Spanish History 101 Ep. 5, The Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians in Spain

Phoenicians and their world-famous purple dye

For hundreds of years, cultures and civilizations from the other side of the Mediterranean made contact with the peoples from Spain, mainly the Iberians and Tartessos, and established a commercial relationship with them. They also founded Spain’s oldest cities and made many contributions that would impact Spain down the road, even to this day. Check out this latest podcast and learn more! Enjoy!

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

SPANIARDS ON THE TITANIC

Today’s episode tells the story of three of the ten Spaniards who were on Titanic. It’s a curious tale of luxury, recklessness, deceit, courage, love, tragedy and even a touch of greed, quite possibly. Take a listen and let us know what you think. Hope you enjoy it. 

If you wish to support us, you can check us out at: https://www.patreon.com/briansspaindomain

SPANISH HISTORY 101. Episode 2. Altamira: the Sistine Chapel of Prehistoric Art

Episode 2 takes us to the neolithic period and the cave paintings of Altamira in Cantabria. Authentic masterpieces were made back then. Learn about how the cave was discovered, the difficulties they had at first convincing the scientific world, and what makes this site so special in this history of Spain and in Art History. Enjoy!

You can subscribe to our podcasts on Spotify and Castos. Or if you wish to support Brian’s Spain Domain, check us out at:

https://www.patreon.com/briansspaindomain

Kings and Killers: The Assassination Attempts of Alfonsos XII and XIII

The photo you see for this podcast just may be the first image in history of a terrorist attack in progress. It happened in Madrid on the very day King Alfonso XIII and his bride Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg got married. They were returning from the church. The vividness of the chaos captured on film makes it one of the most extraordinary pictures ever taken. Listen to the podcast about three assassination attempts that took place during the turbulent days of the turn of the 20th Century. Enjoy.

If you wish to support our page, check out: https://www.patreon.com/briansspaindomain

The Day They Dropped 4 Nuclear Bombs on Spain…by mistake!

Information & Tourism Minister Manuel Fraga and U.S. Ambassador Angier Duke do a little P.R. work to prove the waters nearby the accident are safe for swimming.

Palomares was a small fishing community on the coast of Almeria. On the morning of January 17, 1966, a B-52 collided with a refueling plane and disaster struck. Four nuclear bombs plummeted to earth with the small village straight below them. It would take a miracle to prevent them from experiencing first hand a nuclear nightmare. Listen to my latest podcast and learn more.

If you wish to support or page, check out: https://www.patreon.com/briansspaindomain

Is it possible to condense 1 million years of Spanish history into 20 minutes? Let’s give it a try.

Marisa Estivill/Shutterstock

Some people like to get just a general overview of what Spanish history is like so that it’s easier to understand the specifics. Today, I’m going to do just that. Do the impossible; pack 1 million years into twenty minutes. It wasn’t an easy task, but I think we pulled it off! Enjoy and let us know what you think!

Hungry for Spanish History 2: Searching for the Comuneros

CASTILLO DE LA MOTA – MEDINA DEL CAMPO

Today’s podcast features monuments and towns associated with the Comunero movement. We take you to Madrid, Toledo, Segovia, Medina del Campo, Torrelobatón and Villalar de los Comuneros. If you enjoy history and traveling, here are a couple of ideas for you to find new ways to discover Spain. Hope you enjoy it.

Figs of Steel: 24 Hours in La Mancha 1

8:06 a.m.

In a place of La Mancha, whose name is not easily forgotten, on the morning of August 14, something historic took place. The events unfolded just beyond the crack of dawn, an ungodly hour for the middle of the summer holidays especially when an insistent heat wave, now into its third week, was battering the country with record high temperatures. The vegetation shriveled at frightening rates and turned the countryside into a mix of humbled colors that ranged from parched khaki to deathbed brown. After such an extended stretch of punch after punch of punishing heat, the thermometers no longer had the will to cool off at night, except for maybe between five and seven in the morning when near imperceptible variations might insinuate the sensation of descent. That fact, combined with the incessant shouting and laughing of the young people who hung out in the main square every night until three in the morning, made rest not only a challenge to the even soundest sleeper, it sometimes made it an absolute impossibility.

To add to the difficulty, members of the town’s public sanitation department come out in force first thing every day to perform a task which can only be likened to a battery of convicts laying down gravel with hydraulic equipment. It’s the town street cleaners and waste management teams making their way through the narrow streets with one purpose in mind: wiping up the carelessly strewn remains of the previous day. Their target was trash, and removing it at unreasonable hours is a widespread scourge that has tormented the dreamers of this country for years. Despite the obvious inconvenience associated with this activity, it is immensely popular among public officials everywhere. The local governments will tell you that the system allows them to freely sanitize the city while their citizens rest, but I am here to attest to the fact that it’s really actually proof of their immense sense of humor; the supposed beneficiaries of the service, meaning us, are jolted awake to a commotion which, when it catches you with the windows open, can seem seismic in dimension. Nothing about the noise they make appears in any way related to the improvement of urban hygiene. Quite the contrary. Yet by the time the townspeople awake and are on the run, the pavement is damp and spotless and ready to be soiled again.

On this day, though, a second unexpected pair of intruders came upon the scene and set up shop. Their intent was completely different and the time they expected to hang around extended beyond what people would consider to be common courtesy. But what did that matter? History was in the making, I tell you. And in the town of Cebolla, located on the western end of the province of Toledo, of the autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha, run-ins with posterity don’t come along very often. In fact, they are pretty goddamn rare.

Are you satisfied?

So, I was out the other evening getting some last-minute item for my other half because it was February 14th and, even though we agreed that we would not fall for the bizarre tradition of having to demonstrate your love on a particular date just because the retail industry was putting pressure on us, I knew that wasn’t true.  Which is why I found myself perusing around the Corte Inglés gourmet section along with half a dozen other men who were there for the very same reason and donning worried looks of inadequacy as time ran out.  They were all about my age and clearly knew better than to believe the fateful words, “Don’t get me anything. I don’t want anything.”

 

There was also a small gathering of foreigners in the middle receiving a mini-course and tasting on Jabugo ham which had nothing to do with the challenge at hand and only served to distract my attention needlessly.  I homed in on the chocolate stands and picked up a box of Belgian delights, truffles, even better, smirked triumphantly as I headed for the register and left my competition behind.  Once at the station, I waited for the price to get rung up and then let my card hover over the machine so that my credit information can magically float over to its destiny and approval can be given.  Yes, even after all these years, I can say that I still get a certain sense of satisfaction out of seeing the word “aprobado” pop up on that tiny screen.  It makes me feel proud. It says “I’m solvent”, which is not something many writers can claim. The mirth is usually short-lived and by the time I have the receipt and bag in my hand it’s become a recent memory.

 

But this time I was assaulted by a simple quiz on customer satisfaction.  At first glance it didn’t require much deep meditation.  There were five faces in a row, emoticons for lack of a better word, each expressing different degree of satisfaction, or not.  It started on the right with a furious expression and progressively improved until the final head on the left appeared to be laughing out loud which, no matter how successful my trip to the department store has been, I think is a rather overstated reaction to the otherwise ordinary practice of purchasing a product.

 

To be honest, I don’t known really what they were asking me to rate.  Was the store all right?  Did I find what I was looking for?  How well the woman performed her duties at the cash register?  Was I happy being the dumbfuck who actually answers these questions?  I’ll confide that when I’m feeling particularly rebellious in today’s otherwise tame society, I refuse to provide the store with my zip code.  It’s sort of last bastion on self-respect.

 

I’ve seen these gimmicky things at store entrances, but I had never had one stuck in my face without previous warning, so I kind of panicked.  I put my index finger on the second face, the one that was smiling, because honestly, the chuckling one just didn’t seem to fitting.  It was past eight o’clock at the end of the long day of work and, once again, I had caved into the truth.

 

But as I stepped away, I started thinking about my decision.  I would quite go as far as to say I was regretting it; perhaps I should have been better informed.  What if the woman had expected the far-left option?  What if I had disappointed her?  What if the smiley face was a little too cheerful for such an un-enthralling episode?  Shouldn’t I have just to the middle ground? It was fine, and that was all.  No need to throw a party.  But here was the biggest question: what the hell was the Corte Inglés doing by making me spend the five next minutes of my life questioning whether or not I had done the right thing, when all I wanted to do was pay for the goddamn Belgian chocolates?  It just ain’t right, I tell you.