The Tagus is the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula. It is 1,007 km long, 716 km in Spain, 47 km along the border between Portugal and Spain and 275 km in Portugal, where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean near Lisbon, it drains an area of 80,100 square kilometers. The Tagus is utilized for most of its course. Several dams and diversions supply drinking water to places of central Spain and Portugal, while dozens of hydroelectric stations create power. Between dams it follows a constricted course, but after Almourol it enters a wide alluvial valley, prone to flooding, its mouth is a large estuary near the port city of Lisbon. The source of the Tagus is the Fuente de García, in the Frías de Albarracín municipal term, Montes Universales, Sistema Ibérico, Sierra de Albarracín Comarca. All its major tributaries enter the Tagus from the right bank; the main cities it passes through are Aranjuez, Talavera de la Reina and Alcántara in Spain, Abrantes, Santarém, Almada and Lisbon in Portugal. The first notable city on the Tagus is Sacedón.
Below Aranjuez it receives the combined flow of the Jarama, Henares and Tajuña. Below Toledo it receives the Guadarrama River. Above Talavera de la Reina it receives the Alberche. At Valdeverdeja is the upper end of the long upper reservoir, the Embalse de Valdecañas, beyond which are the Embalse de Torrejon, into which flow the Tiétar, the lower reservoir, the Alcántara Dam into which flows the Alagón at the lower end. There is the Segura, the Tagus-Segura Water Transfer. After forming the border it enters Portugal, passing Vila Velha de Ródão, Constância, Santarém and Vila Franca de Xira at the head of the long narrow estuary, which has Lisbon at its mouth; the estuary is protected by the Tagus Estuary Natural Reserve. There is a large bridge across the river, the Vasco da Gama Bridge, which with a total length of 17.2 km is the second longest bridge in Europe. The Port of Lisbon, located at its mouth, is one of Europe's busiest; the Portuguese Alentejo region and former Ribatejo Province take their names from the river.
In Spanish Riba shore along of a river. Ribatejo should mean "The land beside the Tejo" or "The shore of the Tejo" you can see too many samples of towns in Spain with this prefix; the lower Tagus is on a fault line. Slippage along it has caused numerous earthquakes, the major ones being those of 1309, 1531 and 1755; the Pepper Wreck, properly the wreck of the Nossa Senhora dos Mártires, is a shipwreck located and excavated at the mouth of the Tagus between 1996 and 2001. The river had strategic value to the Spanish and Portuguese empires, as it guarded the approach to Lisbon. For example, in 1587, Francis Drake approached the river after his successful raid at Cadiz. A major river, the Tagus is brought to mind in the stories of the Portuguese. A popular fado song in Lisbon notes; the author, Fernando Pessoa, wrote a poem that begins: "The Tagus is more beautiful than the river that flows through my village. But the Tagus is not more beautiful than the river that flows through my village..."Richard Crashaw's poem "Saint Mary Magdalene, or the Weeper" refers to the "Golden" Tagus as wanting Mary Magdalene's silver tears.
In classical poetry the Tagus was famous for its gold-bearing sands. List of rivers of Spain List of rivers of Portugal
Alcántara is a municipality in the province of Cáceres, Spain, on the Tagus, near Portugal. The toponym is from the Arabic word al-QanTarah meaning "the bridge". Archaeological findings have attested human presence in the area from the Bronze Age. To this period, to the following Roman domination, belong remains of several castra and the bridge which gives its name to the city; the Roman rule lasted from the 2nd century BC to the 5th century, when they were replaced by the Visigoths. In the 8th century the Arabs conquered the Iberian peninsula, including Extremadura. In the 12th century the Muslim geographer al-Idrisi described the bridge as one of the world's marvels. In the 12th-13th centuries Alcántara was a frontier city, devoted to military activities and animal husbandry. After the collapse of the Caliphate of Córdoba, it belonged to several Islamic taifas. Ferdinand II of León occupied it in 1167, during his wars against Portugal, but the town was recaptured by the Almohads; the Christians conquered it in 1213 with Alfonso IX of León.
In 1217 it was given to the military order of Calatrava. They however considered it too difficult to defend, thus the following year they were replaced by the Order of San Julian de Pereiro, a military order created in 1156 and which had its headquarters on the Rio Cora and which took its name from Alcántara, where they established; the city maintained its strategical importance until 1655, when Portugal was separated from Spain. In 1807, during the Peninsular War, it was occupied by the French troops. Alcántara lost all its importance in the 19th century, its depopulation was halted only in the 1960s, when the electric company Hidroelectrica Espaňola built here several plants. However, its economy was not boosted, the town is still part of one of the less developed areas of Spain; the Order of Alcántara, a religious and military order, was established in 1176 here, for defence against the Moors, was suppressed in 1835. In 1499, Peter of Alcantara, teacher of Theresa of Avila and Franciscan reformer, was born here.
Alcántara Bridge, of six symmetrical arches, 194 m long and 71 m high, built in honour of Trajan in 103-106. An inscription gives the name of the architect of the viaduct, C. Iulius Lacer. Convent of San Benito de Alcántara Church of Holy Mother of Almocobar Remains of the Moorish walls and restored in the Middle Ages Convent of St. Francis Convent of the Nuns of Los Remedios, of which only the Baroque Chapel remains Richard Stillwell, ed. Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites, 1976: "Alcántara, Cáceres, Spain" Alcántara Bridge at Structurae "Alcántara Bridge, Alcántara, Cáceres, Spain". Archived from the original on 2009-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-05
Extremadura is an autonomous community of the western Iberian Peninsula whose capital city is Mérida, recognised by the Statute of Autonomy of Extremadura. It is made up of the two largest provinces of Spain: Badajoz, it is bordered by the provinces of Ávila to the north. Its official language is Spanish, it is an important area for wildlife with the major reserve at Monfragüe, designated a National Park in 2007, the International Tagus River Natural Park. The government of Extremadura is called Gobierno de Extremadura; the Day of Extremadura is celebrated on 8 September. It coincides with the Catholic festivity of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Extremadura is contained between 37° 57′ and 40° 85′ N latitude, 4° 39′ and 7° 33′ W longitude; the area of Extremadura is 41,633 km2, making it the fifth largest of the Spanish autonomous communities. It is located in the Southern Plateau. In the north is the Sistema Central with the highest point in Extremadura, 2,401 m high Calvitero; the main subranges of the Sistema Central in Extremadura are the Sierra de Sierra de Béjar.
In the centre is the Sierra de las Villuercas, which reaches an altitude of 1,603 m on the Pico de las Villuercas. Other notable ranges are Sierra de Montánchez and the Sierra de San Pedro, which form part of the greater Montes de Toledo system. To the south rises the Sierra Morena, which separates Extremadura from Andalusia, the Sierra de Tentudía, with the highest peak in Extremadura as Pico Tentudía at 1,104 m. There are four different hydrographic basins: The basin of the Tagus, with two principal tributaries: on the right, the Tiétar and the Alagón; the tributaries on the right edge carry a large quantity of water, which feed the gorges of the Sistema Central where the rainfall is abundant and the winter brings a great quantity of snow. The basin of the Guadiana, which has principal tributaries: to the right: Guadarranque and Ruecas to the left: Zújar River, its plentiful tributary and the Matachel; the basin of the Guadalquivir with only 1,411 km2 in Extremadura. The basin of the Douro with only 35 km2 in Extremadura.
The climate of Extremadura is hot-summer Mediterranean. It is characterized by its hot and dry summers, with great droughts, its mild winters due to the oceanic influence from its proximity to the Atlantic coast of Portugal; the yearly temperature fluctuates between an average minimum of 4 °C and an average maximum of 33 °C. In the north of Extremadura, the average temperatures are lower than those in the south, with temperatures rising south towards the Sierra Morena, where they drop because of the altitude. During the summer, the average temperature in July is greater than 26 °C, at times reaching 40 °C; the winters are mild, with the lowest temperatures being registered in the mountainous regions, with an average temperature of 7.5 °C. The average snowfall is 40 cm occurring in January and February on high ground. Lusitania, an ancient Roman province including current day Portugal and a central western portion of the current day Spain, covered in those times today's Autonomous Community of Extremadura.
Mérida became the capital of the Roman province of Lusitania, one of the most important cities in the Roman Empire. During the Andalusian period as of 711, present-day Extremadura was on the north-western marches—extremadura is from Latin words meaning "outermost hard", the outermost secure border of an occupied territory—with Mérida being its head city, it was part of the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba, but after its definite collapse in 1031 the Caliphate fragmented into small regional kingdoms, the lands of Extremadura were included in the Taifa of Badajoz on two taifa periods. The kingdom in turn broke up twice under Almohad push. After the Almohad disaster in Navas de Tolosa, Extremadura fell to the troops led by Alfonso IX of León in c.1230. Extremadura, an impoverished region of Spain whose difficult conditions pushed many of its ambitious young men to seek their fortunes overseas, was the source of many of the initial Spanish conquerors and settlers in America. Hernán Cortés, Francisco Pizarro, Gonzalo Pizarro, Juan Pizarro, Hernando Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, Andres Tapia, Pedro de Alvarado, Pedro de Valdivia, Inés Suárez, Alonso de Sotomayor, Francisco de Orellana, Pedro Gómez Duran y Chaves, Vasco Núñez de Balboa and many towns and cities in North and South America carry names from their homeland.
Examples include Mérida is the name of the administrative capital of Extremadura, of important cities in Mexico and Venezuela. The two Spanish astronauts, Miguel López-Alegría and Pedro Duque have family connections in Extremadura. King Ferdinand II of Aragon died in the village
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period. The emperors used a variety of different titles throughout history; when a given Roman is described as becoming "emperor" in English, it reflects his taking of the title Augustus or Caesar. Another title used was imperator a military honorific. Early Emperors used the title princeps. Emperors amassed republican titles, notably princeps senatus and pontifex maximus; the legitimacy of an emperor's rule depended on his control of the army and recognition by the Senate. The first emperors reigned alone; the Romans considered the office of emperor to be distinct from that of a king. The first emperor, resolutely refused recognition as a monarch. Although Augustus could claim that his power was authentically republican, his successor, could not convincingly make the same claim. Nonetheless, for the first three hundred years of Roman emperors, from Augustus until Diocletian, efforts were made to portray the emperors as leaders of a republic.
From Diocletian, whose tetrarchic reforms divided the position into one emperor in the West and one in the East, until the end of the Empire, emperors ruled in an monarchic style and did not preserve the nominal principle of a republic, but the contrast with "kings" was maintained: although the imperial succession was hereditary, it was only hereditary if there was a suitable candidate acceptable to the army and the bureaucracy, so the principle of automatic inheritance was not adopted. Elements of the republican institutional framework were preserved after the end of the Western Empire; the Western Roman Empire collapsed in the late 5th century after multiple invasions of imperial territory by Germanic barbarian tribes. Romulus Augustulus is considered to be the last emperor of the West after his forced abdication in 476, although Julius Nepos maintained a claim recognized by the Eastern Empire to the title until his death in 480. Following Nepos' death, the Eastern Emperor Zeno abolished the division of the position and proclaimed himself as the sole Emperor of a reunited Roman Empire.
The Eastern imperial lineage continued to rule from Constantinople. Constantine XI Palaiologos was the last Roman emperor in Constantinople, dying in the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453; the "Byzantine" emperors from Heraclius in 629 and onwards adopted the title of basileus, which had meant king in Greek but became a title reserved for the Roman emperor and the ruler of the Sasanian Empire. Other kings were referred to as rēgas. In addition to their pontifical office, some emperors were given divine status after death. With the eventual hegemony of Christianity, the emperor came to be seen as God's chosen ruler, as well as a special protector and leader of the Christian Church on Earth, although in practice an emperor's authority on Church matters was subject to challenge. Due to the cultural rupture of the Turkish conquest, most western historians treat Constantine XI as the last meaningful claimant to the title Roman Emperor. From 1453, one of the titles used by the Ottoman Sultans was "Caesar of Rome", part of their titles until the Ottoman Empire ended in 1922.
A Byzantine group of claimant Roman emperors existed in the Empire of Trebizond until its conquest by the Ottomans in 1461, though they had used a modified title since 1282. Eastern emperors in Constantinople had been recognized and accepted as Roman emperors both in the East, which they ruled, by the Papacy and Germanic kingdoms of the West until the deposition of Constantine VI and accession of Irene of Athens as Empress regnant in 797. Objecting to a woman ruling the Roman Empire in her own right and issues with the eastern clergy, the Papacy would create a rival lineage of Roman emperors in western Europe, the Holy Roman Emperors, which ruled the Holy Roman Empire for most of the period between 800 and 1806; these Emperors were never recognized as Roman emperors by the court in Constantinople. Modern historians conventionally regard Augustus as the first Emperor whereas Julius Caesar is considered the last dictator of the Roman Republic, a view having its origins in the Roman writers Plutarch and Cassius Dio.
However, the majority of Roman writers, including Josephus, Pliny the Younger and Appian, as well as most of the ordinary people of the Empire, thought of Julius Caesar as the first Emperor. At the end of the Roman Republic no new, no single, title indicated the individual who held supreme power. Insofar as emperor could be seen as the English translation of imperator Julius Caesar had been an emperor, like several Roman generals before him. Instead, by the end of the civil wars in which Julius Caesar had led his armies, it became clear that there was no consensus to return to the old-style monarchy, but that the period when several officials, bestowed with equal power by the senate, would fight one another had come to an end. Julius Caesar, Augustus after him, accumulated offices and titles of the highest importance in the Republic, making the power attached to those offices permanent, preventing anyone with similar aspirations from accumulating or maintaining power for themselves. However, Julius Caesar, unlike those after
The term "Moors" refers to the Muslim inhabitants of the Maghreb, the Iberian Peninsula and Malta during the Middle Ages. The Moors were the indigenous Maghrebine Berbers; the name was also applied to Arabs. Moors are not a distinct or self-defined people, the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica observed that "The term'Moors' has no real ethnological value." Europeans of the Middle Ages and the early modern period variously applied the name to Arabs, North African Berbers, Muslim Europeans. The term has been used in Europe in a broader, somewhat derogatory sense to refer to Muslims in general those of Arab or Berber descent, whether living in Spain or North Africa. During the colonial era, the Portuguese introduced the names "Ceylon Moors" and "Indian Moors" in South Asia and Sri Lanka, the Bengali Muslims were called Moors. In the Philippines, the longstanding Muslim community, which predates the arrival of the Spanish, now self-identifies as the "Moro people", an exonym introduced by Spanish colonizers due to their Muslim faith.
In 711, troops formed by Moors from northern Africa led the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. The Iberian peninsula came to be known in Classical Arabic as al-Andalus, which at its peak included most of Septimania and modern-day Spain and Portugal. In 827, the Moors occupied Mazara on Sicily, they went on to consolidate the rest of the island. Differences in religion and culture led to a centuries-long conflict with the Christian kingdoms of Europe, which tried to reclaim control of Muslim areas. In 1224 the Muslims were expelled from Sicily to the settlement of Lucera, destroyed by European Christians in 1300; the fall of Granada in 1492 marked the end of Muslim rule in Iberia, although a Muslim minority persisted until their expulsion in 1609. During the classical period, the Romans interacted with, conquered, parts of Mauretania, a state that covered modern northern Morocco, western Algeria, the Spanish cities Ceuta and Melilla; the Berber tribes of the region were noted in the Classics as Mauri, subsequently rendered as "Moors" in English and in related variations in other European languages.
Mauri is recorded as the native name by Strabo in the early 1st century. This appellation was adopted into Latin, whereas the Greek name for the tribe was Maurusii; the Moors were mentioned by Tacitus as having revolted against the Roman Empire in 24 AD. During the Latin Middle Ages, Mauri was used to refer to Berbers and Arabs in the coastal regions of Northwest Africa; the 16th century scholar Leo Africanus identified the Moors as the native Berber inhabitants of the former Roman Africa Province. He described Moors as one of five main population groups on the continent alongside Egyptians, Abyssinians and Cafri. In medieval Romance languages, variations of the Latin word for the Moors developed different applications and connotations; the term denoted a specific Berber people in western Libya, but the name acquired more general meaning during the medieval period, associated with "Muslim", similar to associations with "Saracens". During the context of the Crusades and the Reconquista, the term Moors included the derogatory suggestion of "infidels".
Apart from these historic associations and context and Moorish designate a specific ethnic group speaking Hassaniya Arabic. They inhabit Mauritania and parts of Algeria, Western Sahara, Morocco and Mali. In Niger and Mali, these peoples are known as the Azawagh Arabs, after the Azawagh region of the Sahara; the authoritative dictionary of the Spanish language does not list any derogatory meaning for the word moro, a term referring to people of Maghrebian origin in particular or Muslims in general. Some authors have pointed out that in modern colloquial Spanish use of the term moro is derogatory for Moroccans in particular and Muslims in general. In the Philippines, a former Spanish colony, many modern Filipinos call the large, local Muslim minority concentrated in Mindanao and other southern islands Moros; the word is a catch-all term, as Moro may come from several distinct ethno-linguistic groups such as the Maranao people. The term was introduced by Spanish colonisers, has since been appropriated by Filipino Muslims as an endonym, with many self-identifying as members of the Bangsamoro "Moro Nation".
Moreno can mean "dark-skinned" in Spain, Portugal and the Philippines. In Spanish, morapio is a humorous name for "wine" that which has not been "baptized" or mixed with water, i.e. pure unadulterated wine. Among Spanish speakers, moro came to have a broader meaning, applied to both Filipino Moros from Mindanao, the moriscos of Granada. Moro refers to all things dark, as in "Moor", etc, it was used as a nickname. In Portugal, mouro may refer to supernatural beings known as enchanted moura, where "Moor" implies "alien" and "non-Christian"; these beings were siren-like fairies with a fair face. They were believed to have magical properties. From this root, the name moor is applied to unbaptized children. In Basque, mairu means moor and refers to a mythical people. Muslims located in South Asia were distinguished by the Portuguese historians into two groups: Mouros da Terra and the Mouros da Arabia/Mouros de Meca ("Moors from Arabia/Mecca" or "Paradesi
Puente de Alcántara
The Puente de Alcántara is a Roman arch bridge in Toledo, spanning the Tagus River. The word Alcántara comes from Arabic القنطرة, which means "bridge". Located at the foot of the Castillo de San Servando, it was built by the Romans after they founded the city. In the Middle Ages it was one of the few entrances for pilgrims into the city, it has two arches. There is evidence of its construction in Roman times, at the founding of Toletum, it was damaged and rebuilt in the 10th century, at which time a third arch disappeared, reduced to a gate with a horseshoe arch. It was one of the only bridges that gave access to the city and in the Middle Ages it was the obligatory entry for all pilgrims. During the reign of Alfonso X of Castile it was rebuilt; the western tower belongs to this period decorated under the reign of the Catholic Monarchs, whose arms decorate its walls. The fruit of the pomegranate is missing from them, because the Reconquista had not finished at that time; the eastern tower was replaced by a Baroque triumphal arch in 1721, because of its ruinous state.
It was declared a national cultural monument in 1921. The bridge should not be confused with either the Alcántara Bridge in Alcántara or the Alconétar Bridge in the Extremadura region, both Roman bridges are situated further downstream. List of Roman sites in Spain Media related to Puente de Alcántara, Toledo at Wikimedia Commons
Roman temple of Alcántara
The Roman temple of Alcántara is located at one side of the Alcántara Bridge, Cáceres, Extremadura. Along with the Roman temple of Vic, it is one of the only two Roman temples preserved nearly complete in Spain; the bridge, triumphal arch and temple were all designed by the same architect, Gaius Julius Lacer, who dedicated the last to the deified emperors of Rome. He concluded his work in 103 AD; the origin of the architect appears to be local, but stylistically the features of the building appear related to contemporary buildings in the Italica province. This suggests that the architect either studied in what is today Italy, or was born there and moved to the Lusitania province; the temple was constructed as the gods of Rome. If still in use, the temple would have been closed during the persecution of pagans under the Christian emperors of the fourth century. After the conquest of Cáceres in 1169 by Ferdinand II of Leon, the temple was converted into a chapel of St. Julian; the conversion saw the addition of a skull with tibias.
The temple would become a milestone along the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. The architect was buried in the temple. Alcántara is a small votive temple in antis, with a single camera or cell; the temple is constructed of granite. The entrance is flanked by two Tuscan columns and accessed by an exterior staircase, covered with a gabled roof made of slabs of stone, with a pediment with trim at the edges and a smooth tympanum without decoration; the bill is reminiscent of the Treasury of Athens at Delphi. The bridge and temple are built with granite blocks of equal size. Presented in the lintel of the temple are inscriptions attesting to the dedication by the architect Gaius Julius Lacer to the Emperor Trajan. CIL 02, 00761 English translation