The Royal Abbey of Santa Maria de Poblet is a Cistercian monastery, founded in 1151, located at the feet of the Prades Mountains, in the comarca of Conca de Barberà, in Catalonia. It was founded by Cistercian monks from France on lands conquered from the Moors, the main architect was Arnau Bargués. This monastery was the first of three monasteries, known as the Cistercian triangle, that helped consolidate power in Catalonia in the 12th century. Poblet was the royal pantheon of the kings of the Crown of Aragon since James I of Aragon, some of the most important royal sepulchres have alabaster statues that lie over the tomb. The kings have lion sculptures at their feet, while the queens have dogs, peter IV of Aragon made it a condition, under solemn oath at the moment of crowning, that all the Aragonese kings be buried there. Only Ferdinand II of Aragon broke the oath, after his kingdom had been merged with the Kingdom of Castile, the tombs of the royals were restored by the Catalan sculptor Frederic Marés in 1948.
The monastery, which had suffered damage during the First Carlist War, was closed down due to the Ecclesiastical Confiscations of Mendizábal in 1835 during Isabella II of Spains rule. The Desamortización or secularization of the place brought monastic life to an end, on 24 July of the same year the monastery was plundered by representatives of the Mendizábals government and unruly mobs. During the events all valuable paintings and furniture were removed and dispersed, parts of the monastery were destroyed owing to fires. In the years followed the Poblet Monastery fell into disrepair and ruin. Finally the monastery was refounded in 1940 by Italian monks of the order and repair. Close to the entrance of the one building has been kept in a ruined state as a reminder. Remains of the deceased of the ancient Royal House of Aragon were put back in sepulchres, Poblet belongs to the Cistercian Congregation of the Crown of Aragon, along with Santa Maria de Solius and convents such as Santa Maria de Vallbona and Santa Maria de Valldonzella.
The Abbot of Poblet is the ex officio chairman of the Congregation, today the monastic community of Poblet is composed of 29 professed monks,1 regular oblate,1 novice and 2 familiars. Poblet Monastery has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991, the altar was sculpted by Damián Forment. In 2010, Spanish architect Mariano Bayón designed the Poblet Monastery Guesthouse, the current abbot is the 105th abbot
Ferdinand IV of Castile
Ferdinand IV of Castile called the Summoned, was a King of Castile and León from 1295 until his death. At that time, and for the rest of his reign, his mother tried to placate the nobility, confronted her sons enemies and he died in Jaén on 7 September 1312 aged 26, and his mortal remains are now in the Royal Collegiate Church of Saint Hippolytus. Ferdinand was born in the city of Seville on 6 December 1285 as the child and eldest son of King Sancho IV of Castile. He was baptized at Seville Cathedral by Archbishop Raimundo de Losana and was proclaimed heir to the Crown. King Sancho IV entrusted to Fernán Pérez Ponce de León the raising of his newborn son, the prince and his tutor left for the city of Zamora, where the family of Fernán Pérez resided. Likewise the King appointed Isidro González and Alfonso Godínez as Chancellors of the prince, Fernán Pérez Ponce de León and his wife, Urraca Gutiérrez de Meneses, had a significant influence on Ferdinands character, and he would show them, as a King, a profound gratitude.
Already in his infancy the question of his marriage was raised, in the agreement signed by Sancho IV and King Denis of Portugal in September 1291, was established the betrothal between Ferdinand and the Infanta Constance, daughter of the Portuguese sovereign. The death of Sancho IV a year put an end to the negotiations with the French court. King Sancho IV of Castile died in the city of Toledo on 25 April 1295, after the burial of the sovereign at Toledo Cathedral, his widow María de Molina retired to the Alcázar of Toledo for a mourning of nine days. The now Dowager Queen was in charge of the regency of her 9-years-old son, because the marriage between Sancho IV and María de Molina was without validity, all their children are illegitimate, so the Dowager Queen had to face numerous problems to kept her son in the throne. To this were added the problems with Aragon and France, who tried to take advantage of the political instability that suffered the Kingdom of Castile in their own benefit.
At the same time, Diego López V de Haro, Lord of Biscay, Nuño González de Lara, and Juan Núñez II de Lara, among many others nobles, sowed confusion and anarchy in the kingdom. In the Cortes of Valladolid in 1295, Henry of Castile the Senator was appointed guardian of the King, but the Dowager Queen María de Molina got that the custody of her son was entrusted to her. He passed to the Kingdom of Portugal, where he pressed King Denis of Portugal to declare war to Castile and, at the same time, to support his claims to the Castilian throne. Shortly after, King James II of Aragon returned the Infanta Isabella of Castile to the Castilian court without having married with her, and declared the war to the Kingdom of Castile. At the beginning of 1296, John of Castile rebelled against Ferdinand IV and took Astudillo, Paredes de Nava and Dueñas, while his son Alfonso of Valencia seized Mansilla. In April 1296 Alfonso de la Cerda invaded the Kingdom of Castile accompanied by Aragonese troops, and went to the city of León, where John of Castile was proclaimed King of León, Seville and Galicia.
Immediately afterwards, John of Castile accompanied Alfonso de la Cerda to Sahagún, due to the mortality that extended between the besiegers of Mayorga, their commanders were forced to raise the siege
Elizabeth of Aragon
Elizabeth of Aragon, known as Elizabeth of Portugal, T. O. S. F. was queen consort of Portugal, a tertiary of the Franciscan Order and is venerated as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. Elizabeth showed an enthusiasm for her faith. She said the full Divine Office daily and did other penance, religious fervor was common in her family, as she could count several members of her family who were already venerated as saints. The most notable example is her great-aunt, St. Elizabeth of Hungary and her marriage to King Denis of Portugal was arranged in 1281 when she was 10 years old, receiving the towns of Óbidos and Porto de Mós as part of her dowry. It was only in 1288 that the wedding was celebrated, when Denis was 26 years old, Denis, a poet and statesman, was known as the Rei Lavrador, because he planted a large pine forest near Leiria to prevent the soil degradation that threatened the region. Elizabeth quietly pursued the regular practices of her youth and was devoted to the poor. Naturally, such a life was a reproach to many around her, her prayer and patience succeeded in converting her husband, who had been leading a sinful life.
Elizabeth took an active interest in Portuguese politics and was a decisive conciliator during the negotiations concerning the Treaty of Alcañices, signed by Denis and Sancho IV of Castile in 1297. In 1304, the Queen and Denis returned to Spain to arbitrate between Fernando IV of Castile and James II of Aragon, brother of Elizabeth and she had two children, a daughter named Constance, who married King Ferdinand IV of Castile, a son Afonso. Elizabeth would serve as intermediary between her husband and Afonso, during the Civil War between 1322 and 1324, the Infante greatly resented the king, whom he accused of favoring the kings illegitimate son, Afonso Sanches. Repulsed to Alenquer, which supported the Infante, Denis was prevented from killing his son through the intervention of the Queen. As legend holds, in 1323, mounted on a mule, peace returned in 1324, once the illegitimate son was sent into exile, and the Infante swore loyalty to the king. After Denis death in 1325, Elizabeth retired to the monastery of the Poor Clare nuns and she joined the Third Order of St.
Francis, devoting the rest of her life to the poor and sick in obscurity. In spite of age and weakness, the Queen-dowager insisted on hurrying to Estremoz and she again stopped the fighting and caused terms of peace to be arranged. But the exertion brought on her final illness, as soon as her mission was completed, she took to her bed with a fever from which she died on 4 July, in the castle of Estremoz. She earned the title of Peacemaker on account of her efficacy in solving disputes, although Denis tomb was located in Odivelas, Elizabeth was buried in the Convent of Santa Clara in Coimbra, in a magnificent Gothic sarcophagus. After frequent flooding by the Mondego River in the 17th century and her body was transferred to the main chapel, where it was buried in a sarcophagus of silver and crystal. She was beatified in 1526 and canonized by Pope Urban VIII on 25 May 1625 and her feast was inserted in the General Roman Calendar for celebration on 4 July
Compromise of Caspe
The Aragonese succession laws at that time were based more on custom than any specific legislation, and even case law did not exist. All successions after the union of Catalonia with Aragon in 1137 had been to the eldest son, to the younger brother. However, very distant agnates had lost out to the daughter of the king in the 11th century, when Queen Petronilla succeeded over claims of the agnates. J. N. Hillgarth writes, Among the descendants by the male line, T. N. Bisson writes that the issue was political rather than simply legal, a utilitarian question of which candidate with some dynastic claim would make the best king. The major candidates for succession were, Alfonso I, Duke of Gandia and he claimed the throne by both agnatic seniority and proximity of blood to the previous kings of Aragon. John of Ribagorza, brother of Alfonso, who inherited his claim, Ferdinand of Castile, matrilineal grandson of Peter IV of Aragon and nephew of Martin, claimed the throne by proximity of blood to the last king.
Frederic, Count of Luna, grandson of Martin of Aragon, bastard of his son, Martin I of Sicily. James II, Count of Urgell, Martins brother-in-law and closest agnate as patrilineal great-grandson of Alfonso IV of Aragon, appointed Lieutenant of the Kingdom by Martin, he was heir male of the line and claimed the throne according to agnatic primogeniture. Louis of Anjou, matrilineal grandson of John I of Aragon and he was heir general to the line and claimed the throne according to cognatic primogeniture. As the Cortes dragged on, the situation became violent, Antón de Luna, an Aragonese supporter of Count James II of Urgell, assassinated the Archbishop of Zaragoza, García Fernández de Heredía. This event damaged the candidacy of James of Urgell and gave strength to the candidacy of Ferdinand of Castile, there was fighting in the streets, especially between partisans of Aragon and Valencia. The conflict divided the Kingdom of Aragon, with two rival Cortes meeting, one favorable to Ferdinand of Castile in Alcañiz, and another favorable to James II, the same occurred in Valencia, with Cortes in Traiguera and Vinaròs respectively.
Furthermore, in 1410-1412 Ferdinands troops entered Aragon and Valencia to fight the Urgellists, the Trastamarist victory at the Battle of Morvedre on 27 February 1412 finally left Valencia on their hands. Pope Bendict XIII intervened and proposed a group of nine compromisarios. But a few later, the Alcañiz parliament chose not only the three compromisarios from Aragon but the three Catalan and the three Valencian compromisarios too. The appointed compromisarios met in Caspe, to choose the next king, the majority of historians have agreed with the account of the election by historian Jerónimo Zurita. Zurita wrote his Anales de la Corona de Aragón from the original records, according to Zurita, the compromisarios had conflicting views about the succession to the deceased King Martin, and they voted differently as well. The votes were cast on Friday,24 June 1412, vincent Ferrer was the first one to speak, in a long speech, he voted for Ferdinand, and Ram, his brother Bonifaci, Bardaixí, and Aranda simply joined him
Sancho Alfonso, 1st Count of Alburquerque
Sancho Alfonso de Castilla is known in Spanish as Don Sancho Alfonso de Castilla, Infante de Castilla, I conde de Alburquerque. He was the ninth of the ten children of King Alfonso XI of Castile. He participated in a revolt of the Castilian nobles against the rule of his brother. In 1373 he married Beatrice of Portugal, daughter of Peter I of Portugal and they had two children, Fernando Sánchez, 2nd Count of Alburquerque, and Eleanor of Alburquerque, who married Ferdinand I of Aragon. He had a daughter, Leonor Sánchez de Castilla. Francisco de Moxó y de Montoliu, Estudios sobre las relaciones entre Aragón y Castilla,1997, ISBN 84-7820-387-7
Medina del Campo
Medina del Campo is a town located in the province of Valladolid, Castile and León autonomous region,45 km from Valladolid. It is the capital of an area, far away from the great economic centres. Medina del Campo grew in importance thanks to its Fairs during the 15th and 16th centuries, the main purpose of the early fairs was banking and textile sales, the book market and an enormous variety of goods and trades. As the population increased, the town expanded outward toward the plain of Zapardiel brook, since then, the Padilla Street became the business centre of Medina. At the time of the Revolt of the Comuneros, Medina del Campo was a town housing the royal artillery. Royalist attempt to seize the artillery pieces led to resistance culminating in the burning of the city. Almost all the buildings of artistic interest date from the 16th century, examples are the house known as Casa Blanca, the Palacio de Dueñas. These buildings were promoted by rich merchant bankers who prospered thanks to the General Fair of the Spanish Kingdom held in Medina del Campo during the 15th and 16th centuries.
The Museum of the Fairs was created to exhibit items connected to open market. The word Medina which means city in Arabic, Medina del Campo was founded on the hill called La Mota in the 11th century, in the same place where the Castle is, and remains of a wall still survive. At the moment, the Mota hill is a suburban area, in addition, this hill has archaeological remains such as a stronghold, a medieval village and a Celtic walled settlement dated from the 4th century BC. The word Mota refers to an artificial hill built to defend the castle better, the Mota fortress had a military function and it was a royal dungeon, among its most notorious prisoners being Cesare Borgia. The castle was built between the 12th century and 15th century and it has a moat with its own drawbridge, an outer curtain wall, an inner curtain wall surrounding a large courtyard, and a great square tower. The castle was abandoned and collapsed, but was restored after the Spanish Civil War and it was the first monumental building in Medina designated as a Heritage Site.
Medina was a village, and its stronghold was a very important building around the town to protect the people from attacks. The walls date from the 11th century, and they were enlarged three times, as the population was growing, at present, there are only remains. This church was built beside the gate of the old town, opposite the original city hall. Probably, its hall was the meeting point of the council
Republic of Genoa
It began when Genoa became a self-governing commune within the Regnum Italicum, and ended when it was conquered by the French First Republic under Napoleon and replaced with the Ligurian Republic. Corsica was ceded to France in the Treaty of Versailles of 1768, before 1100, Genoa emerged as an independent city-state, one of a number of Italian city-states during this period. Nominally, the Holy Roman Emperor was overlord and the Bishop of Genoa was president of the city, actual power was wielded by a number of consuls annually elected by popular assembly. The Adorno and other merchant families all fought for power in this Republic, as the power of the consuls allowed each family faction to gain wealth. The Republic of Genoa extended over modern Liguria and Piedmont, Corsica, through Genoese participation on the Crusades, Genoese colonies were established in the Middle East, in the Aegean, in Sicily and Northern Africa. The collapse of the Crusader States was offset by Genoa’s alliance with the Byzantine Empire, as Venices relations with the Byzantine Empire were temporarily disrupted by the Fourth Crusade and its aftermath, Genoa was able to improve its position.
Genoa took advantage of opportunity to expand into the Black Sea and Crimea. Internal feuds between the families, the Grimaldi and Fieschi, the Doria and others caused much disruption. However, this prosperity did not last, the Black Death was imported into Europe in 1347 from the Genoese trading post at Caffa in Crimea, on the Black Sea. Following the economic and population collapse, Genoa adopted the Venetian model of government, the wars with Venice continued, and the War of Chioggia -- where Genoa almost managed to decisively subdue Venice—ended with Venices recovery of dominance in the Adriatic. In 1390 Genoa initiated a crusade against the Barbary pirates with help from the French, though it has not been well-studied, the fifteenth century seems to have been a tumultuous time for Genoa. After a period of French domination from 1394–1409, Genoa came under rule by the Visconti of Milan, Genoa lost Sardinia to Aragon, Corsica to internal revolt and its Middle Eastern, Eastern European and Asia Minor colonies to the Turkish Ottoman Empire.
Under the ensuing economic recovery, many aristocratic Genoese families, such as the Balbi, Grimaldi, according to Felipe Fernandez-Armesto and others, the practices Genoa developed in the Mediterranean were crucial in the exploration and exploitation of the New World. At the time of Genoa’s peak in the 16th century, the city attracted many artists, including Rubens and Van Dyck. The architect Galeazzo Alessi designed many of the city’s splendid palazzi, as did in the decades that followed by fifty years Bartolomeo Bianco, a number of Genoese Baroque and Rococo artists settled elsewhere and a number of local artists became prominent. At the time of its founding in the early 11th century the Republic of Genoa consisted of the city of Genoa, as the commerce of the city increased, so did the territory of the Republic. By 1015 all of Liguria fell under the Republic of Genoa, after the First Crusade in 1098 Genoa gained settlements in Syria. In 1261 the city of Smyrna in Asia Minor became Genoese territory, in 1255 Genoa established the colony of Caffa in Crimea
Maria of Aragon, Queen of Castile
Maria of Aragon was the first wife and Queen consort of John II of Castile. The daughter of Ferdinand I of Aragon and Eleanor of Alburquerque, maria was married by her brother in his ambition to place his fathers issue on the thrones of the Spanish nations. The marriage took place in simplicity due to the political situation. Maria has no descendants today, her line having gone extinct within a few decades of her death
Naples is the capital of the Italian region Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy, after Rome and Milan. In 2015, around 975,260 people lived within the administrative limits. The Metropolitan City of Naples had a population of 3,115,320, Naples is the 9th-most populous urban area in the European Union with a population of between 3 million and 3.7 million. About 4.4 million people live in the Naples metropolitan area, Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Bronze Age Greek settlements were established in the Naples area in the second millennium BC, a larger colony – initially known as Parthenope, Παρθενόπη – developed on the Island of Megaride around the ninth century BC, at the end of the Greek Dark Ages. Naples remained influential after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, thereafter, in union with Sicily, it became the capital of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861. Naples was the most-bombed Italian city during World War II, much of the citys 20th-century periphery was constructed under Benito Mussolinis fascist government, and during reconstruction efforts after World War II.
The city has experienced significant economic growth in recent decades, and unemployment levels in the city, Naples still suffers from political and economic corruption, and unemployment levels remain high. Naples has the fourth-largest urban economy in Italy, after Milan, Rome and it is the worlds 103rd-richest city by purchasing power, with an estimated 2011 GDP of US$83.6 billion. The port of Naples is one of the most important in Europe, numerous major Italian companies, such as MSC Cruises Italy S. p. A, are headquartered in Naples. The city hosts NATOs Allied Joint Force Command Naples, the SRM Institution for Economic Research, Naples is a full member of the Eurocities network of European cities. The city was selected to become the headquarters of the European institution ACP/UE and was named a City of Literature by UNESCOs Creative Cities Network, the Villa Rosebery, one of the three official residences of the President of Italy, is located in the citys Posillipo district. Naples historic city centre is the largest in Europe, covering 1,700 hectares and enclosing 27 centuries of history, Naples has long been a major cultural centre with a global sphere of influence, particularly during the Renaissance and Enlightenment eras.
In the immediate vicinity of Naples are numerous culturally and historically significant sites, including the Palace of Caserta, Naples is synonymous with pizza, which originated in the city. Neapolitan music has furthermore been highly influential, credited with the invention of the romantic guitar, according to CNN, the metro stop Toledo is the most beautiful in Europe and it won the LEAF Award 2013 as Public building of the year. Naples is the Italian city with the highest number of accredited stars from the Michelin Guide, Naples sports scene is dominated by football and Serie A club S. S. C. Napoli, two-time Italian champions and winner of European trophies, who play at the San Paolo Stadium in the south-west of the city, the Phlegraean Fields around Naples has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. The earliest Greek settlements were established in the Naples area in the second millennium BC, sailors from the Greek island of Rhodes established a small commercial port called Parthenope on the island of Megaride in the ninth century BC
Arribes del Duero Natural Park
Arribes del Duero Natural Park is a protected area in western Spain, covering 106.105 ha in the autonomous community of Castile and León. In this area the river Duero forms the boundary between Spain and Portugal, and the Portugal side is protected under the figure of International Douro Natural Park. The most notable characteristics of natural space are its biodiversity and range of watercourses. This landscape is known as Arribes, from where the name come. The park is a Special Protection Area, recognised by European Union for birds such as the black stork, International Douro Natural Park Arribes Sayago
Province of Salamanca
Salamanca is a province of western Spain, in the western part of the autonomous community of Castile and León. It is bordered by the provinces of Zamora, Valladolid, Ávila and it has an area of 12,349 km ² and in 2014 had a population of 342,459 people. It is divided into 362 municipalities,11 comarcas,32 mancomunidades, of the 362 municipalities, more than half are villages with fewer than 300 people. The Vettones occupied the areas of the current Spanish provinces of Salamanca and Ávila, as well as parts of Cáceres and they were a pre-Roman people of Celtic culture. Their numerous archaeological sites exist throughout the province, and several locality names have Vettone origin and this is the case of Salamanca and Ciudad Rodrigo. Vettone villages were established on the banks of rivers or on mountains. The area between La Armuña and Salamanca marked the border between Vettones and Vaccaei, the other people of the province. They were situated in the northeast area of the province, Salamanca Province is situated in western Spain, in the western part of Castile and León.
Also of note is the Sierra de Francia mountain range, the Salamanca hydrographic network is mainly formed by the Duero basin. The most important rivers are the Duero, Tormes, Águeda, Huebra, of particular note is the Almendra Dam, five kilometres from the village of Almendra. Constructed between 1964 and 1970, the dam forms part of the system known as the Duero Drops, along with the Castro, Saucelle. It is one of the largest reservoirs in Spain with an area of 86.5 square kilometres and 2.5 billion cubic metres of water. The dam itself is more than half a wide and, at a height of 202 metres. There are Roman Catholic cathedrals at Salamanca and Ciudad Rodrigo, the Old Cathedral of Salamanca was founded by Bishop Jerome of Périgord, in the 12th century and completed in Romanesque/Gothic style in the 14th century. It is dedicated to Santa Maria de la Sede, the New Cathedral of Salamanca was constructed between the 16th and 18th centuries in the Late Gothic and Baroque styles. Building began in 1513 and the cathedral was consecrated in 1733 and it was commissioned by Ferdinand V of Castile of Spain.
It was declared a monument by royal decree in 1887. List of municipalities in Salamanca Kingdom of León Media related to Province of Salamanca at Wikimedia Commons
Ferdinand I of Aragon
He was regent of Castile. Born at Medina del Campo, he was the son of King John I of Castile. In this capacity he distinguished himself by his prudent administration of domestic affairs, in a war with the Muslim Kingdom of Granada, he conquered the town of Antequera, whence his surname. After Ferdinands maternal uncle, King Martin I of Aragon, died without surviving legitimate issue, the other candidate, Count James II of Urgell and Ferdinand dissolved the County of Urgell in 1413. Ferdinand created the title of Prince of Girona for the heir of the Crown of Aragon on 19 February 1416 and he is buried in the Aragonese royal pantheon of the monastery of Poblet, in a magnificent tomb ordered by his son Alfonso to Pere Oller in 1417. The Italian humanist Lorenzo Valla wrote a biography of Ferdinand. In 1393 Ferdinand married Eleanor of Alburquerque, very patient to all who wanted to talk to him, even if their speeches were ordinary or not well-reasoned. Crown of Aragon J. N Hillgarth, The Spanish Kingdoms, ISBN 0-19-822531-8 T. N.
Bisson, The Medieval Crown of Aragon. ISBN 0-19-820236-9 Ferdinand I of Catalonia-Aragon in the Catalan Hyperencyclopaedia H. J. Chaytor, A History of Aragon and Catalonia, la Monarquía Hispánica, Fernando I el de Antequera Article of Francesca Español Bertran on his tomb in Poblet