In 1212, the knights of the Holy Roman Empire, France, and Spain pushed the Moors far down the Iberian Peninsula... but why didn't they go on and drive the Muslims completely off that peninsula? Did they have a reason for leaving southern Spain in the hands of the Almohads, when they could have easily driven them off?

Also, was this push at the Muslims in any way related to the "Children's Crusade" of the same year?

  • 5
    Maybe the last part of my answer to history.stackexchange.com/questions/24052/… can help with the main question; keep in mind that in medieval times taking a single fortified castle could take a several months or years and that armies had to disband when they ran out of supplies / hands were needed to tend the farms. If there is any further doubt, please make the question more specific.
    – SJuan76
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 22:50
  • 1
    The politics of Islam and Western Europe even today is a complex subject. Spain especially so as unlike the rest of Western Europe "Iberians" weren't so hung up on Islam being "backwards" and the enemy as so much of Europe was at the time and then going forward from that time as well. You did have the Inquisition and the odd way Spain approached the New World...more as an imposition of God's Will than Spain's. Another answer might be the Spanish weren't very good sailors in 1212. The Age of Sail wouldn't begin for another 200 years. Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 0:11
  • SJuan76, thank you; yes, your post at link did help me a lot. However, I'd still like to know whether the "Children's Crusade" is related to this event I've asked about. Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 1:44

2 Answers 2


Yes, the Children's Crusade was indeed associated with this event you were asking about. Most of the crusaders during this "crusade" attempted to go to the Holy Land by way of the port of Marseilles, France -- very close to Spain. The Almohads meanwhile molested these "crusaders" -- and the result was the knights' battle against the Almohads.


In order to actually keep the territory they won on the battlefield, and to move on further south, the Christians would have to take the castles and fortified towns in the area (as was mentioned in the comments). After the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, this specifically meant Baeza and Úbeda.

Shortly after the battle, the Castilians took Baeza and then Úbeda, major fortified cities near the battlefield and gateways to invade Andalusia.

So how soon was "shortly"? Not actually all that short, except perhaps by historical standards: 15 and 21 years later respectively.

  • 1
    Just a comment on the slowness: In order to secure the new holdings, the Christian kings of Spain used to repopulate the reconquered Muslim territories with Christian settlers, so expansion was always a slow process.
    – Brasidas
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 2:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.