Category Archive: Spanish History

Feb
11

Michener’s Spain: Words that define Spain’s ‘essence’

This is the third in a series of posts on James Michener’s Iberia. You can read the first two posts here and here. This week, I stick with the first chapter and specifically the Spanish words and phrases Michener feels the reader needs to know to understand Spain. There are some key Spanish words and …

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Oct
14

Extremadura: the land of conquistadors

Statue of Pizarro in his hometown of Trujillo (photo by Cloudsoup)

There’s something about the Spanish region of Extremadura. Something that has led its men to leave its soil and seek adventure and fortune elsewhere. In the 1500s the destination was the so-called New World. And extremeños went in droves. The prevalence of extremeños among the conquistadors is really astounding considering the size of the region …

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Oct
11

Columbus, Italian? Fuggedaboutit

Looks Catalan to me

Why did Columbus Day become such a big Italian American celebration? Here’s a guy who was arguably the most influential in launching Spain’s golden age. What did he ever do for Italy? If anything, Spaniards should be celebrating today. I mean, you don’t see the Greeks trying to reclaim El Greco. Imagine the British making …

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Oct
04

Spanish Royal Academy wants you to be part of history

Quijote Youtube2

The Spanish Royal Academy, that watchdog of the Spanish language, has divided Don Quixote into 2,149 fragments to be read by people around the world and posted to its own YouTube channel. Readings are based on the 400th anniversary edition of Don Quixote, which was published in 2004. The effort is meant to promote the …

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Sep
30

Spain’s own bicentennial celebration

Mexico’s bicentennial celebration of its independence from Spain has given added meaning this year to National Hispanic Heritage Month in the U.S. But let’s not be myopic, my dear Mexican friends. You’re not the only ones with a bicentennial to celebrate. Last week, Spain’s monarachs — King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia — visited Cadiz …

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Sep
17

A Tortilla Derailed and Tapas Etymology

photo by dalbera

I left work last night gleefully contemplating the Spanish tortilla I was going to make for my family when the storm of the century struck New York City, paralyzing the Long Island Railroad. After an adventure that would impress Homer, I arrived home around 2 am. So my plans to cook the tortilla — and …

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Sep
09

How to Ensure a Barcelona Return

Tourist looking to ensure a return trip to Barcelona

I’ve run into quite a few people this summer who visited Barcelona. Time and again I heard some version of the following: “Ah, I want to go back.” Well, there’s apparently a way to make sure you do. Legend has it that whoever drinks water from the Font de Canaletes on La Rambla de Canaletes …

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Sep
01

Spain’s no. 2 sport (and growing)

Where does this growing obsession come from? Basketball actually has a long history in Spain and has really started to catch on in the last 30 years or so.

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