Kings and Lovers (Part 1)

Charles I of Spain doesn’t seem to be enjoying himself very much in this picture as he listens to the German singer Barbara Blomberg perform. It looks more like his gout is acting up. Nevertheless, the two would have an affair and a son, John of Austria, one of the most charismatic figures of the 16th Century. Barbara wasn’t his only lover, nor was Charles the only king to have one. In fact, the world of monarchs and mistresses seemed commonplace in most courts over the centuries, even to this day. In today’s podcast we look at how much of that was true, starting with the Ferdinand and Isabella all the way to the last Habsburg king, Charles II.

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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.

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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.

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Bernardo de Gálvez: Hero of the American Revolution

PAINTING BY AUGUSTO FERRER-DALMAU

This past week, Americans celebrated the 4th of Jult and the 245th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Many factors contributed to the colonists’ unlikely victory over the British, but one of the least known is the role the Spanish played, and, in particular, Bernardo de Gálvez (1746-1786). Gálvez was a tireless and brilliant tactician and strategist, and he led one of the most daring and successful military campaigns of the war. Just what did Gálvez do and how did he impact the war? Enjoy this new podcast from Brian’s Spain Domain and find out more.

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The Man Who Would Never Be King: the tragic life and death of Carlos, Prince of Asturias (1545-1568)

This podcast takes us through the life of Carlos, Prince of Asturias, the first son of King Philip II (1527-1598), who was originally destined to succeed his father as ruler of the Spanish Empire. But inbreeding, a childhood full of emotional turmoil, mental health issues and a rivalry with his dad would force Philip to imprison his own son and heir, precipitating his death. It’s a story that would make it to stages and opera houses centuries later. Largely forgotten today, Carlos’ life somehow represents the bizarre and complex practices and inner-workings of this powerful 16th-century dynasty. In today’s podcast, we will mention Charles I of Spain, but mainly his son Philip II, and Philip’s son, Carlos. We will also include María Manuela of Portugal (Carlos’ mother), Philip’s second wife, Mary Tudor (Queen Mary of England), third wife, Elizabeth of Valois and a few others. Hope you enjoy it!

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Hungry of Spanish History 3: Bluefin tuna fishing and visiting the coast of Cadiz

3,000 years. Since the days of the Phoenicians, fishermen have been using this unique style known as Almadraba to catch bluefin tuna. Some of the best are caught off the coast of Cadiz. Today’s podcast covers some of the towns and history associated with this fascinating tradition, as well as where to enjoy a little beach weather.

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.

Everything you wanted to know about Spanish history and were afraid to ask: Who were the comuneros?

500 years ago these poor guys met their fate after leading one of Spain’s most famous uprisings in history. The Comuneros‘ Rebellion in Castile. They have come to represent the everyday man’s fight against oppression. But was that really the case? Check out this podcast and find out.