On this day in 1258, the city of Baghdad fell to the Mongols. The city, which was built with the sole purpose of establishing a magnificent capital, belonged to the Abbasid Caliphate. It was a center for learning, filled with institutions that gave birth to new thoughts and ideologies. When the siege ended, the Abbasid Caliphate fell to the Mongols, giving it not only another victory and stronghold, but also signaling the end of the Golden Age of Islam. Genghis Khan, leader of the Mongols, sacked the great city, to the disbelief of the Abbasid Caliph, Al-Musta’sim. The Abbasids suffered heavy losses, unlike the Mongols, believed to be in excess of 50,000. This lead to their losing control of the vast empire that once stretched across the North shore of Africa, all the way to Spain.