El Escorial

The Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial known as Monasterio del Escorial, is a historical residence of the King of Spain, in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, about 45 kilometres northwest of the Spanish capital, Madrid. It is one of the Spanish royal sites and has functioned as a monastery, royal palace, library, university and hospital, it is situated 2.06 km up the valley from the town of El Escorial. El Escorial comprises two architectural complexes of great historical and cultural significance: the royal monastery itself and La Granjilla de La Fresneda, a royal hunting lodge and monastic retreat about five kilometres away; these sites have a dual nature. El Escorial was, at once, a Spanish royal palace. A property of the Hieronymite monks, it had become a monastery of the Order of Saint Augustine, it was a boarding school. Philip II of Spain engaged the Spanish architect Juan Bautista de Toledo to be his collaborator in the renovation and expansion of the complex at El Escorial.

Juan Bautista had spent the greater part of his career in Rome, where he had worked on the basilica of St. Peter's, in Naples, where he had served the king's viceroy, whose recommendation brought him to the king's attention. Philip appointed him architect-royal in 1559, together they designed El Escorial as a monument to Spain's role as a center of the Christian world. On 2 November 1984, UNESCO declared The Royal Seat of San Lorenzo of El Escorial a World Heritage Site, it is a popular tourist attraction visited by day-trippers from Madrid – more than 500,000 visitors come to El Escorial every year. El Escorial is situated at the foot of Mt. Abantos in the Sierra de Guadarrama; this austere location, hardly an obvious choice for the site of a royal palace, was chosen by King Philip II of Spain, it was he who ordained the building of a grand edifice here to commemorate the 1557 Spanish victory at the Battle of St. Quentin in Picardy against Henry II, king of France, he intended the complex to serve as a necropolis for the interment of the remains of his parents, Charles I and Isabella of Portugal and his descendants.

In addition, Philip envisioned El Escorial as a center for studies in aid of the Counter-Reformation cause. The building's cornerstone was laid on 23 April 1563; the design and construction were overseen by Juan Bautista de Toledo, who did not live to see the completion of the project. With Toledo's death in 1567, direction passed to his apprentice, Juan de Herrera, under whom the building was completed in 1584, in less than 21 years. To this day, la obra de El Escorial is a proverbial expression for a thing that takes a long time to finish. Since El Escorial has been the burial site for most of the Spanish kings of the last five centuries, Bourbons as well as Habsburgs; the Royal Pantheon contains the tombs of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, Philip II, Philip III, Philip IV, Charles II, Louis I, Charles III, Charles IV, Ferdinand VII, Isabella II, Alfonso XII, Alfonso XIII. Two Bourbon kings, Philip V and Ferdinand VI, as well as King Amadeus, are not buried in the monastery; the floor plan of the building is in the form of a gridiron.

The traditional belief is that this design was chosen in honor of St. Lawrence, who, in the third century AD, was martyred by being roasted to death on a grill. St. Lawrence's feast day is the same date as the 1557 Battle of St. Quentin. However, the origin of the building's layout is quite controversial; the grill-like shape, which did not emerge until Herrera eliminated from the original conception the six interior towers of the facade, was, by no means, unique to El Escorial. Other buildings had been constructed with interior courtyards fronting on chapels. In fact, palaces of this approximate design were commonplace in the Arab world. Strikingly similar to El Escorial is the layout of the Alcázar of Seville and the design of the Alhambra at Granada where, as at El Escorial, two courtyards in succession separate the main portal of the complex from a enclosed place of worship. Nonetheless, the most persuasive theory for the origin of the floor plan is that it is based on descriptions of the Temple of Solomon by the Judeo-Roman historian, Flavius Josephus: a portico followed by a courtyard open to the sky, followed by a second portico and a second courtyard, all flanked by arcades and enclosed passageways, leading to the "holy of holies".

Statues of David and Solomon on either side of the entrance to the basilica of El Escorial lend further weight to the theory that this is the true origin of the design. A more personal connection can be drawn between the David-warrior figure, representing Charles V, his son, the stolid and solomonically prudent Philip II. Echoing the same theme, a fresco in the center of El Escorial's library, a reminder of Solomon’s legendary wisdom, affirms Philip's preoccupation with the great Jewish king, his thoughtful and logical character, his extraordinary monumental temple; the Temple-o


Year 639 was a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 639 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years. January 19 – Dagobert I dies after a 10-year reign as king of all the Franks, in which his realm has prospered, he is succeeded by Sigebert III, independent ruler of Austrasia, his half-brother Clovis II, who becomes king of Neustria and Burgundy. Under the supervision of Pepin of Landen, Mayor of the Palace, the royal treasury is distributed between the two brothers and widowed queen Nanthild. Arab–Byzantine War: The Rashidun army, under the command of'Amr ibn al-'As, invades Byzantine Egypt, they capture the strategic town of Pelusium after a two-month siege. Arab reinforcements led by Zubayr ibn al-Awam are sent from Medina to assist Amr's army; the losses incurred by the Muslims are ameliorated by tribes of Rashida and Lakhm. Hormuzan, Persian satrap of Susiana, revolts against the Muslims and raids Mesopotamia.

Arab forces under Abu Musa al-Asha'ari destroy Susa in the lower Zagros Mountains. Plague of Emmaus: An epidemic disease breaks out in Emmaus in Palestine, it strikes the military camps of the Muslim Arabs, killing most of its population. The Xueyantuo assaults the Chinese-conquered vassal of Eastern Tujue. Although fighting in Korea against Goguryeo, Emperor Tai Zong commissions his famous general Li Shiji to fend off attacks in the campaign against Xueyantuo. An unsuccessful revolt of Prince Kürşat breaks out in China. Eligius succeeds Acarius as bishop of Noyon, he becomes constituted guardian of the towns of Vermandois, which include Ghent and Kortrijk. The First Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is founded by the exarch Isaac of Ravenna on Torcello, confirming the island's importance as a centre of population in Venice at this date. Aldegonde, Frankish abbess Aldhelm, bishop of Sherborne Ecgberht of Ripon, bishop of Lindisfarne Yeon Namsan, military leader of Goguryeo January 19 – Dagobert I, king of the Franks February 3 – K'inich Yo'nal Ahk I, ajaw of Piedras Negras November 27 – Acarius, bishop of Doornik and Noyon Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, commander of the Rashidun Caliphate Faílbe Flann mac Áedo Duib, king of Munster Wang Gui, chancellor of the Tang dynasty Yang Gongren, chancellor of the Tang dynasty

Huntersville Township, Wadena County, Minnesota

Huntersville Township is a township in Wadena County, United States. The population was 128 at the 2000 census; the unincorporated place called Huntersville is located in this township, at the junction of County Roads 18 and 25. Most of Huntersville State Forest is located within this township as well. Huntersville Township was named on account of the area being a favorite hunting ground. According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 35.9 square miles. The Crow Wing River flows through Huntersville Township, every other stream within the township is a tributary of the Crow Wing; the township contains several small lakes and ponds. As of the census of 2000, there were 128 people, 51 households, 39 families residing in the township; the population density was 3.7 people per square mile. There were 84 housing units at an average density of 2.4/sq mi. The racial makeup of the township was 0.78 % Native American. There were 51 households out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.7% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 21.6% were non-families.

21.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 2.93. In the township the population was spread out with 26.6% under the age of 18, 4.7% from 18 to 24, 30.5% from 25 to 44, 28.1% from 45 to 64, 10.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 103.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.3 males. The median income for a household in the township was $32,500, the median income for a family was $35,000. Males had a median income of $18,750 versus $24,063 for females; the per capita income for the township was $12,320. There were 15.2% of families and 25.2% of the population living below the poverty line, including 30.8% of under eighteens and none of those over 64