Sunday, 21 February 2010

The Sixth Test

The Wall in Aragon

Sos del Rey Catolico with the distant wall behind

Continue walking toward the rising sun. On a hill in the middle of a plain was born a king whose wife would mark the history of the country where you find yourself. On the top of this hill, look around you: in the distance you can see a long stone wall that is not a wall, it is stone. The wind has fashioned it so that it seems to be the vestiges of an Incan temple.

Your image in front of this wall is the sixth test.

As I had done with all the Enigma tests, I had thoroughly researched this location, and was convinced of the stronger rootes of the powerful royal pair within Aragon. So the wall was in the aforementioned state and not Navarra!

Standing up high at and above Sos del Rey Catholico, and given that the atmosphere allowed a beautiful unhindered view, I could see the wall far off in the distance towards the Pyrenees. I took photos at Sos, then driving on down through the beautiful Aragonian countryside towards the wall I had seen from a distance at Sos. A truly imposing structure reaching high up into the Pyrenean sky. Driving on towards Jaca, I experienced most the beautiful countryside, and a large reservoir to the west (right).

Sos del Rey Catolico was founded in 938 as a border town during the Reconquista.
It was the birthplace of King Ferdinand the II (1452), in whose honor the town, formerly known simply as Sos, took the name del Rey Católico. It is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Aragon! Large parts of the old town are said to look much like they did at the time of Ferdinand's birth. The Palacio de los Sada was birthplace of the Catholic Monarch.
Ferdinand the II married Infanta Isabella, the half-sister and heiress of Henry IV of Castile. The two young monarchs were initially obliged to fight a civil war against Joan, Princess of Castile, the purported daughter of Henry IV, and were swiftly successful. When Ferdinand succeeded his father as King of Aragon in 1479, the Crown of Castile and the various territories of the Crown of Aragon were united in a personal union creating for the first time since the 8th century a single political unit referred to as Espana (Spain), the root of which is the ancient name Hispania, although the various states were not formerly administered as a single unit until the 18th century, but rather, as separate political units under the same Crown.
The first decade of Ferdinand and Isabella's joint rule were taken up with the conquest of the Kingdom of Granada, the last Arab-Muslim state in the Iberian peninsula, which was completed by 1492. In that same year, the Alhambra Decree was issued, expelling all Jews from both Castile and Aragon, and Christopher Columbus was sent by the couple on his expedition (ostensibly bound for east Asia) which resulted in the European arrival in the Americas. By the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494, the extra-European world was split between the crowns of Portugal and Castile by a north-south line through the Atlantic Ocean.
Violating the treaty that they had signed with the former King of Granada, which guaranteed religious freedom for Muslims, they forced all Muslims in their dominions to convert to Christianity or else be expelled. The only Muslims that remained were architects, who had designed the Alhambra Palace in Granada.

So one can truly say that nobody shaped the course of Spain's history more indelibly than Ferdinand and Isabella! 

I can thoroughly recommend a visit to this beautiful and historic place.

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