Castle of Santa Catalina (Jaén)
Saint Catalina's Castle is a castle that sits on the Cerro de Santa Catalina overlooking the Spanish city of Jaén. It is now the site of a parador; the castle began as an 8th Century Moorish fortress last improved by the Nasrid King Abdallah ibn al-Ahmar, who built the Alhambra. Earlier, where the parador now stands, there was a tower known as Hannibal's Tower, of which some traces remain. After King Ferdinand III of Castile captured the city in 1246 after the Siege of Jaén, he commenced a transformation of the castle, including construction of what became known as the New Castle on the eastern extreme of the hill; the bulk of the work, took place under the reigns of Alfonso X and Ferdinand IV. There are a donjon, with one of the towers holding the Chapel of Saint Catalina. One of the last structures built during this period was the donjon, the work of the Conestable of Castile, Miguel Lucas de Iranzo; the builders of the new castle used some of the towers and ramparts of the old fortress, destroyed or replaced others.
The construction in 1965 of the parador resulted in destruction of many of the elements of the Old Castle. The few remnants of the original fortress occupy the western extreme of the hill; the 17th century saw some interior remodeling of the buildings. In the early 19th century, Napoleonic forces built a gunpowder store, hospital, offices and artillery platform. Little beyond the foundations remains of most of these. On the top of the hill there is a monumental cross that recalls the cross that Ferdinand III had erected there. At the foot of the cross, engraved in the rock, is the "Sonnet to the Cross" by the poet Almendros Aguilar; the castle and parador have a view over the valley of the Guadalquivir to the ridges of the Sierra Morena. General Charles de Gaulle stayed in the parador. Media related to Castle of Santa Catalina, Jaén at Wikimedia Commons
Tanning is the process of treating skins and hides of animals to produce leather. A tannery is the place. Tanning hide into leather involves a process which permanently alters the protein structure of skin, making it more durable and less susceptible to decomposition, possibly coloring it. Before tanning, the skins are unhaired, degreased and soaked in water over a period of 6 hours to 2 days; this process was considered a noxious or "odoriferous trade" and relegated to the outskirts of town. Traditionally, tanning used tannin, an acidic chemical compound from which the tanning process draws its name; the use of a chromium solution was adopted by tanners in the Industrial Revolution. The English word for tanning is from medieval Latin tannāre, deriv. of tannum, from French tan, from old-Cornish tann. These terms are related to a hypothetical dʰonu meaning fir tree in Proto-Indo-European.. Despite the linguistic confusion between quite different conifers and oaks, the word tan referring to dyes and types of hide preservation is from the Gaulic use referencing the bark of oaks, not fir trees.
Ancient civilizations used leather for waterskins, bags and tack, armour, scabbards and sandals. Tanning was being carried out by the inhabitants of Mehrgarh in Pakistan between 7000 and 3300 BC. Around 2500 BC, the Sumerians began using leather, affixed by copper studs, on chariot wheels. Tanning was considered a noxious or "odoriferous trade" and relegated to the outskirts of town, amongst the poor. Indeed, tanning by ancient methods is so foul smelling, tanneries are still isolated from those towns today where the old methods are used. Skins arrived at the tannery dried stiff and dirty with soil and gore. First, the ancient tanners would soak the skins in water to soften them, they would pound and scour the skin to remove any remaining flesh and fat. Next, the tanner needed to remove the hair from the skin; this was done by either soaking the skin in urine, painting it with an alkaline lime mixture, or allowing the skin to putrefy for several months dipping it in a salt solution. After the hairs were loosened, the tanners scraped them off with a knife.
Once the hair was removed, the tanners would "bate" the material by pounding dung into the skin, or soaking the skin in a solution of animal brains. Bating was a fermentative process. Among the kinds of dung used were those of dogs or pigeons; the actual tanning process used vegetable tanning. In some variations of the process, cedar oil, alum, or tannin were applied to the skin as a tanning agent; as the skin was stretched, it would absorb the agent. Following the adoption in medicine of soaking gut sutures in a chromium solution after 1840, it was discovered that this method could be used with leather and thus was adopted by tanners; the tanning process begins with obtaining an animal skin. When an animal skin is to be tanned, the animal is killed and skinned before the body heat leaves the tissues; this can be done by the tanner, or by obtaining a skin at a slaughterhouse, farm, or local fur trader. Preparing hides begins by curing them with salt. Curing is employed to prevent putrefaction of the protein substance from bacterial growth during the time lag from procuring the hide to when it is processed.
Curing removes water from the skins using a difference in osmotic pressure. The moisture content of hides and skins is reduced, osmotic pressure increased, to the point that bacteria are unable to grow. In wet-salting, the hides are salted pressed into packs for about 30 days. In brine-curing, the hides are agitated in a saltwater bath for about 16 hours. Curing can be accomplished by preserving the hides and skins at low temperatures; the steps in the production of leather between curing and tanning are collectively referred to as beamhouse operations. They include, in order, liming, removal of extraneous tissues, bating or puering and pickling. In soaking, the hides are soaked in clean water to remove the salt left over from curing and increase the moisture so that the hide or skin can be further treated. To prevent damage of the skin by bacterial growth during the soaking period, biocides dithiocarbamates, may be used. Fungicides such as 2-thiocyanomethylthiobenzothiazole may be added in the process, to protect wet leathers from mold growth.
After 1980, the use of pentachlorophenol and mercury-based biocides and their derivatives was forbidden. After soaking, the hides and skins are taken for liming: treatment with milk of lime that may involve the addition of "sharpening agents" such as sodium sulfide, amines, etc; the objectives of this operation are to: Remove the hair and other keratinous matter Remove some of the interfibrillary soluble proteins such as mucins Swell up and split up the fibres to the desired extent Remove the natural grease and fats to some extent Bring the collagen in the hide to a proper condition for satisfactory tannageThe weakening of hair is dependent on the breakdown of the disulfide link of the amino acid cystine, the characteristic of the keratin class of proteins that gives strength to hair and wools. The hydrogen
Ferdinand III of Castile
Ferdinand III, 1199/1201 – 30 May 1252, called the Saint, was King of Castile from 1217 and King of León from 1230 as well as King of Galicia from 1231. He was the son of Alfonso IX of Berenguela of Castile. Through his second marriage he was Count of Aumale. Ferdinand III was one of the most successful kings of Castile, securing not only the permanent union of the crowns of Castile and León, but masterminding the most expansive campaign of Reconquista yet. By military and diplomatic efforts, Ferdinand expanded the dominions of Castile into southern Spain, annexing many of the great old cities of al-Andalus, including the old Andalusian capitals of Córdoba and Seville, establishing the boundaries of the Castilian state for the next two centuries. Ferdinand was canonized in 1671 by Pope Clement X and, in Spanish, he is known as Fernando el Santo, San Fernando or San Fernando Rey. Places such as San Fernando, San Fernando, La Union, Patron Saint of the Diocese of Ilagan,Province of Isabela - San Fernando de Ilagan and the San Fernando de Dilao Church in Paco, Manila in the Philippines, in California, San Fernando City and the San Fernando Valley, were named for him and placed under his patronage.
The exact date of Ferdinand's birth is unclear. It has been proposed to have been as early as 1199 or 1198, although more recent researchers date Ferdinand's birth in the summer of 1201. Ferdinand was born at the Monastery of Valparaíso; as the son of Alfonso IX of León and his second wife Berengaria of Castile, Ferdinand is a descendant of Alfonso VII of Leon and Castile on both sides, as his paternal grandfather Ferdinand II of Leon and maternal great grandfather Sancho III of Castile were the sons and successors of Alfonso VII. Ferdinand has other royal ancestors from his paternal grandmother Urraca of Portugal and his maternal grandmother Eleanor of England a daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. From his birth to 1204 Ferdinand was designated heir to his father's kingdom of Leon with the support of his mother and the kingdom of Castile despite the fact that he was Alfonso IX's second son. Alfonso IX had a son and two daughters from his first marriage to Teresa of Portugal but at the time he never acknowledged his first son as his heir.
However, the Castilians saw the elder Ferdinand as threat to Berengaria's son. The marriage of Ferdinand's parents was annulled by order of Pope Innocent III in 1204, due to consanguinity. Berengaria took their children, including Ferdinand, to the court of her father, King Alfonso VIII of Castile. In 1217, her younger brother, Henry I, died and she succeeded him on the Castilian throne with Ferdinand as her heir, but she surrendered it to her son; when Ferdinand's father, Alfonso IX of León, died in 1230, his will delivered the kingdom to his older daughters Sancha and Dulce, from his first marriage to Teresa of Portugal. But Ferdinand contested the will, claimed the inheritance for himself. At length, an agreement was reached, negotiated between their mothers and Teresa, signed at Benavente on 11 December 1230, by which Ferdinand would receive the Kingdom of León, in return for a substantial compensation in cash and lands for his half-sisters and Dulce. Ferdinand thus became the first sovereign of both kingdoms since the death of Alfonso VII in 1157.
Early in his reign, Ferdinand had to deal with a rebellion of the House of Lara. Since the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212 halted the advance of the Almohads in Spain, a series of truces had kept Castile and the Almohad dominions of al-Andalus more-or-less at peace. However, a crisis of succession in the Almohad Caliphate after the death of Yusuf II in 1224 opened to Ferdinand III an opportunity for intervention; the Andalusian-based claimant, Abdallah al-Adil, began to ship the bulk of Almohad arms and men across the straits to Morocco to contest the succession with his rival there, leaving al-Andalus undefended. Al-Adil's rebellious cousin, Abdallah al-Bayyasi, appealed to Ferdinand III for military assistance against the usurper. In 1225, a Castilian army accompanied al-Bayyasi in a campaign, ravaging the regions of Jaén, vega de Granada and, before the end of the year, had installed al-Bayyasi in Córdoba. In payment, al-Bayyasi gave Ferdinand the strategic frontier strongholds of Baños de la Encina and Capilla.
When al-Bayyasi was rejected and killed by a popular uprising in Cordoba shortly after, the Castilians remained in occupation of al-Bayyasi's holdings in Andújar and Martos. The crisis in the Almohad Caliphate, remained unresolved. In 1228, a new Almohad pretender, Abd al-Ala Idris I'al-Ma'mun', decided to abandon Spain, left with the last remnant of the Almohad forces for Morocco. Al-Andalus was left fragmented in the hands of local strongmen, only loosely led by Muhammad ibn Yusuf ibn Hud al-Judhami. Seeing the opportunity, the Christian kings of the north - Ferdinand III of Castile, Alfonso IX of León, James I of Aragon and Sancho II of Portugal - launched a series of raids on al-Andalus, renewed every year. There were no great battle encounters - Ibn Hud's makeshift Andalusian army was destroyed early on, while attempting to stop the Leonese at Alange in 1230; the Christian armies romped through the south unopposed in the field. Individual Andalusian cities were left to resist or negotiate their capitulation by themselves, with little or no prospect of rescue from Morocco or anywhere else.
The twenty years from 1228
Úbeda is a town in the province of Jaén in Spain's autonomous community of Andalusia, with 34,733 inhabitants. Both this city and the neighbouring city of Baeza benefited from extensive patronage in the early 16th century resulting in the construction of a series of Renaissance style palaces and churches, which have been preserved since. In 2003, UNESCO declared the historic monuments of these two towns a World Heritage Site. Recent archaeological findings indicate a pre-Roman settlement at Úbeda, such as argaric and iberic remains; the capital of the iberic state was called Iltiraka and was located over the Guadalquivir river, 10 km south of the actual site of the town. Romans and Visigoths occupied the site as a settlement; this area became an important city in the Muslim conquest of the Iberia. It was refounded by Abd ar-Rahman II, who called it Arab's Ubbada i.e. ´sأُبَّدَة الْعَرَب. It was included in the area of Jaén. In this period, its territory extended to more than 35,000 hectares. During the Reconquista, in 1233, King Ferdinand III was able to wrest the town from the Muslim rulers.
After that, the Muslim and Jewish cultures coexisted for a long time. In the Christian period the possession of territories of Úbeda increased including the area from Torres de Acún to Santisteban del Puerto, passing by cities like Albánchez de Úbeda and Canena, and, in the middle of the 16th century it included Cabra del Santo Cristo, Quesada or Torreperogil. During the 14th and the 15th centuries, internecine fighting among local nobility and populace impaired the growth of the town. In 1368 the city was devastated because of the civil war between Peter I of Castile and Henry II of Castile. This, combined with other circumstances, caused the worsening of the rivalry between the families de Trapera and de Aranda in the first moment, the families de la Cueva and de Molina after; this produced many problems and fights which were solved when the Catholic Monarchs intervened: they ordered the Alcázar, used by the nobility as a fortress, to be destroyed. Úbeda, on the border between Granada and Castile-La Mancha, was an important geographic buffer, thus the population gained from the Castilian kings, a number of official privileges, such as the "Fuero de Cuenca", which tried to organize the population formed by people from Castilla and from León, in order to face the problems that there could be in the border.
With the "Fuero de Cuenca", a popular Council was formed, which developed to a middle-class nobility, which tried to make the high-ranking official hereditary. Úbeda's apogee of wealth occurred in part because of the rise of local Francisco de los Cobos to the role of Secretary of State for Emperor Charles V. Cobos married into the local noble family of House of Molina; the Mudéjar and Morisco population of the region had provided manpower for the agriculture and the handmade industry. It is a period in which many important buildings were built, thanks to architects like Diego de Siloé, Andrés de Vandelvira; the time of prosperity ended with several natural disasters, in the last years of the 18th century Úbeda tried to recover its economy, with the help of the agriculture and the handmade industry. In the early 19th century the War of Independence produced economic damages again, Úbeda did not recover until the end of the 19th century, when several technical improvements were applied in agriculture an industry.
Ideological discussions took place at the "casinos", places for informal discussions about several items. The city is near the geographic centre of the province of Jaén, it is the administrative seat of the surrounding Loma de Úbeda comarca, it is one of the region's most important settlements, boasting a regional hospital, university bachelor's degree in education college, distance-learning facilities, local government facilities, social security offices, courts. According to the Caixa yearbook, it is the economic hub of a catchment area with a population of 200,000 inhabitants. Twenty-nine percent of employment is in the service sector. Other fractions of the population are employed in tourism, commerce and local government administration; the agricultural economy works with olive cultivation and cattle ranching. Úbeda has become in one of the biggest olive oil's packers of the Jaén province. One of the main seasonal attractions of the town is the annual music and dance festival, held in May and June including opera, flamenco, chamber music, symphony orchestra and dance.
Just south east of the town lies the nature park of Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y las Villas. The most outstanding feature of the city is the monumental Vázquez de Molina Square, surrounded with imposing Renaissance buildings such as the Palacio de las Cadenas and the Basílica de Santa María de los Reales Alcázares; the Chapel of the Savior or Capilla del Salvador was constructed to house the tombs of local nobility. Both the interior and exterior are decorated; the Hospital de Santiago, designed by Vandelvira in the late 16th century, with its square bell towers and graceful Renaissance courtyard, is now the home of the town's Conference Hall. Ubeda has a Parador hotel, housed in a 16th-century palace, the residence of a high-ranking churchman of that period; the town lends i
Olive oil is a liquid fat obtained from olives, a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. The oil is produced by pressing whole olives, it is used in cooking, whether for frying or as a salad dressing. It is used in cosmetics and soaps, as a fuel for traditional oil lamps, has additional uses in some religions. There is limited evidence of its possible health benefits; the olive is one of three core food plants in Mediterranean cuisine. Olive trees have been grown around the Mediterranean since the 8th millennium BC. Spain is the largest producer of olive oil, followed by Greece. However, per capita national consumption is highest in Greece, followed by Spain and Morocco. Consumption in South Asia, North America and northern Europe is far less; the composition of olive oil varies with the cultivar, time of harvest and extraction process. It consists of oleic acid, with smaller amounts of other fatty acids including linoleic acid and palmitic acid. Extra virgin olive oil is required to have no more than 0.8% free acidity and is considered to have favorable flavor characteristics.
The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean basin. The wild olive tree originated in ancient Greece, it is not clear when and where olive trees were first domesticated: in Asia Minor, in the Levant, or somewhere in the Mesopotamian part of the Fertile Crescent. Archaeological evidence shows that olives were turned into olive oil by 6000 BC and 4500 BC at a now-submerged prehistoric settlement south of Haifa; until 1500 BC, eastern coastal areas of the Mediterranean were most cultivated. Evidence suggests that olives were being grown in Crete as long ago as 2500 BC; the earliest surviving olive oil amphorae date to 3500 BC, though the production of olive oil is assumed to have started before 4000 BC. Olive trees were cultivated by the Late Minoan period in Crete, as early as the Early Minoan; the cultivation of olive trees in Crete became intense in the post-palatial period and played an important role in the island's economy, as it did across the Mediterranean. Recent genetic studies suggest that species used by modern cultivators descend from multiple wild populations, but a detailed history of domestication is not yet forthcoming.
Olive trees and oil production in the Eastern Mediterranean can be traced to archives of the ancient city-state Ebla, which were located on the outskirts of the Syrian city Aleppo. Here some dozen documents dated 2400 BC describe lands of the queen; these belonged to a library of clay tablets preserved by having been baked in the fire that destroyed the palace. A source is the frequent mentions of oil in the Tanakh. Dynastic Egyptians before 2000 BC imported olive oil from Crete and Canaan and oil was an important item of commerce and wealth. Remains of olive oil have been found in jugs over 4,000 years old in a tomb on the island of Naxos in the Aegean Sea. Sinuhe, the Egyptian exile who lived in northern Canaan about 1960 BC, wrote of abundant olive trees. Besides food, olive oil has been used for religious rituals, medicines, as a fuel in oil lamps, soap-making, skin care application; the Minoans used olive oil in religious ceremonies. The oil became a principal product of the Minoan civilization, where it is thought to have represented wealth.
Olive oil, a multi-purpose product of Mycenaean Greece at that time, was a chief export. Olive tree growing reached Iberia and Etruscan cities well before the 8th century BC through trade with the Phoenicians and Carthage was spread into Southern Gaul by the Celtic tribes during the 7th century BC; the first recorded oil extraction is known from the Hebrew Bible and took place during the Exodus from Egypt during the 13th century BC. During this time, the oil was derived through hand-squeezing the berries and stored in special containers under guard of the priests. A commercial mill for non-sacramental use of oil was in use in the tribal confederation and in 1000 BC, in the Levant, an area consisting of present-day Lebanon and Palestine. Over 100 olive presses have been found in Tel Miqne, one of the five main cities of the Biblical Philistines; these presses are estimated to have had output of between 1,000 and 3,000 tons of olive oil per season. Many ancient presses still exist in the Eastern Mediterranean region, some dating to the Roman period are still in use today.
Olive oil was common in ancient Greek and Roman cuisine. According to Herodotus, Plutarch, Pausanias and other sources, the city of Athens obtained its name because Athenians considered olive oil essential, preferring the offering of the goddess Athena over the offering of Poseidon; the Spartans and other Greeks used oil to rub themselves while exercising in the gymnasia. From its beginnings early in the 7th century BC, the cosmetic use of olive oil spread to all of the Hellenic city states, together with athletes training in the nude, lasted close to a thousand years despite its great expense. Olive oil was popular as a form of birth control. Olive trees were planted throughout the entire Mediterranean basin during evolution of the Roman Republic and Empire. According to the
Autonomous communities of Spain
In Spain, an autonomous community is a first-level political and administrative division, created in accordance with the Spanish constitution of 1978, with the aim of guaranteeing limited autonomy of the nationalities and regions that make up Spain. Spain is not a federation, but a decentralized unitary state. While sovereignty is vested in the nation as a whole, represented in the central institutions of government, the nation has, in variable degrees, devolved power to the communities, which, in turn, exercise their right to self-government within the limits set forth in the constitution and their autonomous statutes; each community has its own set of devolved powers. Some scholars have referred to the resulting system as a federal system in all but name, or a "federation without federalism". There are 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities that are collectively known as "autonomies"; the two autonomous cities have the right to become autonomous communities, but neither has yet exercised it.
This unique framework of territorial administration is known as the "State of Autonomies". The autonomous communities are governed according to the constitution and their own organic laws known as Statutes of Autonomy, which contain all the competences that they assume. Since devolution was intended to be asymmetrical in nature, the scope of competences vary for each community, but all have the same parliamentary structure. Spain is a diverse country made up of several different regions with varying economic and social structures, as well as different languages and historical and cultural traditions. While the entire Spanish territory was united under one crown in 1479 this was not a process of national homogenization or amalgamation; the constituent territories—be it crowns, principalities or dominions—retained much of their former institutional existence, including limited legislative, judicial or fiscal autonomy. These territories exhibited a variety of local customs, laws and currencies until the mid nineteenth century.
From the 18th century onwards, the Bourbon kings and the government tried to establish a more centralized regime. Leading figures of the Spanish Enlightenment advocated for the building of a Spanish nation beyond the internal territorial boundaries; this culminated in 1833, when Spain was divided into 49 provinces, which served as transmission belts for policies developed in Madrid. However, unlike in other European countries such as France, where regional languages were spoken in rural areas or less developed regions, two important regional languages of Spain were spoken in some of the most industrialized areas, moreover, enjoyed higher levels of prosperity, in addition to having their own cultures and historical consciousness; these were Catalonia. This gave rise to peripheral nationalisms along with Spanish nationalism; therefore and social changes that had produced a national cultural unification in France had the opposite effect in Spain. As such, Spanish history since the late 19th century has been shaped by a dialectical struggle between Spanish nationalism and peripheral nationalisms in Catalonia and the Basque Country, to a lesser degree in Galicia.
In a response to Catalan demands, limited autonomy was granted to Catalonia in 1914, only to be abolished in 1923. It was granted again in 1932 during the Second Spanish Republic, when the Generalitat, Catalonia's mediaeval institution of government, was restored; the constitution of 1931 envisaged a territorial division for all Spain in "autonomous regions", never attained—only Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia had approved "Statutes of Autonomy"—the process being thwarted by the Spanish Civil War that broke out in 1936, the victory of the rebel Nationalist forces under Francisco Franco. During General Franco's dictatorial regime, centralism was most forcefully enforced as a way of preserving the "unity of the Spanish nation". Peripheral nationalism, along with communism and atheism were regarded by his regime as the main threats, his attempts to fight separatism with heavy-handed but sporadic repression, his severe suppression of language and regional identities backfired: the demands for democracy became intertwined with demands for the recognition of a pluralistic vision of the Spanish nationhood.
When Franco died in 1975, Spain entered into a phase of transition towards democracy. The most difficult task of the newly democratically elected Cortes Generales in 1977 acting as a Constituent Assembly was to transition from a unitary centralized state into a decentralized state in a way that would satisfy the demands of the peripheral nationalists; the Prime Minister of Spain, Adolfo Suárez, met with Josep Tarradellas, president of the Generalitat of Catalonia in exile. An agreement was made so that the Generalitat would be restored and limited competencies would be transferred while the constitution was still being written. Shortly after, the government allowed the creation of "assemblies of members of parliament" integrated by deputies and senators of the different territories of Spain, so that they could constitute "pre-autonomic regimes" for their regions as well; the Fathers of the Constitution had to strike a balance between the opposing views of Spain—on the one hand, the centralist view inherited from Franco's regime, on the other hand federalism and a pluralistic view of Spain as a "nation of nations".
Henry II of Castile
Henry II, called Henry of Trastámara or the Fratricide, was the first King of Castile and León from the House of Trastámara. He became king in 1369 by defeating his half-brother, Peter the Cruel, after numerous rebellions and battles; as king he was involved in the Hundred Years' War. Henry was the fourth of ten illegitimate children of King Alfonso XI of Castile and Eleanor de Guzmán, a great-granddaughter of Alfonso IX of León, he was born a twin to Fadrique Alfonso, Lord of Haro, was the first boy born to the couple that survived to adulthood. At birth, he was adopted by Rodrigo Álvarez de las Asturias. Rodrigo died Henry inherited his lordship of Noreña, his father made him Count of Trastámara and lord over Lemos and Sarria in Galicia, the towns of Cabrera and Ribera, which constituted a large and important heritage in the northeast of the peninsula. It made him the head of the new Trastámara dynasty. While Alfonso XI lived, his lover Eleanor gave a great many privileges to their sons; this caused discontent among many of the noblemen and in particular the queen, Maria of Portugal, her son, known as Pedro the Cruel and the Just.
They had a chance for revenge when Alfonso XI died unexpectedly from a fever in the siege of Gibraltar in March, 1350. They pushed Eleanor, her sons and their supporters aside, Henry and his brothers fled and scattered, they were fearful of what the new king Pedro I of Castile, could do to them. The late king had not been buried. Although Eleanor and her sons reached an agreement with Pedro to live peacefully in his court, the situation remained unstable. Henry and his brothers Fadrique and Sancho staged numerous rebellions against the new king. To strengthen his position and gain allies, Henry married Juana Manuel, the daughter of Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena, adelantado mayor of Murcia and Lord of Villena, the most prosperous nobleman of the realm. In 1351, the King took counsel from Juan Alfonso de Alburquerque, María of Portugal's right-hand man, he became convinced that his father's lover was the instigator of the uprisings, so he ordered Eleanor to be incarcerated and executed in Talavera de la Reina.
After that, Henry fled to Portugal. He was pardoned by Pedro and returned to Castile revolted in Asturias in 1352, he reconciled with his brother, only to rebel against him again in a long, intermittent war, which ended with Henry's flight to France, where he entered the service of John II of France. Shortly after and his men spent time in Peter IV of Aragon's army in their war against Castile. During that conflict, he was held prisoner in Nájera, he was exiled himself to France once more. Peter IV of Aragon attacked Castile again. Henry agreed to help him on condition that he would lend his support to destroying his brother, Pedro of Castile; this became the Castilian Civil War. The attack combined the Aragonese and the French. Henry was proclaimed king in Calahorra. In return, he had to reward his allies with riches for the help they had provided; this earned him the nickname el de las mercedes. Pedro of Castile fled north to Bordeaux, the capital of the English dominions in France, where Edward, the Black Prince held court.
Edward agreed to help Pedro recover his throne. Despite the fact that the army suffered so badly from dysentery that it is said that one out of every five Englishmen would not return home, on 3 April 1367 an Anglo-Gascon army, led by Edward and his younger brother, John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, met the Castilian forces. Pedro defeated Henry in the Battle of Nájera, but Henry escaped and returned to France under the protection of Charles V of France. King Pedro and Prince Edward parted ways over the funding of the expedition, the Black Prince returned to Bordeaux, having contracted an illness on this expedition that would ail him until his death in 1376, they reorganised their army at Peyrepertuse Castle. With the help of many Castilian rebels and Bertrand du Guesclin's Frenchmen, they defeated Pedro at the Battle of Montiel on 14 March 1369. Henry killed "the Cruel King," now a prisoner, with his own hand; this definitively won him the Castilian throne and the name of Henry II. Before being consolidated in his throne and being able to hand on power to his son John, Henry had to defeat Ferdinand I of Portugal.
He embarked on the three Ferdinand Wars. Ferdinand's main ally in these wars was John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, the husband of Constance of Castile, Duchess of Lancaster, Pedro I's daughter. Henry was allied with Charles V of France, he put the Castilian navy at Charles' disposal and they played a key part in the siege of La Rochelle, the Battle of La Rochelle where the admiral Ambrosio Boccanegra defeated the English side. Henry recompensed his allies, but he still had to defend his interests in the kingdom of Castile and León, he denied the King of Aragon the territories that he had promised him in the difficult times. Henry went to war against Portugal and England in the Hundred Years' War. For most of his reign he had to fight off the attempts of John of Gaunt, a son of Edward III of England, to claim the Castilian throne in right of his second wife, Pedro's daughter, Infanta Constance of Castile. In his domestic policy he started to rebuild the