Al-Andalus is the name given to the Iberian Peninsula when it was under Muslim rule. Islam arrived in that region with the arrival of the Moors during the 8th century AD, and succeeded in conquering almost the entire peninsula in less than a decade. The rule of the Moors in Spain lasted until 1492, when the last surviving Muslim state in the Iberian Peninsula, the Emirate of Granada, was conquered by the Christians.
Between the beginning and the end of Moorish rule in the Iberian Peninsula, Al-Andalus underwent much political change, transforming from a province of the Umayyad Caliphate into an independent emirate, and then fragmenting into smaller independent principalities known as taifas. The period of Muslim rule in the Iberian Peninsula is often described as La Convivencia (meaning ‘The Coexistence’), a time when Muslims, Christians and Jews were living peacefully side by side. The reality, however, may be a little more complicated than this.