Question:

What is a good trivia question? With answer?

Answer:

The center of which national capital city is built around an original Moorish fortress? a: MADRID ChaCHA!

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Moorish Revival or Neo-Moorish is one of the exotic revival architectural styles that were adopted by architects of Europe and the Americas in the wake of the Romanticist fascination with all things oriental. It reached the height of its popularity after the mid-nineteenth century, part of a widening vocabulary of articulated decorative ornament drawn from historical sources beyond familiar classical and Gothic modes. In Spain, the country conceived as the place of origin of Moorish ornamentation, the interest in this sort of architecture fluctuated from province to province. The mainstream was called Neo-Mudéjar. In Catalonia, Antoni Gaudí's profound interest in Mudéjar heritage governed the design of his early works, such as Casa Vicens or Astorga Palace. In Andalusia, the Neo-Mudéjar style gained belated popularity in connection with the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 and was epitomized by Plaza de España (Seville) and Gran Teatro Falla in Cádiz. In Madrid, the Neo-Mudéjar was a characteristic style of housing and public buildings at the turn of the century, while the 1920s return of interest to the style resulted in such buildings as Las Ventas bull ring and Diario ABC office. Although Carlo Bugatti employed Moorish arcading among the exotic features of his furniture, shown at the 1902 exhibition at Turin, by that time the Moorish Revival was very much on the wane everywhere but Imperial Russia, where the shell-encrusted Morozov House in Moscow (a stylisation of a Portuguese palace in Sintra) and the Neo-Mameluk palaces of Koreiz exemplify the continuing development of the style, and in Bosnia, where the Austrian government commissioned a range of Neo-Moorish structures. This included application of ornamentations and other Moorish design strategies neither of which had much to do with prior architectural direction of indigenous Bosnian architecture. The central post office in Sarajevo, for example, follows distinct formal characteristics of design like clarity of form, symmetry, and proportion while the interior followed the same doctrine. The Oriental Institute in Sarajevo is an example of Pseudo Moorish architectural language using decorations and pointed arches while still integrating other formal elements into the design. The "Moorish" garden structures built at Sheringham Hall, Norfolk, ca. 1812, were an unusual touch at the time, a parallel to chinoiserie, as a dream vision of fanciful whimsy, not meant to be taken seriously; however, as early as 1826, Edward Blore used Islamic arches, domes of various size and shapes and other details of Near Eastern Islamic architecture to great effect in his design for Alupka Palace in Crimea, a cultural setting that had already been penetrated by authentic Ottoman styles. By the mid-19th century, the style was adopted by the Jews of Central Europe, who associated Mudéjar architectural forms with the golden age of Jewry in medieval Muslim Spain. As a consequence, Moorish Revival spread around the globe as a preferred style of synagogue architecture. In the United States, Washington Irving's travel sketch, Tales of the Alhambra (1832) first brought Moorish Andalusia into readers' imaginations; one of the first neo-Moorish structures was Iranistan, a mansion of P. T. Barnum in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Constructed in 1848 and demolished by fire ten years later, this architectural extravaganza "sprouted bulbous domes and horseshoe arches". In the 1860s, the style spread across America, with Olana, the painter Frederic Edwin Church's house overlooking the Hudson River, Castle Garden in Jacksonville and Longwood in Natchez, Mississippi usually cited among the more prominent examples. After the American Civil War, Moorish or Turkish smoking rooms achieved some popularity. There were Moorish details in the interiors created for the Henry Osborne Havemeyer residence on Fifth Avenue by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The 1914 Pittock Mansion in Portland, Oregon incorporates Turkish design features, as well as French, English, and Italian ones; the smoking room in particular has notable Moorish revival elements. In 1937, the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota added unusual minarets and Moorish domes, unusual because the polychrome decorations are made out of corn cobs of various colors assembled like mosaic tiles to create patterns. The 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel, whose minarets and Moorish domes are now the pride of the University of Tampa, was a particularly extravagant example of the style. Other schools with Moorish Revival buildings include Yeshiva University in New York City. George Washington Smith used the style in his design for the 1920s Isham Beach Estate in Santa Barbara, California. Odessa Philharmonic Theater The Shriners, a fraternal organization, often chose a Moorish Revival style for their Temples. Architecturally notable Shriners Temples include: Great Synagogue, Plzeň (Czech Republic) Dohány Street Synagogue, Budapest (Hungary) National Library, Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) Mostar Gymnasium from 1902, Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina) Gran Teatro Falla, Cádiz (Spain) The Isaac M. Wise Temple, Cincinnati, Ohio Scottish Rite Temple, Santa Fe, New Mexico The former Tampa Bay Hotel, Tampa, Florida Scottish Rites Temple, Santa Fe Sofia Synagogue (Bulgaria) The Grand Choral Synagogue, St. Petersburg (Russia) the Fabric New Synagogue in Timişoara,(Romania),1889,(nowadays in decay, may be in danger of collapse) the Main Neologue Synagogue in Cetate quarter of Timişoara, (Romania),1865. Central Synagogue in New York City Former Jewish Hospital in Lviv, Ukraine Moorish Revival in New York Architecture http://www.nyc-architecture.com/STYLES/STY-MoorishRev.htm


 
   
       
           
   
   
   
 
   
   
 
 
   
 

   
   
       
     
   

 

IslamSymbolAllahCompWhite.PNG Moorish architecture is the articulated Berber–Islamic and Hispano–Islamic architecture of North Africa, and Al-Andalus. Characteristic elements include muqarnas, horseshoe arches, voussoirs, domes, crenellated arches, lancet arches, ogee arches, courtyards, and decorative tile work. Among the surviving examples are the Mezquita in Córdoba (784-987, in four phases); the Alhambra (mainly 1338-1390) and Generalife (1302–9 and 1313–24) in Granada and the Giralda in Seville in 1184; Paderne Castle in the Algarve, Portugal; the mosque of Koutoubia and University of Al-Karaouine in Morocco; the Great Mosque of Algiers and the Great Mosque of Tlemcen in Algeria; and the Mosque of Uqba in Kairouan, Tunisia. Other notable examples include the ruined palace city of Medina Azahara (936-1010), the church (former mosque) San Cristo de la Luz in Toledo, the Aljafería in Zaragoza and baths at for example Ronda and Alhama de Granada. The term is sometimes used to include the products of the Islamic civilisation of Southern Italy. The Palazzo dei Normanni in Sicily was begun in the 9th century by the Emir of Palermo. There is archeological evidence of an eighth-century mosque in Narbonne, France. Caliphate of Córdoba (929-1031): Period of Taifas (11th-13th century): Nasrid Emirate of Granada (1212–1492): Riads are inward-focused, which allowed for family privacy and protection from the weather in Morocco. This inward focus was expressed in the central location of most of the interior gardens and courtyards and the lack of large windows on the exterior clay or mud brick walls. This design principle found support in Islamic notions of privacy, and hijab for women. Entrance to these houses is a major transitional experience and encourages reflection because all of the rooms open into the central atrium space. In the central garden of traditional riads there are often four orange or lemon trees and possibly a fountain. The walls of the riads are adorned with tadelakt plaster and zellige tiles, usually with Arabic calligraphy, with quotes from the Quran. The style of these riads has changed over the years, but the basic form is still used in designs today. Recently,][ there has been a surge in interest in this form of house after a new vogue of renovation in towns such as Marrakech, Fes and Essaouira, where many of these often-crumbling buildings have been restored to their former glory. Many riads are now used as hotels or restaurants.
The Community of Madrid (; Spanish: ) is one of the seventeen autonomous communities (regions) of Spain. It is located at the centre of the country, the Iberian Peninsula, and the )Meseta CentralCastilian Central Plateau (. It is conterminous with the province of Madrid, making it "uniprovincial," or a community with only one province. Its capital is the city of Madrid, which is also the national capital of Spain. It is bounded to the south and east by Castile–La Mancha and to the north and west by Castile and León. It has a population of 6,369,167 (2011) mostly concentrated at the metropolitan area of Madrid. The creation of the contemporary Community of Madrid was preceded by an intense political debate during the "pre-autonomic" period; that is, the period of political debate that led to the institution of autonomous communities as the first-level political divisions of Spain consisted of provinces, a political division that had existed since the 1833 territorial division of Spain. Autonomous communities were to be created by one or more provinces with a distinct regional identity; since Madrid was part of the historical region of Castile, assigned to New Castile in the 1833 provincial organization, it was first planned that the province of Madrid would be part of the future community of Castile–La Mancha (which was roughly similar to New Castile, with the adding of the province of Albacete) but with some special considerations as the home of the national capital. The integrating provinces of Castile–La Mancha opposed such a special status, and after considering other options—like its inclusion to the community of Castile and León or its constitution as an entity similar to a federal district—it was decided that the province of Madrid would become a single-province autonomous community by appealing to the 144th article of the constitution, whereby the Parliament can authorize the creation of an autonomous community, even if it did not satisfy the requirement of having a distinct historical identity, if it was the "nation's interest". Thus, in 1983, the Community of Madrid was constituted and a Statute of Autonomy was approved taking over all the competences of the old Diputación Provincial and the new ones the Statute considered. The Community of Madrid statute also recognizes the castilian association of the community, and its membership in the castilian region. The city of Madrid (Spanish: ) was designated as the capital of the community as well as has been explicitly designated as the capital of the country by the 1978 Constitution. Nonetheless, several proposals have been made to make other towns the capital of the community like Alcalá de Henares, in the 1980s, and more recently, Getafe, without any relevance. The territory of the Community of Madrid has been populated since the Lower Paleolithic, mainly in the valleys between the rivers of Manzanares, Jarama, and Henares, where several archaeological findings have been made. Some notable discoveries of the region the bell-shaped vase of Ciempozuelos (between 1970 and 1470 BCE). During the Roman Empire, the region was part of the Citerior Tarraconese province, except for the south-west portion of it, which belonged to Lusitania. It was crossed by two important Roman roads, the via xxiv-xxix (joining Astorga to laminium and via xxv (which joined Emerita Augusta and Caesaraugusta), and contained some important conurbations. The city of Complutum (today Alcalá de Henares) became an important metropolis, whereas Titulcia and Miaccum were important crossroad communities. During the period of the Visigothic Kingdom, the region lost its importance. The population was scattered amongst several small towns. Alcalá de Henares was designated the bishopric seat in the 5th century by orders of Asturio, archbishop of Toledo, but this event was not enough to bring back the lost splendor of the city. The centre of the peninsula was one of the least-populated regions of the Al-Andalus until the 11th century when it became important and a strategic military post. The Muslim governors created a defensive system of fortresses and towers all across the region with which they tried to stop the advance of the Christian Kingdoms of the north. The fortress of Mayrit (Madrid) was built somewhere between 860 and 880 AD, as a walled precinct where a military and religious community lived, and which constituted the foundation of the city. It soon became the most strategic fortress in defense of the city of Toledo above the fortresses of Talamanca de Jarama and Qal'-at'-Abd-Al-Salam (Alcalá de Henares). In 1083, king Alfonso VI of Castile conquered the city of Madrid, and two years later, Toledo. Alcalá de Henares fell in 1118 in a new period of Castilian annexation. The recently conquered lands by the Christian Kingdoms were desegregated into several constituencies, as a consequence of a long process of repopulation that took place over the course of four centuries. The feudal and ecclesiastical lords came into constant conflict with the different councils that had been granted the authority to repopulate. In the 13th century, Madrid was the only city of the region that preserved its own juridical personality, at first with the Old Fuero (Charter) and later with the Royal Fuero, granted by Alfonso X of Castile in 1262 and ratified by Alfonso XI in 1339. On the other hand, the town of Buitrago de Lozoya, Alcalá de Henares and Talamanca de Jarama, which were rapidly repopulated until that century, were under the dominion of the feudal or ecclesiastical lords. Specifically, Alcalá de Henares was under the hands of the archbishopric of Toledo and remained so until the 19th century. Around the town of Madrid, an administrative territory was created known as Tiera de Madrid (Land of Madrid), the origin of the province that included the areas of the current municipalities of San Sebastián de los Reyes, Corbeña, Las Rozas de Madrid, Rivas-Vaciamadrid, Torrejón de Velasco, Alcorcón, San Fernando de Henares, and Griñón. This council was in constant strife with Segovia—which was one of the most influent cities of Castile—as they both fought for the control of Real de Manzanares, a large comarca (shire) that was finally given to the House of Mendoza. Castilian monarchs showed a predilection for the center of the peninsula, with abundant forests and game. El Pardo was a region visited frequently by kings since the time of Henry III, in the 14th century. The Catholic Monarchs started the construction of the Royal Palace of Aranjuez. In the 16th century, San Lorenzo de El Escorial was built and became another royal site of the province. The town of Madrid, which was one of the eighteen cities with the right to vote in the Courts of Castile, was seat of the Courts themselves on several occasions and was the residence of several monarchs, amongst them the emperor Charles I who reformed and expanded the Alcázar or Castle of the city. Besides its growing political importance, it also became a cultural center with the foundation of the University of Alcalá de Henares in 1508. In 1561, King Philip II made Madrid the capital of the empire. The surrounding territories became economically subordinated to the town itself, even beyond the present day limits of the Community of Madrid. But it was not a unified region as several lords and churches had jurisdiction over their own autonomous territories. During the 18th century, the fragmented administration of the region was not solved despite several attempts. During the reign of Philip V, the intendencia was created as a political and administrative division. Nonetheless, the intendencia of Madrid did not fully solve the problem, and the region was still fragmented into several small dominions even though some processes were centralized. This territorial dispersion had a negative effect on its economic growth; while the town of Madrid received economic resources from the entire country as the capital, the surrounding territories—in hands of noblemen or the clergy—became impoverished. During the eighteenth century, the town of Madrid was transformed through several grandiose buildings and monuments as well as through the creation of many social, economic, and cultural institutions, some of which are still operating. Madrid grew to a population of 156,672 inhabitants by the end of the eighteenth century. In 1833, a new administrative division of the country was set in place, and the province of Madrid was created. The province belonged to the region of New Castile (today Castile–La Mancha), a region that, just like the rest, had only the purpose of classification, since regions were not autonomous political-administrative divisions. In the 20th century during the process that preceded the creation of the autonomous communities of Spain, a fear of a political inequality amongst the proposed constituent provinces of the community of Castile–La Mancha led to the creation of the autonomous Community of Madrid, which was the last autonomous community of Spain created. Despite the existence of a large city of 5 million people, the Community of Madrid still retains some remarkably unspoiled and diverse habitats and landscapes. Madrid is home to mountain peaks rising above 2,000m, holm oak dehesas and low lying plains. The slopes of Guadarrama mountain range are cloaked in dense forests of Scots Pine and Pyrenean oak. The Lozoya Valley supports a large black (monk) vulture colony, and one of the last bastions of the Spanish Imperial Eagle in the world is found in the Park Regional del Suroeste in dehesa hills between the Gredos and Guadarrama ranges. The recent possible detection of the existence of Iberian lynx in the area between the Cofio and Alberche rivers is testament to the biodiversity of the area. When looking at a map of the Province of Madrid, it can be seen that it is almost an equilateral triangle, in whose center would be the city. It seems that Madrid's geographic limits turn out to be those of nature: on the western side the "Sistema Central" (the Guadarrama mountain range), the south represents the desire to include (the Royal Site of) Aranjuez, and finally the eastern edge of the triangle comes from the rupture of the fluvial river basins. Province of Madrid occupies a surface area of approximately 8,028 km² (1.6% of all Spanish territory). More specifically, the exact position of Madrid is 3° 40´ of longitude west of Greenwich, England, and 40° 23´ north of the equator. Practically all of the Province is located between 600 and 1,000 m above sea level, with the highest point being Peñalara at 2,430 m and the lowest Alberche river in Villa del Prado at 430 m. Other considerable heights, as well as being famous, are the Ball of the World mountain (la Bola del Mundo) in Navacerrada, at a height of 2,258 m and the seven peaks in Cercedilla, at 2,138 m. The region of Madrid has a temperate Continental Mediterranean climate with cold winters with temperatures sometimes dropping below 0 °C (32 °F). There are about two to three light snowfalls each year. Summer tends to be hot with temperatures that consistently surpass 30 °C (86 °F) in July and that can often reach 40 °C (104 °F). Due to Madrid's high altitude and dry climate, nightly temperatures tend to be cooler, leading to a lower average in the summer months. Average Precipitation levels are below 500 mm, evenly distributed throughout the year, with peaks in autumn and spring. See also: Madrid Assembly See also: President of Madrid In the process whereby democracy was restored in Spain between 1975–1978, the nationalist and regionalist parties pressed to grant home rule to certain territories in Spain. The constitution of 1978 opened a legal way for autonomous communities to be formed from provinces with common historical and cultural links. Even though the province of Madrid belonged to the cultural and historical region of Castile, the other provinces refused to include Madrid in their autonomic developments and, finally, it was granted autonomy as a single-province community by means of the 144th article of the constitution which declared an exception to the aforementioned rule in the creation of autonomous communities if it was the "nation's interest." The Community of Madrid was created in 1982 after the elaboration of a Statute of Autonomy, later approved by the General Courts of Spain. All autonomous communities are organized politically within a parliamentary system; that is, the executive branch of government—known as "president" in the case of the Community of Madrid—is dependent on the direct support of the legislative power, whose members elect him by majority. The Statute of Autonomy of the Madrid Autonomous Community is the fundamental organic law in conjunction with the Spanish constitution. The Statute of Autonomy establishes that the government of the community is exercised through the Commonwealth of Madrid, formed by: The Community of Madrid follows the normal electoral calendar set for all autonomous communities—with the exception of the four original communities that are "historic nationalities or regions", which have the faculty of calling elections at any time, namely Catalonia, the Basque Country, Galicia, and Andalusia. The only exception to this occurred in May 2003, in which due to the absentee vote of two socialist deputies, there was no legal possibility to forming a government. Therefore, new elections were held in October 2003, outside the established electoral calendar. The Community of Madrid has a GDP of €219.8 billion as of 2009; this is second in Spain only to Catalonia, where regional GDP amounted to €230.4 billion but ahead of the largest Spanish region - Andalucia -, where the regional GDP stands at €167.4 billion. Indeed, it is, along with the Basque Country, the autonomous community with the highest income per capita in Spain at €34,100 in 2009 - significantly above the national average and ahead of Navarra (€32,900), and Catalonia (€30,700). In 2005, the Community of Madrid was the main receptor of foreign investment in the country, at 34.3% of the total. Despite that, the community ranks 34th amongst all European regions (evaluated in 2002), and 50th amongst the most competitive cities-regions in the planet. Nonetheless, it is still ahead of Barcelona and Valencia, the other two largest metropolitan areas of Spain. The strengths of the economy of the community are its low unemployment rate, its high investment in research, its relatively high development, and the added-value services therein performed. Its weaknesses include the low penetration of broadband and new technologies of information and an unequal male to female occupation. The service, construction, and industry sectors are prominent in Madrid's commercial productive structure. According to the Directorio Central de Empresas (Central Companies Directory of the INE), Madrid's active businesses stand in third place nationally in terms of numbers as at 1 January 2006. The branches of activity with most active businesses are other business activities, retail trade, construction, wholesale trade, hospitality, property activities, land transport, and pipeline transport. Madrid's levels of industry set it at fourth place in Spain. The following areas predominate in terms of business numbers: publishing and graphic arts, manufacture of metal products (except machinery and equipment), manufacture of furniture and other manufacturing industries, wearing apparel and fur industry, and food product industry. The province also boasts a higher concentration of high and medium technology activities and services than the rest of Spain. This is the case in the following areas: manufacture of office machinery and IT equipment; manufacture of electronic products, manufacture of radio equipment, and devices; manufacture of medical and surgical, precision, optical and timekeeping equipment and instruments; post and telecommunications; IT activities; and research and development. The Community of Madrid is the third most populous in Spain, after Andalusia and Catalonia, and the most populous province, with 6,369,167 inhabitants. Population density is 779.36 hab/km²,much higher than the national average of 91.3 hab/km². Population density varies with the community itself; the municipality of Madrid has a density of 5,160.57 hab/km², whereas the Sierra Norte has a population density of less than 9.9 hab/km². The great majority of the population lives in the capital and its metropolitan area, which is the most populated in Spain. Madrid, meanwhile, is also the province of Spain with the greatest population density. Its inhabitants are mainly concentrated in the capital (which is the Spanish city with the highest resident population) and in a series of municipalities (Móstoles, Alcalá de Henares, Fuenlabrada, Leganés, Alcorcón, Getafe, Torrejón de Ardoz, and Alcobendas), as opposed to in rural areas with low population density. Its citizens have diverse origins, and Madrid is the province with the highest number of residents born outside its territory and with the largest foreign population (13.32%). It is a focus of attraction for those migrating for reasons of employment. Population growth in Madrid is mainly due to the arrival of foreigners. For the better part of its history, the Community of Madrid was overwhelmingly Catholic, with minor Jewish and Muslim populations. State Education in Spain is free and compulsory from six to sixteen years of age. The current education system is called LOGSE (Ley de Ordenación General del Sistema Educativo). Children from three to five years old in Spain have the option of attending the pre-school stage, which is non-compulsory and free for all students. It is regarded as an integral part of the education system with infantil classes in almost every primary school. There are some separate Colegios Infantiles or nursery schools. Spanish students aged six to sixteen undergo primary and secondary school education, which are compulsory and free of charge. Successful students are awarded a Secondary Education Certificate, which is necessary for entering further (optional) education as is Bachillerato for their University or Formacion Professional (vocational studies). Once students have finished their Bachillerato, they can take their University Entrance Exam (Pruebas de Acceso a la Universidad, popularly called Selectividad) which differs greatly from region to region. The secondary stage of education is normally referred to by their initials, e.g. ESO or Educación Secundaria Obligatoria for secondary education. Madrid is home to a large number of public and private universities. Some of them are among the oldest in the world. The Complutense University of Madrid is one of the most prestigious, and the largest, university in Spain and one of the oldest universities in the world. It has 10,000 staff members and a student population of 117,000. Nearly all academic staff are Spanish. It is located on two campuses, in the university quarter Ciudad Universitaria at Moncloa in Madrid, and in Somosaguas. The Complutense University of Madrid was founded in Alcalá de Henares, old Complutum, by Cardinal Cisneros in 1499. Nevertherless, its real origin dates back from 1293, when King Sancho IV of Castile built the General Schools of Alcalá, which would give rise to Cisnero's Complutense University. During the course of 1509-1510 five schools were already operative: Artes y Filosofía (Arts & Philosophy), Teología (Theology), Derecho Canónico (Canonical Laws), Letras (Liberal Arts) and Medicina (Medicine). In 1836, during the reign of Isabel II, the University was moved to Madrid, where it took the name of Central University and was located at San Bernardo Street. Subsequently, in 1927, a new university area was planned to be built in the district of Moncloa-Aravaca, in lands handed over by the King Alfonso XIII to this purpose. The Spanish Civil War turned the "Ciudad Universitaria" into a war zone, causing the destruction of several schools in the area, as well as the loss of part of its rich scientific, artistic and bibliographic heritage. In 1970 the Government reformed the High Education, and the Central University became the Complutense University of Madrid. It was then when the new campus at Somosaguas was created in order to house the new School of Social Sciences. The old Alcalá campus was reopened as the independent University of Alcalá in 1977. Another important university is the Autonoma, perhaps Spain's best university for research along with the Complutense, was instituted under the leadership of the famous physicist, Nicolás Cabrera. The Autonoma is widely recognised for its research strengths in theoretical physics. Known simply as la Autónoma in Madrid, its main site is the Cantoblanco Campus, situated 15 kilometers to the north of the capital (M-607) and close to the municipal areas of Madrid, namely Alcobendas, San Sebastián de los Reyes, Tres Cantos and Colmenar Viejo. Located on the main site are the Rectorate building and the Faculties of Science, Philosophy and Fine Arts, Law, Economic Science and Business Studies, Psychology, Higher School of Computing Science and Engineering, and the Faculty of Teacher Training and Education. The Medical School is located outside the main site and beside the Hospital Universitario La Paz. Other local universities, among many others, are the Technical University of Madrid, as the result of merging the different Technical Schools of Engineering; the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, founded in 1499; the Carlos III, whose philosophy is to create responsible free-thinking people with a sensitivity to social problems and an involvement in the concept of progress based on freedom, justice and tolerance and the Universidad Pontificia Comillas, involved in a number of academic exchange programmes, work practice schemes and international projects with over 200 Higher Education Institutions in Europe, South America, North America, and Asia. Other universities in Madrid: Rey Juan Carlos University (public), Universidad Alfonso X, Universidad Antonio de Nebrija, Universidad Camilo José Cela, Universidad Francisco de Vitoria, Universidad Europea de Madrid, and Universidad San Pablo (all of them private). Madrid is also home to the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía, the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid, and many other private educational institutions. Madrid is served by Barajas International Airport. Barajas is the main hub of Iberia Airlines and consequently serves as the main gateway to the Iberian peninsula from Europe, America, and the rest of the world. Current passenger volumes range upwards of 52 million passengers per year, putting it in the top 10 busiest airports in the world. Given annual increases close to 10%, a new fourth terminal has been constructed. It has significantly reduced delays and doubled the capacity of the airport to more than 70 million passengers per year. Two additional runways have also been constructed, making Barajas a fully operational four-runway airport. Cercanías Madrid is the commuter rail service that serves Madrid, the capital of Spain, and its metropolitan area. It is operated by Cercanías Renfe, the commuter rail division of RENFE, the former monopoly of rail services in Spain. The system is infamous for being the target of 11 March 2004 Madrid train bombings. The attacks triggered a small reduction in the ridership of the system, but it is still the most used and most profitable (by 2004) of the commuter rail services in Spain. The total length spans 339.1 km. Spain's railway system, the Red Nacional de Ferrocarriles Españoles (Renfe), operates the vast majority of Spain's railways. In Madrid, the main rail terminals are Atocha in the south and Chamartín in the north. The crown jewel of Spain's next decade of infrastructure construction is the Spanish high speed rail network, Alta Velocidad Española AVE. Currently, an ambitious plan includes the construction of a 7,000-kilometre (4,300 mi) network, centered on Madrid. The overall goal is to have all important provincial cities be no more than four hours away from Madrid and no more than six hours away from Barcelona. As of 2008, AVE high-speed trains link Atocha station to Seville, Málaga, and Toledo in the south and to Zaragoza, Tarragona, and Barcelona in the east. AVE trains also arrive to Segovia and Valladolid. Serving the city's population of some six million, the Madrid Metro is one of the most extensive and fastest-growing metro networks in the world. With the addition of a loop serving suburbs to Madrid's south-west "Metrosur", it is now the second largest metro system in Western Europe, second only to London's Underground. In 2007, Madrid's metro system was expanded, and it currently runs over 322 kilometers (200 mi) of line. The province of Madrid is also served by an extensive commuter rail network called Cercanías.
The Moors were the medieval Muslim inhabitants of Morocco, western Algeria, Western Sahara, Mauritania, the Iberian Peninsula, Septimania, Sicily and Malta. The Moors called their Iberian territory Al-Andalus, an area comprising Gibraltar, much of what is now Spain and Portugal, and part of France. There was also a Moorish presence in present-day southern Italy after they occupied Mazara in 827 until their last settlement of Lucera was destroyed in 1300. The religious difference of the Moorish Muslims led to a centuries-long conflict with the Christian kingdoms of Europe called the Reconquista. The Fall of Granada in 1492 saw the end of the Muslim rule in Iberia. The term "Moors" has also been used in Europe in a broader sense to refer to Muslims, especially those of Arab or African descent, whether living in Spain or North Africa. Moors are not a distinct or self-defined people. Medieval and early modern Europeans applied the name to the Berbers, North African Arabs, Muslim Iberians and West Africans from Mali and Niger who had been absorbed into the Almoravid dynasty. Scholars observed in 1911 that "The term 'Moors' has no real ethnological value." The Moors of al-Andalus of the late Medieval after the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in the early 8th century were initially Arabs and Berbers but later came to be predominantly Iberian Christian converts to Islam, known by the Arabs as Muwalladun or Muladi. The maximum extent of Berber-Arab rule stretched as far as modern-day France and much of southern Europe, Mauritania, West African countries, and the Senegal River. Earlier, the Classical Romans interacted with (and later conquered) parts of Mauretania, a state that covered northern portions of modern Morocco and much of north western and central Algeria during the classical period. The people of the region were noted in Classical literature as the Mauri. Today such groups inhabit Mauritania and parts of Algeria, Western Sahara, Morocco, Niger and Mali. In the languages of Europe, a number of associated ethnic groups have been historically designated as "Moors". In modern Iberia, the term is applied to people of Moroccan ethnicity. "Moor" is sometimes colloquially applied to any person from North Africa, but some people consider this usage of the term pejorative, especially its Spanish version "moro". In Latin, the word Maurus (plural Mauri) is in origin an ethnonym, the name of the Mauri people who were also eponymous of the Mauretania province of the Roman empire on the northwestern fringe of Africa. The Latin form of the name is adapted from Greek ethnography, where the people was known Mauroi (Μαῦροι). The Greek name has been speculatively connected to the adjective ἀμαυρός, meaning "dark; faint, dim". In the Medieval Romance languages (such as Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, Romanian), the Latin word took such forms as mouro, moro, moir, mor and maur. From denoting a specific Berber people in western Libya, the name acquired more general meaning in the Romance languages during the medieval period, partly developing a general meaning of "Muslim", partly (much like "Saracens") taking a religious meaning of "infidels" in the context of the Crusades and the Reconquista. Beside its usage in historical context, Moor and Moorish (Italian and Spanish: moro, French: maure, Portuguese: mouro, Romanian: maur) is used to designate an ethnic group speaking the Hassaniya Arabic dialect. They inhabit Mauritania and parts of Algeria, Western Sahara, Tunisia, Morocco, Niger and Mali. In Niger and Mali, these peoples are also known as the Azawagh Arabs, after the Azawagh region of the Sahara. In Spain, modern colloquial Spanish use of the term "Moro" is derogatory for Moroccans in particular and North Africans in general. Similarly, in modern, colloquial Portuguese, the term "Mouro" was primarily used as a designation for North Africans and secondarily as a derogatory and ironic term by northern Portuguese to refer to the inhabitants of the southern parts of the country (Lisbon, Alentejo and Algarve). However, this designation has gained more acceptance in the South. In the Philippines, a former Spanish colony, many residents call the local Muslim population in the Southern islands Moros. They also self-identify that way (see Muslim Filipino). The term was introduced by the Spanish colonizers. Within the context of Portuguese colonization, in Sri Lanka (Portuguese Ceylon), Muslims of Arab origin are called Moors (see Sri Lankan Moors). Moreno can mean dark-skinned in Spain and Portugal, as well as in Brazil. Also in Spanish, morapio is a humorous name for "wine", especially that which has not been "baptized" or mixed with water, i.e., pure unadulterated wine. Among Spanish speakers, moro ("Moor") came to have a broader meaning, applied to both Moros of Mindanao in the Philippines, and the moriscos of Granada. Moro is refers to all things dark, as in "Moor", moreno, etc. It was used as a nickname; for instance, the Milanese Duke Ludovico Sforza was called Il Moro because of his dark complexion. In Portugal and Spain, mouro (feminine, moura) may also refer to supernatural beings known as mouraenchanted , where "moor" implies 'alien' and 'non-Christian'; These beings were siren-like fairies with golden or reddish hair and a fair face. They were believed to have magical properties. From this root, the name moor is also applied to unbaptized children, meaning not Christian. In Basque, mairu means moor and also refers to a mythical people. Moors is also a term used to identify Muslims in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan Moors are 12% of the population.. The Moors in Sri Lanka are descendants of Arab traders who settled in Sri Lanka in the mid-6th century. When the Portuguese arrived in the early 16th century, they labelled the Muslims in the island as Moors as they saw them resembling the Moors in North Africa. The Sri Lankan government to this day identifies the Muslims in Sri Lanka as "Ceylon Moors" The Goan Muslims - a minority community who follow Islam in the western Indian coastal state of Goa are commonly referred as Moir (Konkani: ) by Goan Catholics and Hindus.[a]. They Moir is derived from the Portuguese word mour (Moors). In 711 CE, the now Islamic Moors conquered Visigothic Christian Hispania. Their general, Tariq ibn-Ziyad, brought most of Iberia under Islamic rule in an eight-year campaign. They moved northeast across the Pyrenees Mountains, but were defeated by the Frank Charles Martel at the Battle of Poitiers in 732. The Moorish state fell into civil conflict in the 750s. The Moors ruled in North Africa and in most of the Iberian peninsula for several decades. They were resisted in areas in the northwest (such as Asturias, where they were defeated at the battle of Covadonga) and the largely Basque regions in the Pyrenees. Though the number of Moor colonists was small, many native Iberian inhabitants converted to Islam. According to Ronald Segal, by 1000, some 5 million of Iberia's 7 million inhabitants, most of them descended from indigenous converts, were Muslim. In a process of decline, the Al Andalus had broken up into a number of Islamic-ruled fiefdoms, or taifas, which were partly consolidated under the Caliphate of Córdoba.][ The Asturias, a small northwestern Christian Iberian kingdom, initiated the Reconquista (the "reconquest") soon after the Islamic conquest in the 8th century. Christian states based in the north and west slowly extended their power over the rest of Iberia. Navarre, Galicia, León, Portugal, Aragón, Marca Hispanica, and Castile began a process of expansion and internal consolidation during the next several centuries under the flag of Reconquista. In 1212, a coalition of Christian kings under the leadership of Alfonso VIII of Castile drove the Muslims from Central Iberia. The Portuguese side of the Reconquista ended in 1249 with the conquest of the Algarve (Arabic الغرب — Al-Gharb) under Afonso III. He was the first Portuguese monarch to claim the title "King of Portugal and the Algarve". The Moorish Kingdom of Granada continued for three more centuries in southern Iberia. On January 2, 1492, the leader of the last Muslim stronghold in Granada surrendered to armies of a recently united Christian Spain (after the marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, the Catholic Monarchs). They forced the remaining Muslims and Jews to leave Spain, convert to Roman Catholic Christianity or be killed for not doing so. To exert social and religious control, in 1480, Isabella and Ferdinand agreed to allow the Inquisition in Spain. The Inquisition was aimed mostly at Jews and Muslims who had overtly converted to Christianity but were thought to be practicing their faiths secretly. They were respectively called marranos and moriscos. The Inquisition also attacked heretics who rejected Roman Catholic orthodoxy, including alumbras, who practiced a personal mysticism or spiritualism. The latter represented a significant portion of the peasants in some territories, such as Aragon, Valencia or Andalusia. In the years from 1609 to 1614, the government expelled such subjects. The historian Henri Lapeyre estimated that this affected 300,000 out of an estimated total of 8 million inhabitants. Many Muslims converted to Christianity and remained permanently in Iberia. This is indicated by a "high mean proportion of ancestry from North African (10.6%)" that "attests to a high level of religious conversion (whether voluntary or enforced), driven by historical episodes of social and religious intolerance, that ultimately led to the integration of descendants.". In the meantime, the tide of Islam had rolled not just to Iberia, but also eastward, through India, the Malayan peninsula, and Indonesia up to the Philippines. This was one of the major islands of an archipelago which the Spaniards had reached during their voyages westward from the New World. By 1521, the ships of Magellan][ and other Spanish explorers had reached that island archipelago, which they named Las Islas Filipinas, after Philip II of Spain. In Mindanao, the Spaniards named the kris-bearing people as Moros or 'Moors'. Today in the Philippines, this ethnic group of people in Mindanao, who are generally Muslims, are called 'Moros'. This identification of Islamic people as Moros persists in the modern Spanish language spoken in Spain, and as Mouros in the modern Portuguese language. See Reconquista, and Maure. According to historian Richard A. Fletcher, 'the number of Arabs who settled in Iberia was very small. "Moorish" Iberia does at least have the merit of reminding us that the bulk of the invaders and settlers were Moors, i.e. Berbers from Algeria and Morocco.' The initial rule of the Moors in the Iberian peninsula under this Caliphate of Córdoba is regarded as tolerant in its acceptance of Christians, Muslims and Jews living in the same territories.][ The Caliphate of Córdoba collapsed in 1031 and the Islamic territory in Iberia fell under the rule of the Almoravid dynasty. This second stage inaugurated an era of Moorish rulers guided by a version of Islam that left behind the tolerant practices of the past.][] [ "Batalla del Puig" (c. 1410-1420), depicting a battle from the Reconquista, Victoria and Albert Museum, London Moors playing chess, from Comentarios de la cosas de Aragon, 1878 The Moors request permission from James I of Aragon "Wild Men and Moors" tapestry, c. 1400 Christian and Moor playing lutes, 13th century Muhammad XII of Granada, last Moorish sultan in Spain Leo Africanus, born in Granada The first Muslim conquest of Sicily and parts of southern Italy lasted 75 years (827–902). By 827, Sicily was almost entirely in control of the Aghlabids with the exception of some minor strongholds in the rugged interior until 909 when it was then replaced by Shiite Fatimids. Four years later, the Fatimid governor was ousted from Palermo when the island declared its independence under Emir Ahmed ibn-Kohrob. In 1038, a Byzantine army under George Maniaces crossed the strait of Messina. This included a corps of Normans which saved the situation in the first clash against the Muslims from Messina. After another decisive victory in the summer of 1040, Maniaces halted his march to lay siege to Syracuse. Despite his conquest of the latter, Maniaces was removed from his position, and the subsequent Muslim counter-offensive reconquered all the cities captured by the Byzantines. The Norman Robert Guiscard, son of Tancred, invaded Sicily in 1060. The island was split between three Arab emirs, and the Christian population in many parts of the island rose up against the ruling Muslims. One year later, Messina fell, and in 1072, Palermo was taken by the Normans. The loss of the cities, each with a splendid harbor, dealt a severe blow to Muslim power on the island. Eventually all of Sicily was taken. In 1091, Noto in the southern tip of Sicily and the island of Malta, the last Arab strongholds, fell to the Christians. Islamic authors would marvel at the tolerance of the Norman kings of Sicily. Ibn al-Athir wrote: "They [the Muslims] were treated kindly, and they were protected, even against the Franks. Because of that, they had great love for king Roger." Many repressive measures were introduced by Frederick II to please the popes who were intolerant of Islam in the heart of Christendom. This resulted in a rebellion by Sicilian Muslims, which in turn triggered organized resistance and systematic reprisals and marked the final chapter of Islam in Sicily. The Muslim problem characterized Hohenstaufen rule in Sicily under Henry VI and his son Frederick II. The complete eviction of Muslims and the annihilation of Islam in Sicily was completed by the late 1240s when the final deportations to Lucera took place. Moorish architecture is the articulated Islamic architecture of North Africa and parts of Spain and Portugal where the Moors were dominant between 711 and 1492. The best surviving examples are La Mezquita in Córdoba and the Alhambra palace (mainly 1338–1390), and also the Giralda in 1184. Other notable examples include the ruined palace city of Medina Azahara (936–1010), the church (former mosque) San Cristo de la Luz in Toledo, the Aljafería in Saragossa and baths at for example Ronda and Alhama de Granada. Moors—or more frequently their heads, often crowned—appear with some frequency in medieval European heraldry. The term ascribed to them in Anglo-Norman blazon (the language of English heraldry) is maure, though they are also sometimes called moore, blackmoor, blackamoor or negro. Maures appear in European heraldry from at least as early as the 13th century, and some have been attested as early as the 11th century in Italy, where they have persisted in the local heraldry and vexillology well into modern times in Corsica and Sardinia. Armigers bearing moors or moors' heads may have adopted them for any of several reasons, to include symbolizing military victories in the Crusades, as a pun on the bearer's name in the canting arms of Morese, Negri, Saraceni, etc., or in the case of Frederick II, possibly to demonstrate the reach of his empire. The arms of Pope Benedict XVI feature a moor's head, crowned and collared red, in reference to the arms of Freising, Germany. In the case of Corsica and Sardinia, the blindfolded moors' heads in the four quarters have long been said to represent the four Moorish emirs who were defeated by Peter I of Aragon in the 11th century, the four moors' heads around a cross having been adopted to the arms of Aragon around 1281-1387, and Corsica and Sardinia having come under the dominion of the king of Aragon in 1297. In Corsica, the blindfolds were lifted to the brow in the 18th century as a way of expressing the island's newfound independence The use of moors (and particularly their heads) as a heraldic symbol has been deprecated in modern North America, where racial stereotypes have been influenced by a history of Trans-Atlantic slave trade and racial segregation, and applicants to the College of Arms of the Society for Creative Anachronism are urged to use them delicately to avoid creating offensive images. Populations in Carthage circa 200 BC and northern Algeria 1500 BC were diverse.][ As a group, they plotted closest to the populations of Northern Egypt and intermediate to Northern Europeans and tropical Africans: "the data supported the comments from ancient authors observed by classicists: everything from fair-skinned blonds to peoples who were dark-skinned 'Ethiopian' or part Ethiopian in appearance." Modern evidence shows a similar diversity among present North Africans. Moreover, this diversity of phenotypes and peoples was probably due to in situ differentiation, not foreign influxes.][ Foreign influxes are thought to have had an impact on population make-up, but did not replace the indigenous Berber population.
The Palacio Real de Madrid (literally: Royal Palace of Madrid) is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family at the city of Madrid, but is only used for state ceremonies. King Juan Carlos and the Royal Family do not reside in the palace, choosing instead the more modest Palacio de la Zarzuela on the outskirts of Madrid. The palace is owned by the Spanish State and administered by the Patrimonio Nacional, a public agency of the Ministry of the Presidency. The palace is located on Calle de Bailén (Bailén Street), in the Western part of downtown Madrid, East of the Manzanares River, and is accessible from the Ópera metro station. Several rooms in the palace are regularly open to the public, except during state functions. In Spanish, it is sometimes incorrectly called "Palacio de Oriente" by confusion with the "Plaza de Oriente", the square which lies to the East (Oriental) side of the palace. The palace is on the site of a 9th-century fortress, called mayrit, constructed as an outpost by Muhammad I of Córdoba and inherited after 1036 by the independent Moorish Taifa of Toledo. After Madrid fell to Alfonso VI of Castile in 1083, the edifice was only rarely used by the kings of Castile. In 1329, King Alfonso XI of Castile conveved the cortes of Madrid for the first time. Philip II moved his court to Madrid in 1561. The old Alcázar ("Castle") was built on the location in the 16th century. It burned 24 December 1734 and King Philip V ordered a new palace built on the same site. Construction spanned the years 1738 to 1755 and followed a Berniniesque design by Filippo Juvarra and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo in cooperation with Ventura Rodríguez, Francesco Sabatini, and Martín Sarmiento. Charles III first occupied the new palace in 1764. The last monarch who lived continuously in the palace was Alfonso XIII, although Manuel Azaña, president of the Second Republic, also inhabited it, making him the last head of state to do so. During that period the palace was known as "Palacio Nacional". There is still a room next to the Real Capilla, which is known by the name "Office of Azaña". The palace has 135,000 square metres (1,450,000 sq ft) of floorspace and contains 3,418 rooms. It is the largest palace in Europe by floor area. The interior of the palace is notable for its wealth of art and the use of many types of fine materials in the construction and the decoration of its rooms. These include paintings by artists such as Caravaggio, Velázquez and Francisco de Goya and frescoes by Corrado Giaquinto, Juan de Flandes, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and Anton Raphael Mengs. Other collections of great historical and artistic importance preserved in the building include the Royal Armoury, Porcelain, Watches, Furniture, Silverware and the world's only complete Stradivarius string quintet. The direct antecedent of the Royal Palace is the Royal Alcazar, a fortress built on the same site where the baroque building stands today. Its structure was the subject of several renovations (especially the facade), because King Henry III of Castile made it one of the most popular residences, and thus, the site gets the adjective "real", or "royal" in English. His son John II built the Capilla Real and several dependencies. However, during the War of the Castilian Succession (1476) the troops of Joanna la Beltraneja were besieged in the Alcázar, causing severe damage to the royal building. When Habsburg Emperor Charles V ascended the throne in 1516, he undertook a major restoration of the Alcazar in the Renaissance style to transform the outdated medieval residence into a palace suitable for his court. Philip II continued the work and showed special emphasis on the decoration of the building, by employing craftsmen from Italy, France and the Netherlands. However, the most important contributions of this monarch were the Golden Tower and the Royal Armory, demolished in 1894. Later Habsburg monarchs (Philip III, Philip IV and Charles II) continued the project of Philip II, particularly related to the footprint of the building and the facades. When Philip V of Bourbon ascended the throne of Spain in 1700, the Alcázar of the Habsburgs was austere in comparison to the Palace of Versailles where the new king spent his childhood and he began a series redesigns led by Teodoro Ardemans and René Carlier. On the other hand, the main rooms were redecorated in the style of French palaces by the Queen Maria Luisa of Savoy and the Princess of Ursins. Few details of the palace interior are known, but documentation of its gardens and exterior exists. One is a drawing made in 1534 by Cornelius Vermeyen which shows a rectangular building, medieval appearance that was structured around various dependencies like the Capilla Real de los Trastámara, the Patio del Rey to the west and the Patio de la Reina to the east. Its patios (courtyards) were open to the public for many years and housed open-air markets. The drawing also highlights the art gallery of the Alcázar, with works by Tintoretto, Veronese, Ribera, Bosch, Sánchez Coello, Van Dyck, El Greco, Annibale Carracci, Leonardo da Vinci, Guido Reni, Raphael, Jacopo Bassano and Correggio, many which were lost in the disaster of 1734.][ On Christmas Eve 1734, the Alcázar was destroyed by a fire originating in the rooms of the French painter Jean Ranc. It was not detected quickly, due the warning bells being confused with the call to mass. For fear of looting, the doors of the building remained closed, hampering rescue efforts. Many works of art were lost, such as the Expulsion of the Moors, by Diego Velázquez. Others, such as Las Meninas, were rescued by tossing them out the windows. Fortunately, many pieces were saved because the king ordered that much of his collection be moved to the Buen Retiro Palace shortly before the blaze. This fire lasted four-days and completely destroyed the old Alcázar, whose last walls were finally demolished in 1738. Filippo Juvarra oversaw work on the new palace. The Italian architect devised a lavish project of enormous proportions inspired by Bernini's plans for the Louvre. This plan was not realized due to Juvarra's untimely death in January 1736. His disciple, Giambattista Sacchetti also known as Juan Bautista Sacchetti or Giovanni Battista Sacchetti, was chosen to continue the work of his mentor. He designed the structure around a large square courtyard and resolved the sightline problems by creating projecting wings. In 1760, Charles III called upon Sicilian Francesco Sabatini, a Neoclassical architect to enlarge the building. The original idea was to frame the Plaza de la Armería with a series of galleries and arcades which would accommodate the various dependencies and the construction of two wings around the same square. Only the extension of the southeast tower known as la de San Gil was completed. Sabatini also planned to extend the north side with a large facade that echoed the style of the building and included three square courtyards in size somewhat smaller than the large central courtyard. Work on this expansion started quickly but was soon interrupted, leaving the foundations buried under a platform on which the royal stables were later built, these were demolished in the 20th century and replaced by the Sabatini Gardens. Charles III first occupied the palace in 1764. Ferdinand VII, who spent many years imprisoned in the Château de Valençay, began the most thorough renovation of the palace in the 19th century. The aim of this redesign was to turn the old-fashioned Italian style building in a modern French-style palace. However, his grandson Alfonso XII proposed to turn the palace into a Victorian style residence. The plans were designed by the architect José Segundo de Lema and consisted of remodeling several rooms, replacing marble floors with parquet and the adding of period furniture. The restorations made during the twentieth century repaired damage suffered during the Civil Wars in Spain by repairing or reinstalling decoration and decorative trim, replacing damaged walls with faithful reproductions of the original. The main facade of the Palace consists of a two-story rusticated stone base, from which rise Tuscan and Composite pilasters framing the windows of the three main floors. The upper story is hidden behind a cornice which encircles the building and is capped with a large ballustrade. The ballustrade was adorned with a series of statues of saints and kings, but these were relocated elsewhere under the reign of Charles III to give the building a more classical appearance. The restoration of the facade in 1973 returned some sculptures, partially restoring the appearance of Sachetti's design. In the original plan, Sachetti placed fourteen vases along the ballustrade with statues of the Aztec ruler Moctezuma II and the Inca emperor Atahualpa, works by Juan Pascual de Mena and Domingo Martínez, respectively. Representations of Honorius, Theodosius I, Hadrian and Trajan occupy the corners of the three bays of the facade near the bases of the pilasters. A cartouche with classical figures is centered along the ballustrade. Statues of Philip V, Maria Luisa of Savoy and Elisabeth Farnese, and that of Ferdinand VI and his wife Barbara of Portugal. Also found flanking both sculptural series an allusion to Zodiac of the Greeks occupied spaces on the southern front. Many of the sculptures that adorned the palace at the time of Ferdinand VI are the work of Juan Domingo Olivieri and his workshop. He was also the creator of many of the masks and other allegorical figures of Greek mythology, that not occupy less visible locations. The square as it exists now was laid-out in 1892, according to a plan by the architect Enrique María Repullés. However, the history of this square dates back to 1553, the year in which Philip II ordered a building to house the royal stables. The Almudena Cathedral faces the palace across the plaza. Its exterior is neo-classical to match its surroundings while its interior is neo-gothic. Construction was funded by King Alfonso XII to house the remains of his wife Mercedes of Orléans. Construction of the church began in 1878 and concluded in 1992. Narciso Pascual Colomer, the same architect who crafted the Plaza de Oriente, designed the layout of the plaza in 1879, but failed to materialize. The site now occupied by the Plaza de la Armería was used for many decades as anteplaza de armas. Sachetti tried to build a cathedral to finish the cornice of the Manzanares, and Sabatini proposed to unite this building with the royal palace, to form a single block. Both projects were ignored by Charles III. Ángel Fernández de los Ríos in 1868 proposed the creation of a large wooded area that would travel all around the Plaza de Oriente, in order to give a better view of the Royal Palace. A decade later Segundo de Lema added a staircase to the original design of Fernández, which led to the idea of Francisco de Cubas to give more importance to the emerging church of Almudena. The Plaza de Oriente is a rectangular park that connects the east facade of Palacio Real to the Teatro Real. The eastern side of plaza is curved and bordered by several cafes in the adjoining buildings. Although the plaza was part of Sacchetti's plan for the palace, construction did not begin until 1808 when King Joseph Bonaparte, who ordered the demolition of approximately 60 medieval structures, that included a church, monastery and royal library, located on the site. Joseph died before construction was completed, it was finished by Queen Isabella II who charged architect Narciso Pascual Colomer with creating the final design in 1844. Pathways divide the Plaza into three main plots: the Central Gardens, the Cabo Noval Gardens and the Lepanto Gardens. The Central Gardens are arranged in a grid around the central monument to Philip IV, following the Baroque model garden. They consist of seven flowerbeds, each bordered with box hedges and holding small cypress, yew and magnolias and annual flowers. The north and south boundaries of the Central Gardens are marked by a row of statues, popularly known as the Gothic kings— sculptures representing five Visigoth rulers and fifteen rulers of the early Christian kingdoms in the Reconquista. They are carved from limestone, and are part of a series dedicated to all monarchs of Spain. These were ordered for the decoration of the Palacio Real and were executed between 1750 and 1753. Engineers felt the statues were too heavy for the palace ballustrade, so they were left on ground level where their lack of fine detail is readily apparent. The remainder of the statues are in the Sabatini Gardens. These gardens are so named because the Muslim leader Ali ben Yusuf allegedly camped here with his troops in 1109 during an attempted reconquest of Madrid. The first improvements to the area occurred under King Philip IV, who built fountains and planted various types of vegetation, but its overall look remained largely neglected. During the construction of the palace various landscaping projects were put forth based on the gardens of the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso, but lack of funds hampered further improvement until the reign of Isabel II who began work in earnest. Following the taste of the times, the park was designed in the Romanticist style. Fountains brought from the Royal Palace of Aranjuez were installed and curving pathways constructed. With the fall of Isabel II, the gardens suffered a period of abandonment and neglect during which parts of the design were lost. Under the regency of Maria Christina of Austria, rehabilitation work began which created the current design following the layout of the English gardens of 19th century. Periodically, King Juan Carlos uses the garden to hold receptions and gala dinners during the summer months.][ The Sabatini Gardens adjoin the north side of the Palacio real and extend to the calle de Bailén and the cuesta de San Vicente. The garden follows the symmetrical French design and work began in 1933, under the Republican government. Although they were designed by Zaragozan architect Fernando García Mercadal, they were named for Francesco Sabatini who designed the royal stables that previously occupied this site. These gardens feature a large rectangular pond which is surrounded by four fountains and statues of Spanish kings which were originally intended to crown the Royal Palace. Geometrically sited between its rides, there are several fountains. The Republican government under Franco constructed the gardens to return the area from control of the royal family to the people, the public was not allowed in the gardens until 1978 cr when they were opened by King Juan Carlos I. The Royal Library was founded during the regency of Maria Christina, using funds that the royal family had accumulated for centuries. Most of the shelves were purchased by Charles IV and Alfonso XII. Highlights of the collection include the Book of hours of Isabella I of Castile, a codex of the time of Alfonso XI of Castile, a Bible of Doña María de Molina and the Fiestas reales, dedicated to Ferdinand VI by Farinelli. Also important are the maps kept in the library, which analyze the extent of the kingdoms under the Spanish Empire. Also on display a selection of the best medals from the Royal Collection. The bookcovers demonstrate evolution of binding styles by era. Examples in the holdings include Rococo in gold with iron lace, Neoclassical in polychrome and Romantic with Gothic and Renaissance motifs. The Archives of the Royal Palace contains approximately twenty thousand articles ranging from the Disastrous decade (1823-1833) to the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic in 1931. In addition, it holds some scores of musicians of the Royal Chapel, privileges of various kings, the founding order of the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, the testament of Philip II and correspondence of most of the kings of the House of Bourbon. During the reign of Philip II the Royal Pharmacy became an appendage of the royal household and ordered the supply of medicines, a role that continues today. The bottles were made in factories of La Granja de San Ildefonso and the Buen Retiro, there are also other items of 17th century made in Talavera de la Reina pottery. Along with the Imperial Armoury of Vienna, the armory is considered one of the best in the world and consists of pieces as early as the 15th century. The collection highlights the tournament pieces made for Charles V and Philip II by the leading armourers of Milan and Augsburg. Among the most remarkable works are full armour and weapons that Emperor Charles V used in the Battle of Mühlberg, and which was portrayed by Titian in his famous equestrian portrait housed at the Museo del Prado. Unfortunately, parts of the collection were lost during the Peninsular War and during the Spanish Civil War. Still, the armoury retains some of the most important pieces of this art in Europe and the world, including several signed by Filippo Negroli, one of the most famous designers in the armourers' guild.][ The wedding banquet of Prince Felipe and Letizia Ortiz took place 22 May 2004 in the central courtyard of the Palace. Main (north) Façade View from Sabatini Gardens Throne room. Sabatini Gardens, adjacent to the north façade The Royal Chapel The Grand Staircase 'The Porcelain Room' The State Dining Room Campo del Moro Fuente de las Conchas (Fountain of the Shells) in Campo del Moro Little house in the Campo del Moro Royal Palace of Madrid from Plaza de Oriente Entry from Plaza de Oriente Detail of Plaza de Oriente Façade Philip IV monument in Plaza de Oriente Main Gate from Plaza de la Armería Plan of the Royal Palace of Madrid. Gothic king sculptures in Plaza de Oriente Gothic king sculptures in Plaza de Oriente Lions in Plaza de Oriente Streetlight at Plaza de Oriente View from Plaza de la Armería Plaza de la Armería Courtyard View from Parque del Oeste (West Park)
The Castle of Silves is a castle in the civil parish of Silves in the municipality of Silves in the Portuguese Algarve. Built between the 8th and 13th century, the castle is one of the best preserved of the Moorish fortifications in Portugal, the most important Moorish fortification resulting in its classification as a National Monument in 1910. From archaeological excavations, it is assumed that the first fortress on this site consisted of a Lusitanian castro. It is believed that Phoenicans, Greeks and Carthaginians traversed the site at one time, but that around 201 B.C. the Romans conquered Silves, transforming it into a citadel of their occupation, and commercial center that prospered for the next five centuries. Around 716, the Visigothic citadel was conquered by the Umayyad Caliphate who reinforced the existing fortifications with a new series of walls. This new period resulted in a great period of development, under the Moorish occupiers, that include the extensive walls in the west. In 1160, it was sacked by Ferdinand I of León and Castile, but remained only for a short time in the hand of the Christians: it was quickly recaptured by the Moors. King Sancho I of Portugal, supported by the powerful Crusader army, conquered the city, after a prolong encirclement in 1189. But, a grande army, under orders from Amir al-Mu'minin, in 1191, retook the city. The buildings of the Taifa kingdoms of the 11th century, which includes the Palace of Balconies (where Al-Mutamid, lived as the poet Ibn Amarhe) progressed in the 11th century. The walls and towers that today represent the Castle of Silves came from these campaigns and public works by Almoravides and Almohads in the 12th and 13th centuries. The castles internal water catchment, and large rain fed underground cistern were used to provide freshwater for the surrounding dwellings (to as late as the 1920s). It would only be in the 13th century, during the reign of Afonso III of Portugal, that forces under the command of D. Paio Peres Correia, would definitively take the fortress. A foral was issued in 1266 by King Afonso III of Portugal. In order to expand the influence of Portuguese control, this foral was then supported by residential concessions from King Denis (in 1305), that were later repeated in 1380, under King Fernando I of Portugal. But, even naming Prince Henry the Navigator alcalde for Silves (in 1457), and new concessions in 1487, under King John II, little development occurred in the territory. On 1 November 1755, the castle was damaged by the Lisbon earthquake, resulting in the "...loss of its cathedral, tower, castle and walls...", as identified by Moreira de Mendonça (1758). Sometime during the 18th century, the dungeons were reconstructed, following the earthquake, and the ceilings repainted. During the Liberal Wars the walls were repaired by the population, under Remexido, who ignored the foundations of the original castle. In excavations beginning on 13 August 2005 and lasting into 2006, archaeologists Rosa and Mário Varela Gomes brought light onto the vestiges of the Muslim ruins, and in particular the 11th century governors palace, occupied by Al-Mutamid (from designs of polychromatic stucco). During the construction of the tea house, vestiges of another building, that was occupied by the Infante Henry, along the southwest of the military square, near the walls. In March 2005, a risk assessment map for the zone was completed for the principal entrance-way by the DGEMN. This resulted in a proposal by the IPPAR and Direção Regional de Cultura de Faro to expand the zone of protection to include the walls and Almedina Gate, on 12 June 2008, and approved on 1 October 2008 by the IGESPAR. The DGEMN made its first intervention in the decade of 1940, demolishing the buildings annexed to the walls of the castle, an construction to lower the soil surfaces near the entrance to the castle and in the military square. At the same time, the rooftops of the guardhouse was re-tiled; the reconstruction of one of the towers in a degraded state of ruin; recuperation of various walls; consolidation of the keep tower and restoration of the parapets; reconstruction of the battlements; recuperation of the gates; re-plastering in the guardhouse; and the general cleaning of the cistern in the military square. Two decades later (1965) the walls were repaired following the removal a shed along its flanks, which involved of the repair of the axis. In 1967, work began on a municipal museum within the towers of the castle, resulting in the ornamentation of the towers in regional tile; retouches and reconstruction of spaces; and the installation of electricity. Starting in 1971, there were a series of demolitions and reconstructions in the castle, that included the 1977 consolidation of the walls; the 1979 re-layering of freestones; replacement of the gate; repairs and cleaning of the rooftops; consolidation of the walls in the north and east (in 1980); consolidation of two towers; and, beginning in 1982 (but also in 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987) general recuperation of the site. This process was repeated in 1993, then starting in 200 there were a series of public works to recover and recuperate the dungeons, including the installation of new rafters, water protection and improvement of drainage structures. Meanwhile the Centre for the Studies of Art and Archeology of Tomar (Portuguese: ) was involved with museum-ification of some of the spaces, using the spaces to establish the administrative and educational services, in addition to creating a botanical garden, related to the Portugueses Discoveries period, witthin the old Governor's garden. Further restoration, and excavation are ongoing, with more early buildings being discovered just outside the castle walls. The castle consists of an irregular polygon implanted on a hilltop overlooking the community of Silves, comprising four towers and seven crenellated posts, linked by walls with ardaves. Two gates, the principal one between two towers and the Traitor's Gate carved into the northern wall. Alongside the principal gate is the guardhouse, constructed with a vaulted ceiling, and covered in tiles. Within its courtyard are various subterranean structures, with accesses at soil level. The Cistern of Moura, is a 10 metres (33 ft) high, 820 square metres (8,800 sq ft) superficial area, with five naves marked by four orders of columns, interlinked by semi-circular archways. The Cisterna dos Cães, within the courtyard, is a vertical hole of 60 metres (200 ft) depth, that also supported water supply in the castle. On the second floor of the Governor's residence, there are two halls covered in painted wood. One of these halls includes a painting of royal arms, framed in shells and acanthus leaves, while on the four lateral panels, are military "trophies" comprising suits of armor, flags, lances, canons, muskets and drums. In the other hall is an allegory of Mars flanked by figurative and floral medallions. In the military square, and alongside the southwest wall, are the vestiges of a house, presumably the residence of Prince Henry (when he was the alcalde of the Algarve), that includes foundations in dirt, a stone staircase (with a sigle on one flight), a spacious living room with the remains of a vaulted ceiling, olive oil press and pesto.
The trivia (singular trivium) are three lower Artes Liberales, i.e. grammar, logic and rhetoric. These were the topics of basic education, foundational to the quadrivia of higher education, and hence the material of basic education and an important building block for all undergraduates. The word trivia was also used to describe a place where three roads met in Ancient Rome. While the term is now obsolescent, in ancient times, it was appropriated to mean something very new. In the 1960s, nostalgic college students and others began to informally trade questions and answers about the popular culture of their youth. The first known documented labeling of this casual parlor game as "Trivia" was in a Columbia Daily Spectator column published on February 5, 1965.][ The authors, Ed Goodgold and Dan Carlinsky, then started the first organized trivia contests, described below. Since the 1960s, the plural trivia in particular has widened to include but not essential, specifically detailed knowledge on topics of popular culture. The expression has also come to suggest information of the kind useful almost exclusively for answering quiz questions, hence the brand name Trivial Pursuit (1982). The Latin neuter noun trivium (plural trivia) is from tri- "triple" and via "way", meaning "a place where three ways meet". The pertaining adjective is triviālis. The adjective trivial was adopted in Early Modern English, while the noun trivium only appears in learned usage from the 19th century, in reference to the Artes Liberales and the plural trivia in the sense of "trivialities, trifles" only in the 20th century. The Latin adjective triviālis in Classical Latin besides its literal meaning could have the meaning "appropriate to the street corner, commonplace, vulgar." In late Latin, it could also simply mean "triple". In medieval Latin, it came to refer to the lower division of the Artes Liberales, namely grammar, rhetoric, and logic. (The other four Liberal Arts were the quadrivium, namely arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy, which were more challenging.) Hence, trivial in this sense would have meant "of interest only to an undergraduate". The adjective trivial introduced into English in the 15th to 16th century was influenced by all three meanings of the Latin adjective: Trivia was used as a title by Logan Pearsall Smith in 1902, followed by More Trivia and All Trivia in 1921 and 1933, respectively, collections of short "moral pieces" or aphorisms. Book II of the 1902 publication is headed with a purported quote from "Gay's Trivia, or New Art of Walking Streets of London.", The February 5, 1965 Columbia Spectator article did not revive the word "trivia"; it humorously applied the grandiose Latin term to topics like, "Who played the Old Gypsy Woman in The Wolfman?" (Answer: Maria Ouspenskaya.) Nor had "trivia" ever implied contests about such matters. Columbia University students Ed Goodgold and Dan Carlinsky, who had proposed the new use in their original article, swiftly created the earliest inter-collegiate quiz bowls that tested culturally (and emotionally) significant yet essentially unimportant facts, which they dubbed "trivia contests". The first book treating "trivia" in the radical new sense was Trivia (Dell, 1966)-- again by Goodgold and Carlinsky, which achieved a ranking on the New York Times best seller list; the book was an extension of the pair's Columbia contests and was followed by other Goodgold and Carlinsky trivia titles. In their second book, More Trivial Trivia, the authors criticized practitioners who were "indiscriminate enough to confuse the flower of Trivia with the weed of minutiae"; Trivia, they wrote, "is concerned with tugging at heartstrings," while minutiae deals with such unevocative questions as "Which state is the largest consumer of Jell-O?" (Answer: California) But over the years the word has come to refer to obscure and arcane bits of dry knowledge as well as nostalgic remembrances of pop culture. Before the books, Goodgold and Carlinsky had already staged contests. The first, held in Columbia's Ferris Booth Hall on March 1 of that year, reported in campus press and the New York Post, was the first occasion in which the pastime was formalized. On , 1965, four Columbia students appeared on the TV quiz show I've Got a Secret and competed in a trivia contest with the show's regular panelists. A much-publicized First Annual Ivy League-Seven Sisters Trivia Contest was held at Columbia the same semester. By 1966, other campuses had instituted Trivia bowls while colleges such as Lawrence University and Williams College began radio contests which continue to this day. In this manner, the codified form of the diversion became an institution. In 1974, a former Sacramento air traffic controller named Fred L. Worth published The Trivia Encyclopedia, which he followed in 1977 with The Complete Unabridged Super Trivia Encyclopedia, and in 1981 with Super Trivia, vol. II. The popularity of books by Goodgold and Carlinsky, Worth and others in the 1960s and 1970s laid the groundwork for the first edition of the board game Trivial Pursuit in the early 1980s. The enormous success of this game led to the re-launch of Jeopardy! in the United States, reviving a quiz show genre that had been dormant since the quiz show scandals of the 1950s. The American TV broadcaster ABC had a surprise hit with Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, an import of a successful British quiz format which launched another wave of interest in trivia. In both the UK and Canada, the quiz format has enjoyed continuous success since the 1950s, untouched by the scandals that dogged the American format. In late 1978 Steve D. Tamerius launched TRIVIA UNLIMITED magazine, the first monthly magazine devoted to pop culture trivia. Owned by his organization, the United States Trivia Association, the magazine was published until April 1984. Tamerius began staging high school trivia contests as early as 1963. TRIVIA UNLIMITED magazine owned the syndicated radio program, "The Trivia Twins", which was written and produced by Tamerius beginning in 1980 and aired on almost 50 stations in the United States and Canada. The first widely-published trivia calendar, "The 365 Trivia facts-A-Year-Calendar", was written by Tamerius and Fred L. Worth and released by Workman Publishing in 1984. The two trivia mavens later cooperated on an Elvis encyclopedia, ELVIS--HIS LIFE FROM A TO Z. Tamerius later became a writer on the Jeopardy! Tamerius and three other businessmen founded an organization called the United States Trivia Association to start the National Trivia Hall of Fame in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1980. Robert L. Ripley was the "overwhelming and runaway" choice as its first inductee according to Tamerius. Radio host Casey Kasem and original "Jeopardy!" host Art Fleming were later inductees. In addition to the mass media trivia, there have also been two entrenched trivia subcultures. One is the pub quiz phenomenon, which is especially prevalent in Great Britain and in select U.S. cities, particularly in pubs that serve a large Irish American community. (The U.S. pub quiz scene is crimped by the popularity of Buzztime, a satellite-based game.) Wilson Casey is an American columnist, book author, entertainer, speaker, and record holder. He earned two Guinness World Records (trivia marathon and radio broadcasting) for a thirty-hour live, continuous broadcast on radio station WKDY-AM on January 9–10, 1999 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. During the 30 hours he asked and identified the correct answer to 3,333 questions. Casey is regularly called and labeled "The Trivia Guy". His website, TriviaGuy.com, provides daily multiple choice trivia questions (with answers) by subscription to newspapers and to the general public. The other subculture is the quizbowl format found in high schools and universities in the U.S., as well as in elementary, middle, and junior high schools; the Canadian equivalent is competition geared toward Reach for the Top, among high schools, although Canadian universities and a few high schools are beginning to participate in U.S. quiz bowl leagues. The National Academic Quiz Tournaments is a national organization, founded in 1996, sponsors high-school and college-level tournaments across the nation. Florida-based Brain Bowl was founded in 1981 and focuses on state-wide competition between state and private two-year colleges. The largest current trivia contest is held in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, at the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point's college radio station WWSP 89.9 FM. This is a college station with 11,500 watts of power and about a 65-mile (105-kilometre) radius, and the contest serves as a fund raiser for the station. The contest is open to anyone, and it is played in April of each year spanning 54 hours over a weekend with eight questions each hour. There are usually 400 teams ranging from 1 to 150 players. The top ten teams are awarded trophies. The 43rd WWSP contest was held in April 20-22 2012. The two longest continuous trivia contests in the world are those at Lawrence University and Williams College, which both debuted in the spring of 1966. Lawrence hosts its contest annually, and its 43rd installment was held in January 2008. Unusually, Williams has a separate contest for each semester, and thus its 84th game took place in May 2008. The University of Colorado Trivia Bowl was a mostly student contest featuring a single-elimination tournament based on the GE College Bowl. Many of the best trivia players in America trace participation through this tournament including many Jeopardy! and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? contestants. The current event now is a regional qualifier for T.R.A.S.H. (Testing Recall About Strange Happenings) and utilizes a round robin competition format.
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