SPANISH HISTORY 101 EP 12: The Visigoths

Hispania has become orphanied by the fall of the Roman Empire, and vulnerable to a new wave of foreign peoples vying for control of the peninsula. But only the Visigoths would emerge on top. They will rise as the next great power to take over and they will make an earnest effort to brong the former Roman territory together. Do they achieve it?   Listen and learn more. Enjoy!

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Prince Juan and his Stunning Tomb

Juan of Asturias, only son of Isabella and Ferdinand, is an obscure figure in Spanish history who did little more to influence the course of this nation than die. But what a death! He left his world at the age of 19 in 1497, and because of that, Spain would never be the same. The stunningly beautiful tomb is the centerpiece of the church at the magnificent Royal Monastery of Santo Tomás, in Avila, Listen and learn more! Enjoy!

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SPANISH HISTORY 101 EP. 11 – The Barbarians Come on the Scene

The painting we see in this podcast was the creation of Ulpiano Checa, from Spain, and it is a famous depiction of how the artist envisioned the arrival of the Germanic tribes around the Fall of the Roman Empire. It’s a fanciful image by today’s standards, but it has left an indeleble mark on our collective memory of those events. Spain was, indeed, invaded by several Germanic peoples (the Vandals, Alans and Suebi), and the finally the Visigoths, who would hang around for a few hundred years. This is a period of transition in our series on the History of Spain. Check it out and enjoy. 

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Madrid’s Segovia Viaduct: Tales of Progress and Tragedy

The Segovia Viaduct in the heart of Madrid is a handsome-looking bridge that helped to join the city where there was once a large geographic gap; and yet from practically the first day it opened back in 1874, it also served as one of the most popular places for people to commit suicide, Not until fairly recently has this grim secondary use been more or less brought under control. Today it is a popular way for both tourists and locals to move about the downtown. It’s dark past has not been easily forgotten. Listen and…try to enjoy! 

SPANISH HISTORY 101, EP 10: What did the Spanish ever do for the Romans?

Here’s our friend the Roman emperor Trajan looking very serene, dignified and stately. He has gone down in history one of the most effective and beloved leaders of the Roman Empire, and my guess is that few recall that he was actually born in a town just outside of present-day Seville, Spain. He was just one of the many ways in which Hispania proved to be a major asset for Rome. Check out this next episode of our series Spanish History 101, and learn more. Enjoy! 

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Alfonso XIII and the European War Office: Spain’s great humanitarian effort during WWI

Spain stayed out of both world wars, but it was not indifferent to what was going on near its borders. One person, King Alfonso XIII, took it upon himself to try and aid the victims of World War I at a time when many of the governments of the belligerent nations failed. His efforts earned him two Nobel Peace Prize nominations and the love and admiration of millions in Europe. And yet, today, his story is practially unknown. Today’s podcast hopes to bring this extraordinary moment to light again. Listen and enjoy!

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SPANISH HISTORY 101, EP 9. What else have the Romans ever done for Spain?

After talking about the importance of Roman cities, towns and infrastructure, in this episode we delve deeper into other ways in which they left an indeleble mark on this country and its history. Language, religion, wine. To name just a few. Listen on and enjoy!

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The Boy King and the Massacre

The coat of arms of the city of Avila has the curious image of a young king in a kind of castle/church. As you might be guess, there is a story behind it and one that is as fascinating as it is tragic. And it represents the complexity of the geopolitical situation in Spain during the early 12th century. History? Legend? Both? Listen and enjoy and let us know what you think. 

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History of Spain 101, Ep. 8. Rome: the Builder of Spain

The Iberian and Celtic tribes have been defeated. Hispania has been pacified. The land is slowly feeling the effects of Rome’s prolonged presence on the Iberian peninsula. The process of Romanization has begun. In this episode, we take a look at how the Romans quite literally laid the foundations for many of Spain’s towns and cities, as well as made some important infrastructure contributions.  The Romans were brilliant engineers and loved building, and build they did in this land. Check out this latest podcast from the History of Spain 101 and find out more. Enjoy!

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FIESTAS IN SPAIN: The Jarramplas

Photo: Tourism in Extremadura

This unusual-looking character pounding away on a drum as he takes a walloping from an onslaught of turnips is none other than “Jarramplas”, the central figure of the fiestas in a town in the western region of Extremadura known as Piornal. He comes out every January 19 and 20 for the Feast of St. Sebastian, the patron saint of the village. He kicks off a series we’ll be doing on “Fiestas in Spain”; where we will be exploring some of the traditions and their history. Listen and enjoy!

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