SPANISH HISTORY 101, EP. 20: 12th Century and the Plot Thickens

Alfonso I el Batallador – King of Aragon

The 12th Century and Spain is still a land of half a dozen kingdoms vying for control and a score of Muslim principalities known as taifas. Throw in an invasion or two by the Moors and what you have is unimaginable instability. Little by little, the Muslims are beginning to lose their grip on Al Andalus, but it is ever so slow. Castile is on the rise, Aragon has come of age, and even Portugal has come out and become its own kingdom. Listen and learn more. Enjoy!

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Let’s Open a Bottle: Wines from Madrid

Store featuring wines from Madrid in the Mercado de las Ventas

It may seem counterintuitive to think that the region of Madrid, with its massive capital and built-up bedroom communities, would in anyway be a place for bodegas to make wine, but the reality is quite the opposite. Wine-producing has been going on here for centuries, and after overcoming a rough streak in the middle of the 20th Century, the winemakers of D.O. Vinos de Madrid are enjoying a renaissance.  Listen and enjoy!

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The Almudena: Why is Nov. 9th a holiday in Madrid?

Image: El Mundo

November 9th is a holiday in Madrid and it’s in honor of the Virgin Mary of the Almudena, one of the two patrons of the city. It’s a very old tradition and a very old figure in the history of the city. Listen and learn where we get the name from and some of things that people do on this day. Enjoy!

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The Zugarramurdi Witch Trials: Spain’s Salem

Aquelarre, a painting by Goya

1609 marked the beginning of the famous witch trials in the city of Logroño. Many of the accused were from a small town of Navarra known as Zugarramurdi. They are also known as the Basque Witch Trials. Unlike other countries in the north of Europe or in colonial America, witchcraft was viewed with skepticism in Spain and there were relatively few cases. But this was the big one. Ironically, it would be a thorough investigation led by a member of the Spanish Inquisition that would deem the witch hunt absurd and bring an end to it. Listen and learn more. Enjoy!

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SPANISH HISTORY 101, EP. 19: The 11th Century and the Madness Goes On

It’s the 11th Century and the situation in the Iberian Peninsula is as chaotic and uncertain as ever. Power struggles, civil wars, fratricide, invasions; it seems as if nothing is under control. Not for anyone. But it makes for some pretty exciting, albeit, confusing history. Listen and learn more. Enjoy!

You can subscribe to our podcasts on Spotify, Amazon. Apple and Castos. Or if you wish to support Brian’s Spain Domain, click on our PayPal donate button or check us out at Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/briansspaindomain