The Templar Knight

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The Forgotten Templar Crusade – Spain and Portugal

The Knights Templar were involved in a bitter seven centuries long crusade in Spain and Portugal between Christian and Muslim kingdoms

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Mother hated son – but both loved the Templars!

Teresa of Leon and her son Afonso of Portugal loved the Knights Templar but hated each other with a vengeance as Tony McMahon discovers

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Muslim Spain in the Middle Ages

In the year 711, only decades after the death of the prophet Mohammed, the Iberian peninsula was invaded right up to the Pyrenees and beyond. In fact, the Muslim army got as far as the city of Tours in France…

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Gigantes on procession in Viana do Castelo

Since I was a child, I’ve been captivated by gigantes and cabecudos – as they are called in Portugal. I realise there are variations on those spellings in Spanish and Catalan. In religious processions, they appear and the effect is…

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Being Jewish in medieval Europe

The fervour of the Crusades often saw public anger turn against Jewish people in medieval Europe. There were brutal assaults and even murder. Though the horror experienced by medieval Jewish people would not equal the industrial scale nightmare that we…

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Medieval Toledo – city of three faiths

Even more than Seville or Cordoba – medieval Toledo affords you a glimpse of life in Spain as a Muslim, Jewish and Christian civilisation

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Santiago de Compostela – burial place of Saint James the Apostle

How on earth can a town in Spain claim to have the body of one of the apostles of Jesus Christ? But that’s exactly the assertion made by Santiago de Compostela. For over a thousand years, its cathedral has boasted…

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Abu al-Quasim – the father of modern surgery

Abu al-Qasim was the father of modern surgery and a great example of a thinker from the era of the medieval Muslim caliphate in Spain

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Templar war in medieval Spain!

The Knights Templar in medieval Spain were at the forefront of the long war against the Muslim caliphate that eventually resulted in victory

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Is it a mosque or a church?

Toledo in Spain shows how Christians and Muslims lived together and even allowed churches to become mosques and vice versa

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