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Las Navas de Tolosa (July 16th 1212)

July 16th 2012 marked exactly 800 years since the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa near Jaén when a crusader army consisting of the forces of Castile-Leon, Portugal, Navarra, Aragon, and thousands of knights from England and France routed the combined forces of the Andalusi Muslims and the Almohads. It was truly a disaster in the strictest military sense, with over 150,000 dead on the Muslim side (compared with 1000-2000 on the Christian side). But it was also the defeat which paved the way for the Castilian-Aragonese conquest of the remainder of al-Andalus in the early thirteenth century (with the exception of Granada and its environs). After the battle, Cordoba, Sevilla, Jaen, Valencia, and other major Muslim population centers in Spain all fell to the forces of the Christian conquista. Definitely a date worth remembering.

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