Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to those parts of the Iberian Peninsula governed by Muslims, or Moors of North Africa, at various times in the period between 711 and 1492. As a political domain or domains, it was successively a province of the Umayyad Caliphate, the Caliphate of Córdoba (929-1031), and finally the Caliphate of Córdoba's taifa(successor) kingdoms. For large parts of its history, particularly under the Caliphate of Córdoba, Andalus was famous for learning and the city of Cordoba became one of the leading cultural and economic centers in both the Mediterranean basin and the Islamic world.
In 1236, the Requincusta (gradual Christian reconquest) under the forces of Ferdinand III of Castile progressed as far as the last remaining Islamic stronghold, Granada. Granada was reduced to a vassal state to Castile for the next 256 years, until January 2, 1492, when Boabdil surrendered complete control of Granada to Ferdinand and Isabella.