A castle is a type of fortified structure built during the Middle Ages by predominantly the nobility or royalty and by military orders. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble; this is distinct from a palace, not fortified. Usage of the term has varied over time and has been applied to structures as diverse as hill forts and country houses. Over the 900 years that castles were built, they took on a great many forms with many different features, although some, such as curtain walls and arrowslits, were commonplace. European-style castles originated in the 9th and 10th centuries, after the fall of the Carolingian Empire resulted in its territory being divided among individual lords and princes; these nobles built castles to control the area surrounding them and the castles were both offensive and defensive structures. Although their military origins are emphasised in castle studies, the structures served as centres of administration and symbols of power.
Urban castles were used to control the local populace and important travel routes, rural castles were situated near features that were integral to life in the community, such as mills, fertile land, or a water source. Many castles were built from earth and timber, but had their defences replaced by stone. Early castles exploited natural defences, lacking features such as towers and arrowslits and relying on a central keep. In the late 12th and early 13th centuries, a scientific approach to castle defence emerged; this led with an emphasis on flanking fire. Many new castles were polygonal or relied on concentric defence – several stages of defence within each other that could all function at the same time to maximise the castle's firepower; these changes in defence have been attributed to a mixture of castle technology from the Crusades, such as concentric fortification, inspiration from earlier defences, such as Roman forts. Not all the elements of castle architecture were military in nature, so that devices such as moats evolved from their original purpose of defence into symbols of power.
Some grand castles had long winding approaches intended to dominate their landscape. Although gunpowder was introduced to Europe in the 14th century, it did not affect castle building until the 15th century, when artillery became powerful enough to break through stone walls. While castles continued to be built well into the 16th century, new techniques to deal with improved cannon fire made them uncomfortable and undesirable places to live; as a result, true castles went into decline and were replaced by artillery forts with no role in civil administration, country houses that were indefensible. From the 18th century onwards, there was a renewed interest in castles with the construction of mock castles, part of a romantic revival of Gothic architecture, but they had no military purpose; the word castle is derived from the Latin word castellum, a diminutive of the word castrum, meaning "fortified place". The Old English castel, Old French castel or chastel, French château, Spanish castillo, Italian castello, a number of words in other languages derive from castellum.
The word castle was introduced into English shortly before the Norman Conquest to denote this type of building, new to England. In its simplest terms, the definition of a castle accepted amongst academics is "a private fortified residence"; this contrasts with earlier fortifications, such as Anglo-Saxon burhs and walled cities such as Constantinople and Antioch in the Middle East. Feudalism was the link between a lord and his vassal where, in return for military service and the expectation of loyalty, the lord would grant the vassal land. In the late 20th century, there was a trend to refine the definition of a castle by including the criterion of feudal ownership, thus tying castles to the medieval period. During the First Crusade, the Frankish armies encountered walled settlements and forts that they indiscriminately referred to as castles, but which would not be considered as such under the modern definition. Castles served a range of purposes, the most important of which were military and domestic.
As well as defensive structures, castles were offensive tools which could be used as a base of operations in enemy territory. Castles were established by Norman invaders of England for both defensive purposes and to pacify the country's inhabitants; as William the Conqueror advanced through England, he fortified key positions to secure the land he had taken. Between 1066 and 1087, he established 36 castles such as Warwick Castle, which he used to guard against rebellion in the English Midlands. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, castles tended to lose their military significance due to the advent of powerful cannons and permanent artillery fortifications. A castle could act as a stronghold and prison but was a place where a knight or lord could entertain his peers. Over time the aesthetics of the design became more important, as the castle's appearance and size began to refle
Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia
Arabs are a population inhabiting the Arab world. They live in the Arab states in Western Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa and western Indian Ocean islands, they form a significant diaspora, with Arab communities established around the world. The first mention of Arabs is from the mid-ninth century BCE as a tribal people in eastern and southern Syria and the north of the Arabian Peninsula; the Arabs appear to have been under the vassalage of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, the succeeding Neo-Babylonian, Achaemenid and Parthian empires. Arab tribes, most notably the Ghassanids and Lakhmids, begin to appear in the southern Syrian Desert from the mid 3rd century CE onward, during the mid to stages of the Roman and Sasanian empires. Before the expansion of the Rashidun Caliphate, "Arab" referred to any of the nomadic and settled Semitic people from the Arabian Peninsula, Syrian Desert, North and Lower Mesopotamia. Today, "Arab" refers to a large number of people whose native regions form the Arab world due to the spread of Arabs and the Arabic language throughout the region during the early Muslim conquests of the 7th and 8th centuries and the subsequent Arabisation of indigenous populations.
The Arabs forged the Rashidun, Umayyad and the Fatimid caliphates, whose borders reached southern France in the west, China in the east, Anatolia in the north, the Sudan in the south. This was one of the largest land empires in history. In the early 20th century, the First World War signalled the end of the Ottoman Empire; this resulted in the defeat and dissolution of the empire and the partition of its territories, forming the modern Arab states. Following the adoption of the Alexandria Protocol in 1944, the Arab League was founded on 22 March 1945; the Charter of the Arab League endorsed the principle of an Arab homeland whilst respecting the individual sovereignty of its member states. Today, Arabs inhabit the 22 Arab states within the Arab League: Algeria, Comoros, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen; the Arab world stretches around 13 million km2, from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the east, from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean in the southeast.
Beyond the boundaries of the League of Arab States, Arabs can be found in the global diaspora. The ties that bind Arabs are ethnic, cultural, identical, nationalist and political; the Arabs have their own customs, architecture, literature, dance, cuisine, society and mythology. The total number of Arabs are an estimated 450 million. Arabs are a diverse group in terms of religious practices. In the pre-Islamic era, most Arabs followed polytheistic religions; some tribes had adopted Christianity or Judaism, a few individuals, the hanifs observed monotheism. Today, about 93% of Arabs are adherents of Islam, there are sizable Christian minorities. Arab Muslims belong to the Sunni, Shiite and Alawite denominations. Arab Christians follow one of the Eastern Christian Churches, such as the Greek Orthodox or Greek Catholic churches. Other smaller minority religions are followed, such as the Bahá'í Faith and Druze. Arabs have influenced and contributed to diverse fields, notably the arts and architecture, philosophy, ethics, politics, music, cinema, medicine and technology in the ancient and modern history.
The earliest documented use of the word "Arab" to refer to a people appears in the Kurkh Monoliths, an Akkadian language record of the ninth century BCE Assyrian conquest of Aram, which referred to Bedouins of the Arabian Peninsula under King Gindibu, who fought as part of a coalition opposed to Assyria. Listed among the booty captured by the army of king Shalmaneser III of Assyria in the Battle of Qarqar are 1000 camels of "Gi-in-di-bu'u the ar-ba-a-a" or " Gindibu belonging to the Arab; the related word ʾaʿrāb is used to refer to Bedouins today, in contrast to ʿarab which refers to Arabs in general. The term Arab and ʾaʿrāb are mentioned around 40 times in pre-Islamic Sabaean inscriptions; the term Arab occurs in the titles of the Himyarite kings from the time of'Abu Karab Asad until MadiKarib Ya'fur. The term ʾaʿrāb is driven from the term Arab according to Sabaean grammar; the term is mentioned in Quranic verses referring to people who were living in Madina and it might be a south Arabian loan-word into Quranic language.
The oldest surviving indication of an Arab national identity is an inscription made in an archaic form of Arabic in 328 using the Nabataean alphabet, which refers to Imru' al-Qays ibn'Amr as "King of all the Arabs". Herodotus refers to the Arabs in the Sinai, southern Palestine, the frankincense region. Other ancient Greek historians like Agatharchides, Diodorus Siculus and Strabo mention Arabs living in Mesopotamia, in Egypt, southern Jordan, the Syrian steppe and in eastern Arabia. Inscriptions dating to the 6th century BCE in Yemen include the term "Arab"; the most popular Arab account holds that the word "Arab" came from an eponymous father called Ya'rub, the first to speak Arabic. A
Pinoso El Pinós/Pinoso is a traditional Spanish town which sits located in the mountainous countryside of the Alicante/Murcia border. This traditional town is renowned for the production of rock salt and marble. Pinoso has a population of 7,300 and a municipal area of 126 km2, it has experienced a growth in tourism: since the coast line has no more room for new residentials, these are moving inland into the province. José Mira Mira and universal scientist Pedro Solbes Mira, Spanish politician, former minister of economic affairs, of Spain, former European commissioner for economic and monetary affairs in the European Commission. Official website Pinoso in English
Novelda is a town located in the province of Alicante, Spain. As of 2009, it has a total population of 27,135 inhabitants. Novelda has important quarries and mines of marble, silica and gypsum, it is a major centre of the marble industry. It was settled by Greeks, although it was controlled by Carthaginians and Romans; some centuries it was conquered from the Moors by a son of Ferdinand III of Castile. Places of tourist interest in Novelda include the monastery of Santa María Magdalena, which has a church designed by a disciple of Antoni Gaudí, the Moorish castle of the Mola, with its unique triangular tower, the Museum of Modernism; this is a well preserved art nouveau house with original artifacts from the 1920s. The house itself is a work of art; the House-Museum is located in a modernist building designed by Pedro Cerdan Martinez and is now a centre for modernist research and promotion. There are several natural and salty lakes to visit in the surroundings. Gallery: Santa María Magdalena Mario Gaspar, footballer Fernando Béjar, former footballer Route of the Castles of Vinalopó Novelda Landmarks Novelda Online Museo Modernista
Footwear refers to garments worn on the feet, which serves to purpose of protection against adversities of the environment regarding ground textures and temperature. Footwear in the manner of shoes therefore serves the purpose to ease the locomotion and prevent injuries. Secondly footwear can be used for fashion and adornment as well as to indicate the status or rank of the person within a social structure. Socks and other hosiery are worn additionally between the feet and other footwear for further comfort and relief. Cultures have different customs regarding footwear; these include not using any in some situations bearing a symbolic meaning. This can however be imposed on specific individuals to place them at a practical disadvantage against shod people, if they are excluded from having footwear available or are prohibited from using any; this takes place in situations of captivity, such as imprisonment or slavery, where the groups are among other things distinctly divided by whether or whether not footwear is being worn.
In these cases the use of footwear categorically indicates the exercise of power as against being devoid of footwear, evidently indicating inferiority. Footwear has been in use since the earliest human history, archeological finds of complete shoes date back to the copper age; some ancient civilizations, such as Egypt and Greece however saw no practical need for footwear due to convenient climatic and landscape situations and used shoes as ornaments and insignia of power. The Romans saw clothing and footwear as unmistakable signs of power and status in society, most Romans wore footwear, while slaves and peasants remained barefoot; the Middle Ages saw the rise of high-heeled shoes associated with power, the desire to look larger than life, artwork from that period depicts bare feet as a symbol of poverty. Depictions of captives such as prisoners or slaves from the same period well into the 18th century show the individuals barefooted exclusively, at this contrasting the prevailing partakers of the scene.
Officials like prosecutors, judges but slave owners or passive bystanders were portrayed wearing shoes. In some cultures, people remove their shoes before entering a home. Bare feet are seen as a sign of humility and respect, adherents of many religions worship or mourn while barefoot; some religious communities explicitly require people to remove shoes before they enter holy buildings, such as temples. In several cultures people remove their shoes as a sign of respect towards someone of higher standing. In a similar context deliberately forcing other people to go barefoot while being shod oneself has been used to showcase and convey one's superiority within a setting of power disparity. Practitioners of the craft of shoemaking are called cobblers, or cordwainers. During the Middle Ages and women wore pattens seen as the predecessor of the modern high-heeled shoe, while the poor and lower classes in Europe, as well as slaves in the New World, were barefoot. In the 15th century, chopines were created in Turkey, were 7-8 inches high.
These shoes became popular in Venice and throughout Europe, as a status symbol revealing wealth and social standing. During the 16th century, royalty such as Catherine de Medici and Mary I of England began wearing high-heeled shoes to make them look taller or larger than life. By 1580, men wore them, a person with authority or wealth might be described as, well-heeled. In modern society, high-heeled shoes are a part of women's fashion and are widespread in certain countries around the world. Modern footwear is made up of leather or plastic, rubber. In fact, leather was one of the original materials used for the first versions of a shoe; the soles can be made of plastic, sometimes having a sheet of metal inside. Roman sandals had sheets of metal on their soles. More footwear providers like Nike, have begun to source environmentally friendly materials. Boots Chukka boots Combat boots Cowboy boots Derby boots Fashion boots Go-go boots Hiking boots Kinky boots Motorcycle boots Mukluk Platform boots Riding boots Russian boots Sailing boots Seaboots Tabi boot Thigh-length boots Ugg boots Valenki Veldskoen Waders Wellington boots Winklepickers Shoes Athletic shoes Ballet flats Brothel creepers Court shoes Diabetic shoes Espadrilles Galoshes Kitten heels Lace-up shoes Derby shoes Oxford shoes Brogues Blucher shoes High-tops Loafers Mary Janes Moccasins Monks Mules Platform shoes Plimsoll shoes School shoes Skate shoes Sneakers Tap shoes Toe shoes Sandals Kolhapuri Chappals Peshawari chappal Flip-flops Slide Wörishofer Avarca, from Balearic Islands Slippers Socks Ballet shoes Boat shoes High-heeled footwear Climbing shoes Clogs Football boots Sabaton Safety footwear Sailing boots Ski boots Snowshoes Surgical shoe Pointe shoes Swimfins Abarka, of leather, from Pyrenees Areni-1 shoe, 5,500-year-old leather shoe found in Armenia Bast shoe, of bast, from Northern Europe Crakow, shoes from Poland with long toes popular in the 15th century Galesh, of textile, from Iran Geta, of wood, from Japan Klompen, of wood, from the Netherlands Opanci, of leather, from Balkans Pampooties, of hide, from Ireland Socks Anklets Bobby socks Diabetic socks Dress socks Footwraps Knee highs Toe socks Tabi In Europe, the footwear industry has declined in the last years.
Whereas in 2005, there were about 27,000 firms, in 2008 there were only 24,000. As well as the number of firms, the direct employment has decreased; the only factors that remained steady was the value added at factor cost and
Hermitage (religious retreat)
Although today's meaning is a place where a hermit lives in seclusion from the world, hermitage was more used to mean a building or settlement where a person or a group of people lived religiously, in seclusion. When included in the name of continental European properties or churches, any meaning is imprecise, may refer to some distant period of the history of what is today a property, either a normal parish church, or ceased to have any religious function some time ago. Secondary churches or establishments run from a monastery were called "hermitages". In the 18th century, some owners of English country houses equipped their gardens with a "hermitage", sometimes a Gothic ruin, but sometimes, as at Painshill Park, a romantic hut which a "hermit" was recruited to occupy; the so-called Ermita de San Pelayo y San Isidoro is the ruins of a Romanesque church from Ávila, that ended several hundred miles away, as a garden feature in the Buen Retiro Park in Madrid. A hermitage is any type of domestic dwelling.
While the level of isolation can vary more than not it is associated with a nearby monastery. Hermitages consist of at least one detached room, or sometimes a dedicated space within an open floor plan building, for religious devotion, basic sleeping accommodations, a domestic cooking range, suitable for the ascetic lifestyle of the inhabitant. Depending on the work of the hermit, premises such as a studio, workshop or chapel may be attached or sited in proximity; the first hermitages were located in natural caves, temple ruins, simple huts in forests and deserts. Around the time of early fourth century, the spiritual retreats of the Desert Fathers, who had chosen to live apart from society in the relative isolation of the Nitrian Desert of Egypt, began to attract the attention of the wider Christian community; the piety of such hermits attracted both laity and other would-be ascetics, forming the first cenobitic communities called "sketes", such as Nitria and Kellia. Within a short time and more people arrived to adopt the teachings and lifestyle of these hermits, there began by necessity a mutual exchange of labour and shared goods between them, forming the first monastic communities.
In the feudal period of the Middle Ages, both monasteries and hermitages alike were endowed by royalty and nobility in return for prayers being said for their family, believing it to beneficial to the state of their soul. Carthusian monks live in a one-room cell or building, with areas for study, sleep and preparation of meals. Most Carthusians live a solitary life, meeting with their brethren for communion, for shared meals on holy days, again irregularly for nature walks, where they are encouraged to have simple discussions about their spiritual life. In the modern era, hermitages are abutted to monasteries, or located on their grounds, being occupied by monks who receive dispensation from their abbot or prior to live a semi-solitary life. However, hermitages can be found in a variety of settings, from isolated rural locations, houses in large cities, high-rise blocks of flats, depending on the hermit's means. Examples of hermitages in Western Christian tradition: The Grande Chartreuse in Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse, motherhouse of the Carthusian Order.
New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur, United States Camaldolese Hermitage in Bielany, Kraków, Poland Hermitage of Santa María de Lara, a Visigothic building in northern Spain built as a normal church, it passed to a monastery before being abandoned. A poustinia is a small sparsely furnished cabin or room where a person goes to pray and fast alone in the presence of God; the word poustinia has its origin in the Russian word for desert. A person called to live permanently in a poustinia is called a poustinik. A poustinik is one, called by God to live life in the desert, alone with God in the service of humanity through prayer and availability to those who might call upon him or her; those called to life in the poustinia were not uncommon in Russia prior to the suppression of Christianity in the early 20th century. In this Eastern Christian expression of the eremitic vocation poustiniks are not solitary but are part of the local community to which they are called; the poustinik is God's people, in communion with the Church.
One who experienced the call "...to the poustinia had first, after securing the blessing of their spiritual director, to find a village. He did this through pilgrimage and prayer. Once having discovered the village to which he felt God drawing him, the poustinik went to the elders and asked permission to live there as a poustinik. Permission was given, as Russians were glad to have a poustinik praying for them; the poustinik lives alone praying for his own salvation, the salvation of the world, for the community that God has blessed for him to be a member. Traditionally, The poustinik was available to the people; when there were special needs, such as a fire to fight or hay to bring in, the poustinik would help. And whenever anyone had something they wanted to talk about—a question about prayer, a problem, a special joy or sorrow—they could go to the poustinik; the poustinik is one who listens, shares the love of Christ with all whom he encounters, as well as a cup of tea or some food. The poustinia was introduced to Roman Catholic spirituality by the Catholic social activist Catherine Doherty in her best-selling book Poustinia: Christian Spirituality of the East for