the proposal and rename Juana as the heir to the throne. On the death of the king a war of succession took place between the supporters of Ferdinand and Isabella on one side and Juana and her prospective husband, Alfonso V of Portugal on the other. The war lasted about 5 years when finally it ended with Isabella winning over the rights to the throne in 1479.

Queen Isabella & King Ferdinand

Isabella was now the Queen of Castile while her husband the King of Aragon. Learning from the past one of the first things they did was to reduce the power of the nobles so that they did not possess the power to influence matters of the state. Simultaneously they increased the power of the crown which resulted in a total control being in the hands of the King and Queen. The royal family was passionate about Christianity. To make sure that Christianity prevailed they led an inquisition against the Jews and Muslims who had accepted Christianity on the face of it but were suspected to have been practicing their own faith secretly. Another party that was hunted down was those who out rightly rejected Roman Catholic orthodoxy. Both the King and Queen worked hard to purify their faith as the pope exclaimed which is what earned them the title of ‘Catholic’.

When finally they managed to crush the Muslims who had parts of Spain under their control they had done what no ruler had been able to do for quite some time. Furthermore they expelled the all the Spanish Jews who refused to change their religion. The famous voyager Christopher Columbus was sponsored and encouraged by the Queen of Castile to go in search of new lands. The newly discovered lands were but naturally added to the Queen’s Empire. Along with all these remarkable accomplishments the Queen was also known to be a patron of artists and scholarship and has many educational institutions and artworks credited to her account.

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