Crypto-Judaism is the secret adherence to Judaism while publicly professing to be of another faith. The term is applied to Spanish Jews who outwardly professed Catholicism known as Anusim or Marranos; the phenomenon is associated with renaissance Spain, following the 6 June, 1391, Anti-Jewish pogroms and the expulsion of the Jews in 1492. Jews who converted in Spain in the 14th and 15th centuries were known as Cristianos Nuevos, but were called conversos. Spain and Portugal passed legislation restricting their rights in the mother colonies. Despite the dangers of the Inquisition, many conversos continued to secretly and discreetly practice Jewish rituals, such as the Festival of Santa Esterica. After the Alhambra decree of 1492, numerous conversos called Xueta in the Balearic Islands ruled by Spain, publicly professed Roman Catholicism but adhered to Judaism through the Spanish Inquisition, they are among the most known and documented crypto-Jews. Crypto-Judaism existed in earlier periods, whenever Jews were forced or pressured to convert to the majority religion by the rulers of places where they resided.
Some of the Jewish followers of Sabbatai Zevi formally converted to Islam. Followers of Jacob Frank formally converted to Christianity, but maintained aspects of practice of their versions of Judaism. Crypto-Jews persisted in Russia and Eastern European countries influenced by the Soviet Union after the rise of Communism with the Russian Revolution of 1917; the government, which included secular Communist Jews, did not force Jews to convert to the Russian Orthodox Church, but regarded practice of any religion as undesirable. Some faiths were allowed to continue under strict supervision by the regime. Since the end of Communism, many people in former Soviet states, including descendants of Jews, have publicly taken up the faith of their ancestors again; the "Belmonte Jews" of Portugal, dating from the 12th century, maintained strong secret traditions for centuries. A whole community survived in secrecy by maintaining a tradition of endogamous marriage and hiding all external signs of their faith.
They and their practices were discovered only in the 20th century. Their rich Sephardic tradition of crypto-Judaism is unique; some now profess Orthodox Judaism. As one of the towering figures in Judaism and the publisher of the Mishneh Torah expansion of the Talmud, Maimonides issued a landmark doctrinal response to the forced conversions of Jews in the Iberian peninsula by the Almohads: In his Epistle on Martyrdom, Maimonides suggested that the persecuted Jew should publicly adopt Islam while maintaining crypto-Judaism and not seek martyrdom unless forced to transgress Jewish commandments in public, he excoriated one writer who advocated martyrdom for "long-winded foolish babbling and nonsense" and for misleading and hurting the Jews. In a sweeping view of the Jewish past, Maimonides marshals examples of heretics and sinners from the Bible to show that oppressors of Israel were rewarded by God for a single act of piety or respect. How much greater he argues, will be the reward of the Jews "who despite the exigencies of forced conversion perform commandments secretly."
Maimonides championed rationalism over the then-accepted practice of martyrdom when facing religious adversity. This legitimized crypto-Judaism by the religion's standards, provided doctrinal backing for Jews during the centuries of the Spanish Inquisition. According to the Encyclopaedia Judaica, several incidents of forced conversions happened prior to 1492 and outside of Iberia. One of the earliest conversions happened a century after the Fall of Rome and was in Clermont-Ferrand. After a member of the Jewish community in Clermont-Ferrand became a Jewish Christian and was persecuted by other members of the community for doing so, the cavalcade in which he was marching persecuted his persecutors in turn: The participants in the procession made an attack "which destroyed razing it to the grounds." Subsequently, Bishop *Avitus directed a letter to the Jews in which he disclaimed the use of compulsion to make them adopt Christianity, but announced at the end of the missive: "Therefore if ye be ready to believe as I do, be one flock with us, I shall be your pastor.
The community hesitated for three days before making a decision. The majority, some 500, accepted Christianity; the Christians in Clermont greeted the event with rejoicing: "Candles were lit, the lamps shone, the whole city radiated with the light of the snow-white flock". The Jews who preferred exile left for *Marseilles; the poet Venantius Fortunatus composed a poem to commemorate the occasion. In 582 the Frankish king Chilperic compelled numerous Jews to adopt Christianity. Again the anusim were not wholehearted in their conversion, for "some of them, cleansed in body but not in heart, denied God, returned to their ancient perfidy, so that they were seen keeping the Sabbath, as well as Sunday"; the Clermont-Ferrand conversions preceded the first forced conversions in Iberia by 40 years. Forced baptisms of Jews took place in Iberia in 616 at the insistence of Visigoth monarch Sisibut: Persistent attempts to enforce conversion were made in the seventh century by the Visigoths in Spain after they had adopted the Roman Catholic faith.
Comparatively mild legal measure
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition known as the Spanish Inquisition, was established in 1478 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms and to replace the Medieval Inquisition, under Papal control, it became the most substantive of the three different manifestations of the wider Catholic Inquisition along with the Roman Inquisition and Portuguese Inquisition. The "Spanish Inquisition" may be defined broadly, operating in Spain and in all Spanish colonies and territories, which included the Canary Islands, the Spanish Netherlands, the Kingdom of Naples, all Spanish possessions in North and South America. According to modern estimates, around 150,000 were prosecuted for various offenses during the three centuries of duration of the Spanish Inquisition, out of which between 3,000 and 5,000 were executed; the Inquisition was intended to identify heretics among those who converted from Judaism and Islam to Catholicism.
The regulation of the faith of newly converted Catholics was intensified after the royal decrees issued in 1492 and 1502 ordering Jews and Muslims to convert to Catholicism or leave Castile. The Inquisition was not definitively abolished until 1834, during the reign of Isabella II, after a period of declining influence in the preceding century; the Spanish Inquisition is cited in popular literature and history as an example of religious intolerance and repression. Some historians have come to conclude that many of the charges levied against the Inquisition are exaggerated, are a result of the Black Legend produced by political and religious enemies of Spain England; the Inquisition was created through papal bull, Ad Abolendam, issued at the end of the 12th century by Pope Lucius III to combat the Albigensian heresy in southern France. There were a large number of tribunals of the Papal Inquisition in various European kingdoms during the Middle Ages through different diplomatic and political means.
In the Kingdom of Aragon, a tribunal of the Papal Inquisition was established by the statute of Excommunicamus of Pope Gregory IX, in 1232, during the era of the Albigensian heresy, as a condition for peace with Aragon. The Inquisition was ill-received by the Aragonese, which led to prohibitions against insults or attacks on it. Rome was concerned about the'heretical' influence of the Iberian peninsula's large Muslim and Jewish population on the Catholic, it pressed the kingdoms to accept the Papal Inquisition after Aragon. Navarra conceded in the 13th century and Portugal by the end of the 14th, however its'Roman Inquisition' was famously inactive. Castile refused trusting on its prominent position in Europe and its military power to keep the Pope's interventionism in check. By the end of the Middle Ages, due to distance and voluntary compliance, Castile due to resistance and power, were the only Western European kingdoms to resist establishment of the Inquisition in their realms. Although Raymond of Penyafort was not an inquisitor, as a canon lawyer and the king's advisor, James I of Aragon, had consulted him on questions of law regarding the practices of the Inquisition in the king's domains.
"...he lawyer's deep sense of justice and equity, combined with the worthy Dominican's sense of compassion, allowed him to steer clear of the excesses that were found elsewhere in the formative years of the inquisitions into heresy."Despite its early implantation, the Papal inquisition was resisted within the crown of Aragon by both population and monarchs. With time, its importance was diluted, and, by the middle of the fifteenth century, it was forgotten although still there according to the law. Regarding the living conditions of minorities, the kings of Aragon and other monarchies imposed some discriminatory taxation of religious minorities, so false conversions were a way of tax evasion. In addition to said discriminatory legislation, Aragon had laws targeted at protecting minorities. For example, crusades attacking Jewish or Muslim subjects of the King of Aragon while on their way to fight in the reconquest were punished with death by hanging. Up to the 14th century, the census and weddings records show an absolute lack of concern with avoiding intermarriage or blood mixture.
Said laws were now common in most of central Europe. Both the Roman Inquisition and neighbouring Christian powers showed discomfort with Aragonese law and lack of concern with ethnicity, but to little effect. High-ranking officials of Jewish religion were not as common as in Castile, but were not unheard of either. Abraham Zacuto was a professor in the university of Cartagena. Vidal Astori was the royal silversmith for Ferdinand II of Aragon and conducted business in his name, and King Ferdinand himself was said to have Jewish ancestry on his mother's side. There was never a tribunal of the Papal Inquisition in Castile, nor any inquisition during the Middle Ages. Members of the episcopate were charged with surveillance of the faithful and punishment of transgressors, always under the direction of the king. During the Middle Ages, in Castile, little to no attention was paid to heresy by the Catholic ruling class, or by the population. Castile didn´t see proliferation of anti-Jew pamphlets like England and France did during the 13th and 14th century, those who have been found had modified, somehow watered down versions form the original stories.
Jews and Muslims were tolerated and allowed to follow their traditional customs in domestic matters. The legislation regarding Muslims and Jews in Castilian territory varied becoming m
Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer and colonist who completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain. He led the first European expeditions to the Caribbean, Central America, South America, initiating the permanent European colonization of the Americas. Columbus discovered the viable sailing route to the Americas, a continent, not known to the Old World. While what he thought he had discovered was a route to the Far East, he is credited with the opening of the Americas for conquest and settlement by Europeans. Columbus's early life is somewhat obscure, but scholars agree that he was born in the Republic of Genoa and spoke a dialect of Ligurian as his first language, he went to sea at a young age and travelled as far north as the British Isles and as far south as what is now Ghana. He married Portuguese noblewoman Filipa Moniz Perestrelo and was based in Lisbon for several years, but took a Spanish mistress. Though self-educated, Columbus was read in geography and history.
He formulated a plan to seek a western sea passage to the East Indies, hoping to profit from the lucrative spice trade. After years of lobbying, the Catholic Monarchs of Spain agreed to sponsor a journey west, in the name of the Crown of Castile. Columbus left Spain in August 1492 with three ships, after a stopover in the Canary Islands made landfall in the Americas on 12 October, his landing place was an island in the Bahamas, known by its native inhabitants as Guanahani. Columbus subsequently visited Cuba and Hispaniola, establishing a colony in what is now Haiti—the first European settlement in the Americas since the Norse colonies 500 years earlier, he arrived back in Spain in early 1493. Word of his discoveries soon spread throughout Europe. Columbus would make three further voyages to the New World, exploring the Lesser Antilles in 1493, Trinidad and the northern coast of South America in 1498, the eastern coast of Central America in 1502. Many of the names he gave to geographical features—particularly islands—are still in use.
He continued to seek a passage to the East Indies, the extent to which he was aware that the Americas were a wholly separate landmass is uncertain. Columbus's strained relationship with the Spanish crown and its appointed colonial administrators in America led to his arrest and removal from Hispaniola in 1500, to protracted litigation over the benefits that he and his heirs claimed were owed to them by the crown. Columbus's expeditions inaugurated a period of exploration and colonization that lasted for centuries, helping create the modern Western world; the transfers between the Old World and New World that followed his first voyage are known as the Columbian exchange, the period of human habitation in the Americas prior to his arrival is known as the Pre-Columbian era. Columbus's legacy continues to be debated, he was venerated in the centuries after his death, but public perceptions have changed as recent scholars have given attention to negative aspects of his life, such as his role in the extinction of the Taíno people, his promotion of slavery, allegations of tyranny towards Spanish colonists.
Many landmarks and institutions in the Western Hemisphere bear his name, including the country of Colombia. The name Christopher Columbus is the Anglicisation of the Latin Christophorus Columbus, his name in Ligurian is Cristoffa Corombo, in Italian Cristoforo Colombo, in Spanish is Cristóbal Colón, in Portuguese is Cristóvão Colombo. He was born before 31 October 1451 in the territory of the Republic of Genoa, though the exact location remains disputed, his father was Domenico Colombo, a middle-class wool weaver who worked both in Genoa and Savona and who owned a cheese stand at which young Christopher worked as a helper. His mother was Susanna Fontanarossa. Bartolomeo, Giovanni Pellegrino, Giacomo were his brothers. Bartolomeo worked in a cartography workshop in Lisbon for at least part of his adulthood, he had a sister named Bianchinetta. Columbus never wrote in his native language, presumed to have been a Genoese variety of Ligurian: his name in the 16th-century Genoese language would have been Cristoffa Corombo.
In one of his writings, he says he went to sea at the age of 10. In 1470, the Columbus family moved to Savona. In the same year, Christopher was on a Genoese ship hired in the service of René of Anjou to support his attempt to conquer the Kingdom of Naples; some modern historians have argued that he was not from Genoa but, from the Aragon region of Spain or from Portugal. These competing hypotheses have been discounted by mainstream scholars. In 1473, Columbus began his apprenticeship as business agent for the important Centurione, Di Negro and Spinola families of Genoa, he made a trip to Chios, an Aegean island ruled by Genoa. In May 1476, he took part in an armed convoy sent by Genoa to carry valuable cargo to northern Europe, he docked in Bristol and Galway, Ireland. In 1477, he was in Iceland. In the autumn of 1477, he sailed on a Portuguese ship from Galway to Lisbon, where he found his brother Bartolomeo, they continued trading for the Centurione family. Columbus based himself in Lisbon from 1477 to 1485.
He married Filipa Moniz Perestrelo, daughter of the Porto Santo governor and Portuguese nobleman of
Biblioteca Nacional de España
The Biblioteca Nacional de España is a major public library, the largest in Spain, one of the largest in the world. It is located on the Paseo de Recoletos; the library was founded by King Philip V in 1712 as the Palace Public Library. The Royal Letters Patent that he granted, the predecessor of the current legal deposit requirement, made it mandatory for printers to submit a copy of every book printed in Spain to the library. In 1836, the library's status as Crown property was revoked and ownership was transferred to the Ministry of Governance. At the same time, it was renamed the Biblioteca Nacional. During the 19th century, confiscations and donations enabled the Biblioteca Nacional to acquire the majority of the antique and valuable books that it holds. In 1892 the building was used to host the Historical American Exposition. On March 16, 1896, the Biblioteca Nacional opened to the public in the same building in which it is housed and included a vast Reading Room on the main floor designed to hold 320 readers.
In 1931 the Reading Room was reorganised, providing it with a major collection of reference works, the General Reading Room was created to cater for students and general readers. During the Spanish Civil War close to 500,000 volumes were collected by the Confiscation Committee and stored in the Biblioteca Nacional to safeguard works of art and books held until in religious establishments and private houses. During the 20th century numerous modifications were made to the building to adapt its rooms and repositories to its expanding collections, to the growing volume of material received following the modification to the Legal Deposit requirement in 1958, to the numerous works purchased by the library. Among this building work, some of the most noteworthy changes were the alterations made in 1955 to triple the capacity of the library's repositories, those started in 1986 and completed in 2000, which led to the creation of the new building in Alcalá de Henares and complete remodelling of the building on Paseo de Recoletos, Madrid.
In 1986, when Spain's main bibliographic institutions - the National Newspaper Library, the Spanish Bibliographic Institute and the Centre for Documentary and Bibliographic Treasures - were incorporated into the Biblioteca Nacional, the library was established as the State Repository of Spain's Cultural Memory, making all of Spain's bibliographic output on any media available to the Spanish Library System and national and international researchers and cultural and educational institutions. In 1990 it was made an Autonomous Entity attached to the Ministry of Culture; the Madrid premises are shared with the National Archaeological Museum. The Biblioteca Nacional is Spain's highest library institution and is head of the Spanish Library System; as the country's national library, it is the centre responsible for identifying, preserving and disseminating information about Spain's documentary heritage, it aspires to be an essential point of reference for research into Spanish culture. In accordance with its Articles of Association, passed by Royal Decree 1581/1991 of October 31, 1991, its principal functions are to: Compile and conserve bibliographic archives produced in any language of the Spanish state, or any other language, for the purposes of research and information.
Promote research through the study and reproduction of its bibliographic archive. Disseminate information on Spain's bibliographic output based on the entries received through the legal deposit requirement; the library's collection consists of more than 26,000,000 items, including 15,000,000 books and other printed materials, 4,500,000 graphic materials, 600,000 sound recordings, 510,000 music scores, more than 500,000 microforms, 500,000 maps, 143,000 newspapers and serials, 90,000 audiovisuals, 90,000 electronic documents, 30,000 manuscripts. The current director of the Biblioteca Nacional is Ana Santos Aramburo, appointed in 2013. Former directors include her predecessors Glòria Pérez-Salmerón and Milagros del Corral as well as historian Juan Pablo Fusi and author Rosa Regàs. Given its role as the legal deposit for the whole of Spain, since 1991 it has kept most of the overflowing collection at a secondary site in Alcalá de Henares, near Madrid; the Biblioteca Nacional provides access to its collections through the following library services: Guidance and general information on the institution and other libraries.
Bibliographic information about its collection and those held by other libraries or library systems. Access to its automated catalogue, which contains close to 3,000,000 bibliographic records encompassing all of its collections. Archive consultation in the library's reading rooms. Interlibrary loans. Archive reproduction. Biblioteca Digital Hispánica, digital library launched in 2008 by the Biblioteca Nacional de España List of libraries in Spain Media related to Biblioteca Nacional de España at Wikimedia Commons Official site Official web catalog
The term "Moors" refers to the Muslim inhabitants of the Maghreb, the Iberian Peninsula and Malta during the Middle Ages. The Moors were the indigenous Maghrebine Berbers; the name was also applied to Arabs. Moors are not a distinct or self-defined people, the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica observed that "The term'Moors' has no real ethnological value." Europeans of the Middle Ages and the early modern period variously applied the name to Arabs, North African Berbers, Muslim Europeans. The term has been used in Europe in a broader, somewhat derogatory sense to refer to Muslims in general those of Arab or Berber descent, whether living in Spain or North Africa. During the colonial era, the Portuguese introduced the names "Ceylon Moors" and "Indian Moors" in South Asia and Sri Lanka, the Bengali Muslims were called Moors. In the Philippines, the longstanding Muslim community, which predates the arrival of the Spanish, now self-identifies as the "Moro people", an exonym introduced by Spanish colonizers due to their Muslim faith.
In 711, troops formed by Moors from northern Africa led the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. The Iberian peninsula came to be known in Classical Arabic as al-Andalus, which at its peak included most of Septimania and modern-day Spain and Portugal. In 827, the Moors occupied Mazara on Sicily, they went on to consolidate the rest of the island. Differences in religion and culture led to a centuries-long conflict with the Christian kingdoms of Europe, which tried to reclaim control of Muslim areas. In 1224 the Muslims were expelled from Sicily to the settlement of Lucera, destroyed by European Christians in 1300; the fall of Granada in 1492 marked the end of Muslim rule in Iberia, although a Muslim minority persisted until their expulsion in 1609. During the classical period, the Romans interacted with, conquered, parts of Mauretania, a state that covered modern northern Morocco, western Algeria, the Spanish cities Ceuta and Melilla; the Berber tribes of the region were noted in the Classics as Mauri, subsequently rendered as "Moors" in English and in related variations in other European languages.
Mauri is recorded as the native name by Strabo in the early 1st century. This appellation was adopted into Latin, whereas the Greek name for the tribe was Maurusii; the Moors were mentioned by Tacitus as having revolted against the Roman Empire in 24 AD. During the Latin Middle Ages, Mauri was used to refer to Berbers and Arabs in the coastal regions of Northwest Africa; the 16th century scholar Leo Africanus identified the Moors as the native Berber inhabitants of the former Roman Africa Province. He described Moors as one of five main population groups on the continent alongside Egyptians, Abyssinians and Cafri. In medieval Romance languages, variations of the Latin word for the Moors developed different applications and connotations; the term denoted a specific Berber people in western Libya, but the name acquired more general meaning during the medieval period, associated with "Muslim", similar to associations with "Saracens". During the context of the Crusades and the Reconquista, the term Moors included the derogatory suggestion of "infidels".
Apart from these historic associations and context and Moorish designate a specific ethnic group speaking Hassaniya Arabic. They inhabit Mauritania and parts of Algeria, Western Sahara, Morocco and Mali. In Niger and Mali, these peoples are known as the Azawagh Arabs, after the Azawagh region of the Sahara; the authoritative dictionary of the Spanish language does not list any derogatory meaning for the word moro, a term referring to people of Maghrebian origin in particular or Muslims in general. Some authors have pointed out that in modern colloquial Spanish use of the term moro is derogatory for Moroccans in particular and Muslims in general. In the Philippines, a former Spanish colony, many modern Filipinos call the large, local Muslim minority concentrated in Mindanao and other southern islands Moros; the word is a catch-all term, as Moro may come from several distinct ethno-linguistic groups such as the Maranao people. The term was introduced by Spanish colonisers, has since been appropriated by Filipino Muslims as an endonym, with many self-identifying as members of the Bangsamoro "Moro Nation".
Moreno can mean "dark-skinned" in Spain, Portugal and the Philippines. In Spanish, morapio is a humorous name for "wine" that which has not been "baptized" or mixed with water, i.e. pure unadulterated wine. Among Spanish speakers, moro came to have a broader meaning, applied to both Filipino Moros from Mindanao, the moriscos of Granada. Moro refers to all things dark, as in "Moor", etc, it was used as a nickname. In Portugal, mouro may refer to supernatural beings known as enchanted moura, where "Moor" implies "alien" and "non-Christian"; these beings were siren-like fairies with a fair face. They were believed to have magical properties. From this root, the name moor is applied to unbaptized children. In Basque, mairu means moor and refers to a mythical people. Muslims located in South Asia were distinguished by the Portuguese historians into two groups: Mouros da Terra and the Mouros da Arabia/Mouros de Meca ("Moors from Arabia/Mecca" or "Paradesi
Valencia València, on the east coast of Spain, is the capital of the autonomous community of Valencia and the third-largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona, with around 800,000 inhabitants in the administrative centre. Its urban area extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 1.6 million people. Valencia is Spain's third largest metropolitan area, with a population ranging from 1.7 to 2.5 million depending on how the metropolitan area is defined. The Port of Valencia is the 5th busiest container port in Europe and the busiest container port on the Mediterranean Sea; the city is ranked at Beta-global city in World Cities Research Network. Valencia is integrated into an industrial area on the Costa del Azahar. Valencia was founded as a Roman colony by the consul Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus in 138 BC, called Valentia Edetanorum. In 714 Moroccan and Arab Moors occupied the city, introducing their language and customs. Valencia was the capital of the Taifa of Valencia.
In 1238 the Christian king James I of Aragon conquered the city and divided the land among the nobles who helped him conquer it, as witnessed in the Llibre del Repartiment. He created a new law for the city, the Furs of Valencia, which were extended to the rest of the Kingdom of Valencia. In the 18th century Philip V of Spain abolished the privileges as punishment to the kingdom of Valencia for aligning with the Habsburg side in the War of the Spanish Succession. Valencia was the capital of Spain when Joseph Bonaparte moved the Court there in the summer of 1812, it served as capital between 1936 and 1937, during the Second Spanish Republic. The city is situated on the banks of the Turia, on the east coast of the Iberian Peninsula, fronting the Gulf of Valencia on the Mediterranean Sea, its historic centre is one of the largest in Spain, with 169 ha. Due to its long history, this is a city with numerous popular celebrations and traditions, such as the Fallas, which were declared as Fiestas of National Tourist Interest of Spain in 1965 and Intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in November 2016.
From 1991 to 2015, Rita Barberá Nolla was the mayor of the city, yet in 2015, Joan Ribó from Coalició Compromís, became mayor. The original Latin name of the city was Valentia, meaning "strength", or "valour", the city being named according to the Roman practice of recognising the valour of former Roman soldiers after a war; the Roman historian Livy explains that the founding of Valentia in the 2nd century BC was due to the settling of the Roman soldiers who fought against an Iberian rebel, Viriatus. During the rule of the Muslim kingdoms in Spain, it had the nickname Medina at-Tarab according to one transliteration, or Medina at-Turab according to another, since it was located on the banks of the River Turia, it is not clear if the term Balansiyya was reserved for the entire Taifa of Valencia or designated the city. By gradual sound changes, Valentia has in Castilian and València in Valencian. In Valencian, the grave accent ⟨è⟩ /ɛ/ contrasts with the acute accent ⟨é⟩ /e/—but the word València is an exception to this rule.
It is spelled according to Catalan etymology. Valencia stands on the banks of the Turia River, located on the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula and the western part of the Mediterranean Sea, fronting the Gulf of Valencia. At its founding by the Romans, it stood on a river island in 6.4 kilometres from the sea. The Albufera, a freshwater lagoon and estuary about 11 km south of the city, is one of the largest lakes in Spain; the City Council bought the lake from the Crown of Spain for 1,072,980 pesetas in 1911, today it forms the main portion of the Parc Natural de l'Albufera, with a surface area of 21,120 hectares. In 1976, because of its cultural and ecological value, the Generalitat Valenciana declared it a natural park. Valencia has a subtropical Mediterranean climate with short mild winters and long and dry summers, its average annual temperature is 18.4 °C. In the coldest month, the maximum temperature during the day ranges from 14 to 21 °C, the minimum temperature at night ranges from 5 to 11 °C.
In the warmest month – August, the maximum temperature during the day ranges from 28–34 °C, about 22 to 23 °C at night. Similar temperatures to those experienced in the northern part of Europe in summer last about 8 months, from April to November. March is transitional, the temperature exceeds 20 °C, with an average temperature of 19.3 °C during the day and 10.0 °C at night. December and February are the coldest months, with average temperatures around 17 °C during the day and 8 °C at night. Valencia has one of the mildest winters in Europe, owing to its southern location on the Mediterranean Sea and the Foehn phenomenon; the January average is comparable to temperatures expected for May and September in the major cities of northern Europe. Sunshine duration hours are 2,696 per year, from 15
Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I reigned as Queen of Castile from 1474 until her death. Her marriage to Ferdinand II of Aragon became the basis for the political unification of Spain under their grandson, Charles V. After a struggle to claim her right to the throne, she reorganized the governmental system, brought the crime rate to the lowest it had been in years, unburdened the kingdom of the enormous debt her brother had left behind, her reforms and those she made with her husband had an influence that extended well beyond the borders of their united kingdoms. Isabella and Ferdinand are known for completing the Reconquista, ordering conversion or exile of their Muslim and Jewish subjects, for supporting and financing Christopher Columbus's 1492 voyage that led to the opening of the New World and to the establishment of Spain as the first global power which dominated Europe and much of the world for more than a century. Isabella, granted together with her husband the title "the Catholic" by Pope Alexander VI, was recognized as a Servant of God by the Catholic Church in 1974.
Isabella was born in Madrigal de las Altas Torres, Ávila, to John II of Castile and his second wife, Isabella of Portugal on 22 April 1451. At the time of her birth, she was second in line to the throne after her older half-brother Henry IV of Castile. Henry childless, her younger brother Alfonso of Castile was born two years on 17 November 1453, lowering her position to third in line. When her father died in 1454, her half-brother ascended to the throne as King Henry IV of Castile. Isabella and her brother Alfonso were left in King Henry's care. She, her mother, Alfonso moved to Arévalo; these were times of turmoil for Isabella. The living conditions at their castle in Arévalo were poor, they suffered from a shortage of money. Although her father arranged in his will for his children to be financially well taken care of, King Henry did not comply with their father's wishes, either from a desire to keep his half-siblings restricted, or from ineptitude. Though living conditions were difficult, under the careful eye of her mother, Isabella was instructed in lessons of practical piety and in a deep reverence for religion.
When the King's wife, Joan of Portugal, was about to give birth to their daughter Joanna and her brother Alfonso were summoned to court in Segovia to come under the direct supervision of the King and to finish their education. Alfonso was placed in the care of a tutor; some of Isabella's living conditions improved in Segovia. She always had food and clothing and lived in a castle, adorned with gold and silver. Isabella's basic education consisted of reading, writing, mathematics, chess, embroidery and religious instruction, she and her ladies-in-waiting entertained themselves with art and music. She lived a relaxed lifestyle, but she left Segovia since King Henry forbade this, her half-brother was keeping her from the political turmoils going on in the kingdom, though Isabella had full knowledge of what was going on and of her role in the feuds. The noblemen, anxious for power, confronted King Henry, demanding that his younger half-brother Infante Alfonso be named his successor, they went so far as to ask Alfonso to seize the throne.
The nobles, now in control of Alfonso and claiming that he was the true heir, clashed with King Henry's forces at the Second Battle of Olmedo in 1467. The battle was a draw. King Henry agreed to recognize Alfonso as his heir presumptive, provided that he would marry his daughter, Princess Joanna la Beltraneja. Soon after he was named Prince of Asturias, Isabella's younger brother Alfonso died in July 1468 of the plague; the nobles who had supported him suspected poisoning. As she had been named in her brother's will as his successor, the nobles asked Isabella to take his place as champion of the rebellion. However, support for the rebels had begun to wane, Isabella preferred a negotiated settlement to continuing the war, she met with her elder brother Henry at Toros de Guisando and they reached a compromise: the war would stop, King Henry would name Isabella his heir-presumptive instead of his daughter Joanna, Isabella would not marry without her brother's consent, but he would not be able to force her to marry against her will.
Isabella's side came out with most of what the nobles desired, though they did not go so far as to depose King Henry. The question of Isabella's marriage was not a new one, she had made her debut in the matrimonial market at the age of six with a betrothal to Ferdinand, the younger son of John II of Navarre. At that time, the two kings and John, were eager to show their mutual love and confidence and they believed that this double alliance would make their eternal friendship obvious to the world; this arrangement, did not last long. Ferdinand's uncle Alfonso V of Aragon died in 1458. All of Alfonso's Spanish territories, as well as the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, were left to his brother John II. John now had a stronger position than before and no longer needed the security of Henry's friendship. Henry was now in need of a new alliance, he saw the chance for this much needed new friendship in Charles of John's elder son. Charles was at odds with his father, because of this, he secretly entered into an alliance with Henry IV of Castile.
A major part of the alliance was