In 1478, the Spanish Inquisition was formed by the Catholic Monarchs, Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. While there were previous iterations of Inquisitions both in Spain and elsewhere in Europe, this latest variety came about following the expulsion of the Muslim Moors from the Iberian peninsula. It required that any non-Catholics must convert, including those of the substantially sized Jewish population. Failure to accept the Catholic faith would be considered heresy and would be met with torture and death.
This barbaric practice extended to all reaches of Spain’s empire, including its colonies in the Americas. This unfortunately small-minded ideology also maintained that natives must convert or suffer the brutal consequences.
The Inquisition Museum in Cartagena exhibits the shocking history, atrocious torture devices, and general barbarity of the Spanish Empire and Catholic Church. While not for the faint of heart, this museum is worth a visit.