Bellver Castle is a Gothic-style castle on a hill 3 km to the west of the center of Palma on the Island of Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain. It was built in the 14th century for King James II of Majorca, is one of the few circular castles in Europe. First serving as the residence of the Kings of Majorca, afterward long used as a military prison throughout the 18th to mid-20th century, it is now under civilian control, being one of the main tourist attractions of the island, as well as the seat for the city's History Museum; the castle's plan, a circular floor with round towers attached to it, seems to have been inspired by the upper complex of the Herodion, a 15 BCE hilltop palace in the West Bank, circular and had a large principal tower and three minor towers as well. They are attached while the principal one is coupled to the complex by a high bridge over the surrounding moat; the main part of the fortification was built by architect Pere Salvà, who worked in the construction of the Royal Palace of La Almudaina, together with other master masons between 1300 and 1311 for King James II of Aragon and Majorca.
Rock from the hill where the castle sits was used for the building, which has led to the appearance of cracks. Once the castle had been built, following the introduction of artillery, the battlements on the top balconies and the barbican disappeared, being soon followed by those in every tower; the castle served as a residence for the Kings of Mallorca whenever they were not staying in mainland Europe, was subsequently used as a residence for viceroys during the 17th century. As a fortification, it suffered and resisted two sieges during the Middle Ages; the castle has only fallen once in its history into enemy hands, in 1521 after an assault during the Majorcan seconds Revolt of the Brotherhoods. The castle was governed by a Lord Warden. In 1408, King Martin I of Aragon gave the lordship of Bellver to the Charterhouse of Jesus of Nazareth in Valldemossa. Charles of Viana arrived in 1459 to take possession of both the island and the castle, as he had agreed with his father King John II of Aragon though the king did not grant the lordship or Bellver Castle.
Being an enclosed site, since the end of the 14th century it was used as a prison, firstly to hold queen Violant of Mallorca, her children James and Isabella and other supporters of King James III of Mallorca after his death in the Battle of Llucmajor in 1349. During the War of Spanish Succession it was used to imprison first supporters of Phillippe d'Anjou, after the Bourbon victory, Maulets. During the Spanish Independence War it was used to hold several prisoners captured at the battle of Bailén and political prisoners, the most famous of these being the minister Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos who first made a description of the castle and commissioned the first blueprints and drawings of it; the castle served from on as a political prison, used to lock up several important supporters of the subsequent Habsburg pretendants to the Spanish Throne during the 19th century, notable republican and Catalanist leaders during the 20th century, including Alexandre Jaume, Member of the Parliament who first won the castle for the city, Emili Darder, the mayor of the city, both subsequently shot.
Having been founded as a seat for the royal court of James the raker of Mallorca, its structure combines the needs of a palace with defensive elements. The most notable feature in its structure is its circular shape, unique in Spain. Both its surrounding wall and the inner yard are so-shaped, so are the three minor towers and the donjon. A moat is found surrounding its donjon; the circular inner yard must be highlighted. It has a well in the middle of it; the palace itself is structured as a two-story building around the central yard. All its dependencies face this yard through a gallery of gothic semi-circular arches. In 1931, the Spanish Second Republic gave the castle to the city of Palma, along with the forest surrounding it, it became a museum in 1932. Thanks to the parking lot and road built next to the castle, it welcomes a great number of visitors; the main yard is the seat to many different public ceremonies, such as protocollary and cultural acts, concerts. Due to its location and visibility from the sea or any other point of the city, it has become one the city's symbols.
The surrounding forest encloses the stables of the city's Mounted Peelers. There is a chapel dedicated to Saint Alphonsis Rodriguez, built between 1879 and 1885; the Sunday following Easter Sunday, the citizens gather at the forest and the castle for the celebration of the Diumenge de l'Àngel. Virtual 3D-tour of del Castillo de Bellver Imágenes del Castillo de Bellver Castillo de Bellver en la página del Ayuntamiento de Palma de Mallorca Artículo en MallorcaWeb Vista aérea del castillo en la página web del Ayuntamiento de Palma Vista del Castillo de Bellver en Google Maps Castillo de Bellver en castillosnet.org
Philip III of France
Philippe III redirects here. It can refer to Philippe III de Croÿ and Philippe III, Duke of Orléans. Philip III, called the Bold, was King of France from 1270 to 1285, the tenth from the House of Capet. Philip proved indecisive, soft in nature, timid; the strong personalities of his parents crushed him, policies of his father dominated him. People called him "the Bold" on the basis of his abilities in combat and on horseback and not on the basis of his political or personal character, he was pious but not cultivated. He followed the suggestions of others, first of Pierre de La Broce and of his uncle King Charles I of Naples and Albania, his father, Louis IX, died in Tunis during the Eighth Crusade. Philip, accompanying him, came back to France to claim his throne and was anointed at Reims in 1271. Philip made numerous territorial acquisitions during his reign, the most notable being the County of Toulouse, annexed to the Crown lands of France in 1271. Following the Sicilian Vespers, a rebellion triggered by Peter III of Aragon against Philip's uncle Charles I of Naples, Philip led an unsuccessful Aragonese Crusade in support of his uncle.
Philip was forced to retreat and died from dysentry in Perpignan in 1285. He was succeeded by his son Philip the Fair. Philip was born in Poissy to King Saint Louis IX of France and Margaret of Provence, queen consort of France; as a younger son, Philip was not expected to rule a kingdom. At the death of his elder brother Louis in 1260, he became the heir to the throne, he was 15 years old and had less skill than his brother, being of a gentle character, submissive and versatile crushed by the strong personalities of his parents. His mother Margaret made him promise to remain under her tutelage until the age of 30, but his father King Louis had him released from this oath by the pope, preferring to improve his son through education. Pope Urban IV released Philip from his oath on 6 June 1263. From 1268 Pierre de La Brosse became mentor. Saint Louis provided him his own advice, writing in particular Enseignements, which inculcate the notion of justice as the first duty of the king, he received a faith-oriented education.
Guillaume d'Ercuis was his chaplain before being the tutor of his son, the future king Philip IV. Following the Treaty of Corbeil, concluded on 11 March 1258 between James I of Aragon and his father, Philip was married in 1262 to Isabella of Aragon in Clermont by the archbishop of Rouen Eudes Rigaud; as Count of Orléans, he accompanied his father to the Eighth Crusade in Tunis, 1270. Shortly before his departure, St. Louis had given the regency of the kingdom into the hands of Mathieu de Vendôme and Simon II de Clermont-Nesle, Count of Clermont, to whom he had entrusted the royal seal. After taking Carthage, the army was struck by an epidemic of dysentery, which spared neither Philip nor his family, his brother John Tristan, Count of Valois died first, on 3 August, on 25 August the king died. To prevent putrefaction of the remains of the sovereign, they recoursed to Mos Teutonicus. Philip 25 years old, was proclaimed king in Tunis. With neither great personality or will pious, but a good rider, he owed his nickname of "Bold" to his valor in combat than strength of character.
He was unable to command the troops at the death of his father. He left his uncle Charles I of Naples to negotiate with Muhammad I al-Mustansir, Hafsid Sultan of Tunis, he got the payment of tribute from the caliph of Tunis in exchange for the departure of the crusaders. A treaty was concluded 28 October 1270 between the kings of France and Navarre and the barons on one hand and the caliph of Tunis on the other. Other deaths followed this debacle. In December, in Trapani, the brother-in-law of Philip, King Theobald II of Navarre, died, he was followed to the grave by Philip's sister Isabella. A month in Calabria, his wife Isabella, while pregnant with their fifth child, fell off her horse, she broke her spine and died in terrible pain at Cosenza. Philip III arrived in Paris on 21 May 1271, made foremost tribute to the deceased; the next day the funeral of his father was held. The new sovereign was crowned King of France in Reims 15 August 1271. Alphonse, Count of Poitiers and Toulouse, uncle of the newly crowned king Philip III, returning from the crusade, died childless in Italy on 21 August 1271.
Philip inherited the counties from his uncle and united them to the Crown lands of France, the royal domain. His inheritance included a portion of Auvergne the Terre royale d'Auvergne the Duchy of Auvergne. In accordance with wishes of Alphonse, he granted the Comtat Venaissin to Blessed Pope Gregory X in 1274; this inheritance included the Agenais. Several years of negotiations yielded the Treaty of Amiens with King Edward I of England, which restored this territory to the English. King Philip III of France meanwhile supported policy of his uncle, King Charles I of Naples and Albania, in Italy. King Peter III of Aragon and Valencia in 1282 triggered the Sicilian Vespers rebellion against King Charles I of Naples and Albania; the success of rebellion and invasion led to the coronation of Peter III of Aragon as king of Sicily therefore beginning the dynasty of the House of Barcelona in Sicily. King Peter II of Aragon in 1205 put his realm under the suzerainty of the pope. Pope Martin IV excommunicated king Peter III of Aragon, the conqueror, declared his kingdom forfeit.
The pope granted Aragon to Charles, Count of Valois, son of Philip III, king of France. Joan I of Navarre, daughter of the deceased king Henry
Pope Martin IV
Pope Martin IV, born Simon de Brion, was Pope from 22 February 1281 to his death in 1285. He was the last French pope to have held court in Rome. Simon de Brion, son of Jean, sieur de Brion, was born at the château of Meinpincien, Île-de-France, France, in the decade following 1210, he had a brother named Gilo, a knight in diocese of Sens. The seigneurial family of Brion, who took their name from Brion near Joigny, flourished in the Brie français, he spent time at the University of Paris, is said to have studied law at Padua and Bologna. Through papal favour he received a canonry at Saint-Quentin in 1238 and spent the period 1248–1259 as a canon of the cathedral chapter in Rouen as archdeacon. At the same time he was appointed treasurer of the church of St. Martin in Tours by King Louis IX of France, an office he held until he was elected pope in 1281. In 1255-1259, King Louis IX founded the French royal convent at Longchamps for the Poor Clares. In 1259, he was appointed to the council of the king, who made him keeper of the great seal, chancellor of France, one of the great officers in the household of the king.
He became Chancellor of Louis IX of France. On December 17, 1261, the new French Pope, Urban IV, made Chancellor de Brion cardinal-priest, with the titulus of the church of St. Cecilia; this would have entailed Simon de Brion's residence in Rome, but the affairs of Pope Urban required that he send a representative of the highest level to France to deal with King Louis IX and his brother Charles of Anjou and Provence. Simon's previous experience at the French Court made him the perfect choice as Legate. Cardinal Simon therefore returned to France as Papal Legate for Urban IV and for his successor Pope Clement IV in 1264–1268. In 1264, on the eve of S. Bartholomew, he held a general synod at Paris, he was appointed again, by Pope Gregory X on 1 August 1274, he served continuously in France until 1279. His first task was to raise support and money for a Crusade against Manfred, the Hohenstaufen candidate for the Imperial Crown, he became involved in the negotiations for papal support for the assumption of the crown of Sicily by Charles of Anjou.
As Legate he presided over several synods on reform, on the raising of funds for Pope Gregory's crusade. The most important of these was held at Bourges on 13 September 1276. Signatures on papal bulls indicate that Cardinal Simon was back in Viterbo by 11 January 1268. In a letter of 14 or 15 January 1268, Pope Clement IV wrote to Cardinal Simon de Brion that he had heard that the Cardinal had fallen from his horse and in the accident had injured his leg, he wrote that Conradin and Ludwig Duke of Bavaria were at Verona, were pressing for Pavia. A general war was likely. Cardinal Simon's injury must not have been severe, since, on April 3, 1268, the Pope wrote to him with the request that he undertake a legation to Germany, if he wished and if it were possible; the Pope needed a prudent and faithful man, who had clean hands and eyes wide open, who could stay centered on the business and let himself stray neither right nor left, who could preserve the Empire, keep the Apostolic See free from scandal, the neighboring kingdoms free from danger.
In vetting names, Simon seemed the most suitable. Pope Clement IV fell ill on the Feast of S. Cecilia, died at Viterbo on 29 November 1268, he had governed the Church for three years, nine months, twenty-four days. The See of Peter was vacant for nine months. Cardinal Simon de Brion came from France to attend the Conclave, which took place in the Episcopal Palace, next to the Cathedral of S. Lorenzo in Viterbo, he was the senior cardinal-priest. Around Pentecost of 1270, Cardinal Simon and Cardinal Riccardo Annibaldi of S. Angelo had to leave the Conclave and retire to their residences for the sake of their health. 20213]. On 22 August 1270, he was one of the signatories to the letter of protest sent by the Cardinals to Raynerius Gatti, Captain of the City of Viterbo, to cease and desist from their harassment of the Cardinals and their suites, he was one of the cardinals who signed the electoral compact on September, 1270, to leave the election of a new pope to a committee of six, promising to accept the committee's decision.
He was not, one of the six cardinals elected to the Compromise Committee that selected Archdeacon Teobaldo Visconti as pope on 1 September 1270. The newly elected pope was not present in Viterbo, but was serving on Crusade with King Edward I of England, he arrived in Italy on 1 January 1271, travelled to Viterbo, where he arrived early in February. He accepted the election, chose to be called Gregory X, he and the Curia travelled to Rome. On 19 March he was ordained a priest, on 27 March he was consecrated bishop, crowned by Cardinal Giovanni Gaetano Orsini. Simon de Brion's appointment as Legate in France, made by Pope Gregory on 1 August 1274 continued throughout 1276, he was unable to be present for the Conclave of 1 January 1276, which elected Peter of Tarantaise as Pope Innocent V. Nor was he present for the Conclave of 2–11 July, which elected Ottobono Fieschi as Pope Adrian V. Nor was he present at the September Conclave, which, on 8 September, elected Peter Julian as Pope John XXI. In each case the election was completed before he could have been notified, before he could have travelled from France to central Italy.
This was one of
Cerdanya or La Cerdanya, is a natural comarca and historical region of the eastern Pyrenees divided between France and Spain. It was one of the counties of Catalonia. Cerdanya has a land area of 1,086 km2, divided evenly between Spain and France. In 2001 its population was 26,500, of whom 53% lived on Spanish territory, its population density is 24 residents per km². The only urban area in Cerdanya is the cross-border urban area of Puigcerdà-Bourg-Madame, which contained 10,900 inhabitants in 2001; the area enjoys a high annual amount of sunshine – around 3,000 hours per year. For this reason, pioneering large-scale solar power projects have been built in several locations in French Cerdagne, including Font-Romeu-Odeillo-Via, the Themis plant near Targassonne, Mont-Louis Solar Furnace in Mont-Louis; the first inhabitants of Cerdanya spoke a language related to the old Basque language and to Aquitanian. Many place names testify to this. In the first millennium BC came the Iberians from the south.
Although their identity is still a matter of debate, some theories posit that they spoke an Afro-Asiatic language, that they separated from the Berbers in North Africa and moved into Spain and further north to the south of modern-day France. In Cerdanya they mixed with the native inhabitants, the resulting people were known as the Kerretes, from the native word ker or kar, meaning rock, related to old Basque karri, stone; the Kerretes were essentially of Basque and Aquitanian-related stock, as the Iberian clans who mixed with the native inhabitants can have comprised only small numbers of people. The Kerretes retained a language related to old Basque and Aquitanian, although some Iberian words may have entered the language, Iberians occupied positions at the top of the Kerrete society; the main oppidum of the Kerretes, commanding the whole country, was called Kere and was built on the hill above the modern-day village of Llívia. The Kerretes came under Roman rule, the Romans renamed the oppidum Julia Lybica, with a significant number of Roman citizens settling there.
During the Roman Empire, the area of Cerdanya was a pagus known as pagus Liviensis, part of the province of Hispania Tarraconensis. The pagus Liviensis was itself divided in two: the eastern part around Julia Lybica was known as Cerretania Julia, while the western part was known as Cerretania Augusta; the name Cerdanya comes from Cerretania, itself coming from the old name of the inhabitants, the Kerretes. As for Julia Lybica, the name evolved into Julia Livia and Llívia; the Kerretes seem to have kept their old language until late as late as the 8th or 9th century. Romanization in the area was slow though the native language gave way, the people in Cerdanya ended up speaking Catalan, a language derived from Latin. At the end of the Roman Empire, Julia Lybica entered a period of decadence, lost much of its importance, it is around this time that the town of La Seu d'Urgell started to replace Julia Lybica as the main center of population in that area of northern Catalonia, in the 6th century when the diocese of Urgell was founded, Cerdanya was inside its limits.
Devastated by the Vandals and other Germanic tribes, Cerdanya was part of the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse and Toledo, until it was conquered by the Muslims. After Muslim expansion was halted by Odo the Great in the Battle of Toulouse, the Berber commander Uthman ibn Naissa established a small realm in Cerdanya and allied with Odo, so that the Aquitanian leader could secure his south-eastern borders. However, Uthman ibn Naissa came next under Umayyad attack and the Berber lord was defeated, opening the way to Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi's expedition into Aquitaine. During Abd al-Rahman I´s military campaign across the Ebro region, the Cordovan commander received the submission of Ibn Belaskut, or Galindo Belascotenes, in Cerdanya. Under Carolingian pressure, Cerdanya became a Frankish vassal about 785. County of Cerdanya The county of Cerdanya has its origin in the Spanish Marches established by Charlemagne. In the 9th century Cerdanya was one of the lordships united in the person of the counts of Barcelona, who were counts of Girona and Urgell.
Wilfred the Hairy had three sons and established the youngest, Miron, as Count of Cerdanya, a sovereign state. The sovereign county of Cerdanya bordered the county of Urgell, the county of Barcelona, the county of Besalú, the county of Roussillon, the county of Razès; the county of Cerdanya was made up of Cerdanya proper with the addition of other areas which it managed to acquire over time through inheritance, such as Capcir and Conflent. Thus, the county of Cerdanya was quite an important county; the counts of Cerdanya were great patrons of abbeys, most famously Saint-Michel de Cuxa, dating back to the 10th century and located in Conflent, Saint-Martin-du-Canigou, dedicated by Count Guifred of Cerdanya in 1009. However, the line of the counts died out in 1117 and the county was inherited by the counts of Barcelona to become kings of Aragon. Cerdanya proper was split between Spain and France by the Treaty of the Pyrenees of 1659, with the north of Cerdanya becoming French, while the south of Cerdanya remained Spanish.
The counties of Rosselló, Capcir and Conflent became French at that time. Today, the Cat
Palma de Mallorca
Palma de Mallorca, since December 2016 Palma, is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands in Spain. It is situated on the south coast of Mallorca on the Bay of Palma; the Cabrera Archipelago, though separated from Palma proper, is administratively considered part of the municipality. As of 2018, Palma de Mallorca Airport serves over 29 million passengers per year. Palma was founded as a Roman camp upon the remains of a Talaiotic settlement; the city was subjected to several Vandal raids during the fall of the Western Roman Empire reconquered by the Byzantine Empire colonised by the Moors and, in the 13th century, by James I of Aragon. After the conquest of Mallorca, the city was loosely incorporated into the province of Tarraconensis by 123 BC. Whilst Pollentia acted as a port to Roman cities on the northwestern Mediterranean Sea, Palma was the port used for destinations in Africa, such as Carthage, Hispania, such as Saguntum and Carthago Nova. Though present-day Palma has no significant remains from this period, occasional archaeological finds are made in city centre excavations.
For example, the remains of the Roman Wall can be seen at Can Bordils, the Municipal Archive, below it, at the Maimó ben Faraig Center. Though the period between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the Muslim conquest is not well understood, there is clear evidence of a Byzantine presence in the city, as indicated by mosaics found in the oldest parts of the Cathedral, in early medieval times part of a paleo-Christian temple. Between 902 and 1229, the city was under Islamic control, it remained the capital of the island and it was known as Medina Mayurqa, which in Arabic means "City of Majorca". The arrival of the Moors in the Balearic Islands occurred at the beginning of the 8th century. During this period, the population developed an economy based on self-sufficiency and piracy, showed evidence of a relative hierarchy; the dominant groups took advantage of the Byzantine withdrawal due to Islamic expansion across the Mediterranean, to reinforce their domination upon the rest of the population, thus ensuring their power and the gradual abandonment of Imperial political structures.
In 707, a Muslim fleet, under the command of Abd Allgaht ibn Musa, son of the governor of Ifriqiya, Musa ibn Nusayr, stopped off at the island. It appears; this treaty was granted in exchange for a tax, respect for social and political structures to the communities that subscribed to it, as well as the continuity of their religious beliefs. After 707, the city was inhabited by Christians who were nominally in allegiance to the sovereignty of the Umayyad Caliphate, yet who, de facto, enjoyed absolute autonomy; the city, being in Mallorca, constituted an enclave between western Christian and Islamic territories, this attracted and encouraged increased levels of piracy in the surrounding waters. For wide sectors of the city's population, the sacking of ships which passed through Balearic waters was a source of riches over the next fifteen decades. Continued piracy in the region lead to a retaliation by Al-Andalus which launched a naval fleet against the city and the whole of the Islands; the Islands were defended by the emperor Charlemagne in 799 from a Muslim pirate incursion.
In 848, four years after the first Viking incursions had sacked the whole island, an attack from Córdoba forced the authorities to ratify the treaty to which the city had submitted in 707. As the city still occupied an eccentric position regarding the commerce network established by the Moors in the western Mediterranean, the enclave was not incorporated into Al-Andalus. While the Emirate of Córdoba reinforced its influence upon the Mediterranean, Al-Andalus increased its interest in the city; the consequence of this was the substitution of the submission treaty for the effective incorporation of the islands to the Islamic state. A squad under the command of Isam al-Jawlani took advantage of instability caused by several Viking incursions and disembarked in Mallorca, after destroying any resistance, incorporated Mallorca, with Palma as its capital, to the Córdoban state; the incorporation of the city into the Emirate set the basis for a new society. Commerce and manufacturing developed in a manner, unknown.
This caused considerable demographic growth, thereby establishing Medina Mayurqa as one of the major ports for trading goods in and out of the Emirate of Córdoba. The Umayyad regime, despite its administrative centralisation, mercenary army and struggle to gain wider social support, could neither harmonise the various ethnic groups inside al-Andalus nor dissolve the old tribes which still organised sporadic ethnic fighting. During the 11th century, the Caliphate's control waned considerably. Provinces broke free from the central Cordoban administration, became sovereign states — taifas — under the same governors, named by the last Umayyad Caliphs. According to their origin, these "taifas" can be grouped under three broad categories: people of Arab, Berber or Slavic origin. Palma was part of the taifa of Dénia; the founder of this state was a client of the Al-Mansur family, Muyahid ibn Yusuf ibn Ali, who could profit from the progressive crumbling of the Caliphate's superstructure to gain control over the province of Dénia.
Subsequently, Muyahid organised a campaign throughout the Balearic Islands to consolidate the district
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon was a composite monarchy nowadays referred to as a confederation of individual polities or kingdoms ruled by one king, with a personal and dynastic union of the Kingdom of Aragon and the County of Barcelona. At the height of its power in the 14th and 15th centuries, the Crown of Aragon was a thalassocracy controlling a large portion of present-day eastern Spain, parts of what is now southern France, a Mediterranean "empire" which included the Balearic Islands, Corsica, Malta, Southern Italy and parts of Greece; the component realms of the Crown were not united politically except at the level of the king, who ruled over each autonomous polity according to its own laws, raising funds under each tax structure, dealing separately with each Corts or Cortes. Put in contemporary terms, it has sometimes been considered that the different lands of the Crown of Aragon functioned more as a confederation than as a single kingdom. In this sense, the larger Crown of Aragon must not be confused with one of its constituent parts, the Kingdom of Aragon, from which it takes its name.
In 1469, a new dynastic familial union of the Crown of Aragon with the Crown of Castile by the Catholic Monarchs, joining what contemporaries referred to as "the Spains" led to what would become the Kingdom of Spain under King Philip II. The Crown existed until it was abolished by the Nueva Planta decrees issued by King Philip V in 1716 as a consequence of the defeat of Archduke Charles in the War of the Spanish Succession. Formally, the political center of the Crown of Aragon was Zaragoza, where kings were crowned at La Seo Cathedral. The'de facto' capital and leading cultural and economic centre of the Crown of Aragon was Barcelona, followed by Valencia. Palma was an additional important city and seaport; the Crown of Aragon included the Kingdom of Aragon, the Principality of Catalonia, the Kingdom of Valencia, the Kingdom of Majorca, the Kingdom of Sicily, the Kingdom of Naples and Kingdom of Sardinia. For brief periods the Crown of Aragon controlled Montpellier, Provence and the twin Duchy of Athens and Neopatras in Latin Greece.
The countries that are today known as Spain and Portugal spent the Middle Ages after 722 in an intermittent struggle called the Reconquista. This struggle pitted the northern Christian kingdoms against the Islamic taifa petty kingdoms of the South and against each other. In the Late Middle Ages, the expansion of the Aragonese Crown southwards met with the Castilian advance eastward in the region of Murcia. Afterward, the Aragonese Crown focused on the Mediterranean, acting as far as Greece and Barbary, whereas Portugal, which completed its Reconquista in 1249, would focus on the Atlantic Ocean. Mercenaries from the territories in the Crown, known as almogàvers participated in the creation of this Mediterranean "empire", found employment in countries all across southern Europe; the Crown of Aragon has been considered an empire which ruled in the Mediterranean for hundreds of years, with the power to set rules over the entire sea. It was indeed, at its height, one of the major powers in Europe.
However, its different territories were only connected through the person of the monarch, an aspect of empire seen as early as Achaemenid Persia. A modern historian, Juan de Contreras y Lopez de Ayala, Marqués de Lozoya described the Crown of Aragon as being more like a confederacy than a centralised kingdom, let alone an empire. Nor did official documents refer to it as an empire; the Crown of Aragon originated in 1137, when the Kingdom of Aragon and the County of Barcelona merged by dynastic union upon the marriage of Petronilla of Aragon and Raymond Berenguer IV of Barcelona. This union respected the existing parliaments of both territories; the combined state was known as Regno, Dominio et Corona Aragonum et Catalonie, as Corona Regum Aragoniae, Corona Aragonum or Aragon. This was due to the reduction of Catalan influence, the renunciation of the family rights of the counts of Barcelona in Occitania, the extinction of the House of Barcelona in 1410; the monarchs denominated themselves de Aragon, Aragon became prominent as an Iberian kingdom linked to the House of Jiménez which ruled over Navarre, Castile and Galicia and Aragon.
Petronilla's father King Ramiro, "The Monk", raised in the Saint Pons de Thomières Monastery, Viscounty of Béziers as a Benedictine monk was the youngest of three brothers. His brothers Peter I and Alfonso I El Batallador had bravely fought against Castile for hegemony in the Iberian peninsula. After the death of Alfonso I, the Aragonese nobility that campaigned close him feared being overwhelmed by the influence of Castile, and so, Ramiro was forced to proclaim himself King of Aragon. He married Agnes, sister of the Duke of Aquitaine and betrothed his only daughter to Raymond Berengar IV of Barcelona, member of o
Emirate of Granada
The Emirate of Granada known as the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada, was an emirate established in 1230 by Muhammad ibn al-Ahmar. After Prince Idris left Iberia to take the Almohad Caliphate leadership, the ambitious Ibn al-Ahmar established the last Muslim dynasty on the Iberian peninsula, the Nasrids; the Nasrid emirs were responsible for building the Alhambra palace complex. By 1250, the Emirate was the last part of the Iberian peninsula held by the Muslims, it corresponded to the modern Spanish provinces of Granada, Almería, Málaga. Andalusian Arabic was the mother tongue of the majority of the population. For two more centuries, the region enjoyed considerable economic prosperity, it was conquered by the Crown of Castile and dissolved with the 1491 Treaty of Granada, ending the Granada War. In January 1492 Muhammad XII of Granada, the last Nasrid ruler of Granada, formally relinquished his sovereignty and surrendered his territories to Castile moving to Morocco in exile. With the Reconquista in full swing after the conquest of Córdoba in June 1236, Mohammed I ibn Nasr aligned Granada with Ferdinand III of Castile in 1246, thereby creating a tributary state, or taifa, under the Crown of Castile.
Granada remained a tributary state for the next 250 years, with Nasrid emirs paying tribute to Castilian kings in the form of gold from present-day Mali and Burkina Faso, carried to Iberia through the merchant routes in the Sahara. The Nasrids provided military assistance to Castile for its conquest of areas under Muslim control, most notably Seville in November 1248 and the Taifa of Niebla in 1262. In 1305, Granada conquered Ceuta, but lost control of the city in 1309 to the Kingdom of Fez with the assistance of the Crown of Aragon. Granada re-captured Ceuta a year but again lost it in 1314. Granada again held the city from 1315 to 1327. In 1384, Granada again re-took Ceuta but lost it definitively to Kingdom of Fez in 1386. Ceuta was taken by the Portuguese Empire in 1415 and by the Spanish Empire in 1580. Granada's peace with Castile broke down on various occasions. Granada lost territory to Castile at the Battle of Teba in 1330. In 1340, Granada under Yusuf I supported the failed Marinid invasion of the Iberian Peninsula, which ended at the Battle of Río Salado.
Granada's status as a tributary state and its favorable geographic location, with the Sierra Nevada as a natural barrier, helped to prolong Nasrid rule and allowed the Emirate to prosper as a regional entrepôt with the Maghreb and the rest of Africa. The city of Granada was one of the largest cities during this time: it accepted numerous Muslim refugees expelled from Christian controlled areas, doubling the size of the city and becoming the largest city of Europe in 1450 in terms of population. During this time there were 137 mosques in the Medina of Grenada. Granada served as a refuge for Muslims fleeing during the Reconquista. Regardless of its comparative prosperity, intra-political strife was constant. Skirmishes along the border of Granada occurred and territory was lost to Castile. Granada was integrated in Mediterranean trade networks and financed by Genoese bankers aiming to gain control of the gold trade carried in through Saharan caravan routes. However, after Portugal opened direct trade routes to Sub-Saharan Africa by sea in the 15th century, Granada became less important as a regional commercial center.
With the union of Castile and Aragon in 1469, these kingdoms set their sights on annexing Granada. The war of Granada would offer an opportunity for Ferdinand and Isabella to harness the restless Castilian nobility against a common enemy and instill subjects with a sense of loyalty to the crown; the Emirate's attack on the Castilian frontier town of Zahara in December 1481 led to a prolonged war. The Granada War began in 1482, with Christian forces capturing Alhama de Granada in February 1482; this marked the beginning of a grinding 10-year war. The Christian force was made up of troops provided by Castilian nobles and the Santa Hermandad, as well as Swiss mercenaries; the Catholic Church encouraged other Christian countries to offer their troops and their finances to the war effort. Meanwhile, civil war erupted in Granada as a result of succession struggles in the Nasrid ruling house. Castile used this internal strife as an opportunity to push further into Granada. By 1491, the city of Granada itself lay under siege.
On November 25, 1491, the Treaty of Granada was signed. On January 2, 1492, the last Muslim leader, Muhammad XII, known as Boabdil to the Spanish, gave up complete control of Granada, to Ferdinand and Isabella, Los Reyes Católicos; the Christian ousting of Muslim rule on the Iberian Peninsula with the conquest of Granada did not extinguish the spirit of the Reconquista. Isabella urged Christians to pursue a conquest of Africa. About 200,000 Muslims are thought to have emigrated to North Africa after the fall of Granada. Under the conditions of surrender, the Muslims who remained were guaranteed their property, laws and religion; this however, was not the case, causing the Muslims to rebel against their Christian rulers, culminating with an uprising in 1500. The rebellion was seen as a chance to formally end the treaty of Granada, the rights of Muslims and Jews were withdrawn. Muslims in the area were given the choice of conversion. In 1568–1571, the descendants of the converted Muslims revolted again, leading to their expulsion from the former Emirate to North Africa and Anatolia.
For Jews as well, a period of mixed religious tolerance and persecution under Mus