At the start of this period, the Iberian Peninsula is fragmented into several kingdoms, its rulers waging continual warfare and engaging in border disputes. The region eventually emerges unified, and by the end of the sixteenth century is a major international power. At its height, the Spanish empire numbers among its territorial possessions vast portions of the Americas, the Philippines, Milan, and Sicily. The consolidation of the monarchy is largely due to the marriage and joint rule of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, whose devout Catholicism and support of the Inquisition safeguards the country in advance from the Reformation that will rage in other parts of Europe. At the same time, the growing intolerance and eventual expulsion of Jews and Muslims diminishes the presence of their rich artistic culture in both Spain and Portugal. Islamic motifs remain popular, however, and are incorporated with Northern elements into a Gothic style that flourishes throughout the fifteenth century. This is gradually superceded in the sixteenth century by the Italian Renaissance style.