Approximately 1,000 years ago, the Iberian peninsula (Spain and Portugal) was a largely Muslim land; half a millennium later, the last Muslim kingdom in Iberia was defeated and Catholicism dominated the entire peninsula. This 500 year period of history has become reduced to the narrative of Reconquista (reconquest), a narrative that interprets the many events of the era as a gradual and deliberate Christian conquest of Muslim Iberia. While the actual events that occurred over this long period of time are far more complex than the narrative of Reconquista presents, it is undeniable that the history of this transformation from Muslim to Christian has greatly influenced how Spaniards in particular understand their history and culture. This story of Don Quixote de La Mancha, arguably the first modern novel, is an excellent example of how this narrative of Reconquista is reflected in the artifacts of early modern Spanish culture. Review the images and descriptions in this Media Gallery to better understand the process of Reconquista in Spain. Then read through the background essay that further explores the process of this transformation. The information in both will help you complete the associated worksheet. Both the background essay and the worksheet are in the Support Materials.