Season 2019 / 2020 – Talk 22 – Spanish Medieval History as illustrated by the Church of San Juan de los Reyes in Toledo
In the talk Spanish Medieval History illustrated by the Church of San Juan de los Reyes in Toledo Peter Duffy takes us on a journey through the Iberian Peninsula between the fifth and fifteenth centuries.
The talk has pictures and diagrams to illustrate Peter’s words. Please click here to open the gallery. When the gallery opens please click on the first image.
Peter suggests that we should take a break in Spain and catch a train to Toledo. The journey lasts about 45 minutes. We then climb the steep hill to the town and see the immense fortress, known as the Alcazar, and the great Gothic cathedral.
Peter then tells us about another building in Toledo, hidden away from the usual tourist sites. The medieval monastery of San Juan de los Reyes is small and beautiful, and has played a key role in Spanish history. To help us understand its importance Peter tells us the story of its building. We learn of the role of Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon.
A small diversion into Iberian history
Before he describes the building, he takes a small diversion into the history of the Iberian Peninsula so that we understand the context.
After the Fall of the Roman Empire, Iberia was eventually conquered by the Visigoths in the 5th century. The Visigoths made Toledo their capital. The Visigoths were defeated by the Muslim invaders in the 8th century. They overran the whole of Iberia, except for the wet, chilly, mountain kingdom of Asturias in the north-west corner.
From there, because of a vision of the Virgin, in a cave at Covadonga, the Christians began the Reconquista, the reconquest of Iberia. This was virtually complete by the early 15th century. Listen to Peter for the rest of the story.
About this podcast:
This podcast is an edited recording of a talk first given to the Farnham u3a World History Group.
The Farnham u3a site is found here.
AKM Music has licensed Media Magazine for use as the theme music.
© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 – 2021