Queen Isabella was born on April 22, 1451 in the town of Madrigal de las Altas Torres. She was the daughter of John II, King of Castile and his second wife, Isabella of Portugal. She is often referred to as “La Católica” (the Catholic) a “title” given to her by the Spanish Pope, Alexander VI.
Fact 1. Isabella was declared Queen of Castille upon the death of her brother King Henry in 1474.
Fact 2. The union between Queen Isabella of Castille and King Ferdinand of Aragon in 1469 united Eastern and Western Spain into a dominant European power.
Fact 3. One of Queen Isabella’s achievements was the Spanish Inquisition that was established by Pope Sixtus IV in 1478. The Spanish Inquisition was targeted to rid Spain of all non-Catholics.
Fact 4. Another of Queen Isabella’s achievements was the sponsorship of seafarers intent on discovering new lands. She sponsored Christopher Columbus’s plans to reach the Indies by sailing west instead of east.
Fact 5. On August 3, 1492, Columbus set sail for the Indies with three ships; the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria and 87 men.
Fact 6. Under her rule, the expansion of the army and navy made Spain a world maritime and trading power.
Fact 7. The trip by Columbus gained greater fame and wealth for Queen Isabella and a first claim on America. She took an interest in the welfare of the natives brought back by Columbus in 1493 by freeing them and returning them back to their native land.
Fact 8. There were other notable infamous achievements such as the re-conquest of areas under Moorish rule and the ruthless expulsion of Jews in 1492.
Fact 9. Queen Isabella was known as a virtuous and humble person to the extent that all clothing worn by King Ferdinand was spun and sewn by either the Queen or her daughters.
Fact 10. Queen Isabella, regarded as one of Spain’s greatest rulers, died on November 26, 1504 in Medina del Campo. In her will, she requested that the people of the Americas be treated as equals to the Spanish people.