title>Alcantara. history and monuments

ALCANTARA

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Alcantara is located strategically at socaire of monumental Roman bridge, unique for its spectacular traces, which crosses a deep canyon over-bored by the river Tagus.

Strategic Point, which the Romans extremely fortified. As a result, on the left bank of the river, was developed population, which after the reconquest became more of the strengths facing existing along the Portuguese border.

For many megalithic remains and Castros, inheritance Romans, Arabs and Christians unite abaluartadas defenses of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and other civic and religious units, which provided the major city attractions, historical and monumental, midst of a natural landscape of great beauty.

THE LEGACY OF ROME

This unique civil engineering work was completed in the year 106 d. C. On its central pillar rises a monumental Arc de Triomphe, which underwent major changes throughout history, a feature that makes it different from any other. It was built with granite seating pad, which gives it that special texture, which is in the great religious and civil works of the Roman Empire. The bridge has suffered from the ups and war over time. Muslims in 1213 trying to avoid cutting way to the army of Alfonso IX. Castilians In 1475, before the harassment of Alfonso V of Portugal, were ready to throw when the Portuguese king in a gesture that honored him, he promised to give a detour in his campaign, as long as the count Castilla wanted that with so unique monument.

In 1543 Charles I ordered its reconstruction, as one of its arches was ruined as a result of the site, and reported, that the king of Leon submitted to the city. These works have changed the image of the bridge and in particular the Arc de Triomphe, where adosó lifted battlements and a commemorative inscription and coat of arms.

During the War of Succession was flying the arc of his header that was rebuilt in times of Carlos III. Later in 1809, during the War of Independence jumped in the air its second arc, it being cut until eight years later, was rebuilt in wood, to allow the passage of people and goods. During the Carlist Wars in 1836, this book was burned, being rebuilt again during the reign of Elizabeth II. On the left bank, near the population, maintains a small temple, also of the imperial era, known as Temple Lácer, where lie the remains of the architect who lifted. As was the case with most of the sanctuaries preserved despite the time, was consecrated and Christianized, being under the advocation of San Julian.  On this occasion he added elements, who jump clearly in sight of tourists observer.

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THE ORDER OF ALCANTARA

Barely have been some vestiges of the Visigothic Oliva, although it is expected that the invaders from the north reutilizaran infrastructure and Roman asentamientios population.After the Arab invasion, they settled in the population fortified again according to their defensive lines. Retained its original name, denominándola Al Kantara, putting to bridge the nickname "the sword". In the early days of the domination of Marwan depended on Bangkok and later the taifas of Coria and Caceres were running according to the different periods of the Muslim domination.

It was conquered and lost again Christians, who remain Alfonso IX of the Leon incorporates definitely his crown in 1213, Delivering, for his defence to the order of Calatrava and subsequently to the Alcantara, which established there Priory and moved from land salmantinas the Convent of San Benito, on the remains of an old fortress, was lifted on conventual we can admire, years later. Since Alcantara was promoted conquest of the current territory extremeño Master and assisted in the conquest of Seville.

Given the parlous state that had headquarters of the order, the Catholic Monarchs ordered lifting a monastery, whose construction began in 1450. Work is extended in time with an original hodgepodge of styles Gothic, Renaissance and Plateresque. The faculty, Gothic, has two plants in the style of the era. Excel addition, the Main Chapel with impressive ribbed vaults and various chapels where the burials of knights of the order. Igualmente destacan la sacristía y una bella escalera de caracol. It also highlights the sacristy and a beautiful spiral staircase.

The infighting in the crown of Castile and Portugal, as well as the mutual interference of both kingdoms in the politics of its neighbors, did increase the strategic importance of the population, which suffered the consequences of continued fighting war that caused these differences.

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WARS WITH PORTUGAL AND WAR OF INDEPENDENCE

Almost mediated the sixteenth century ownership of the villa decreases, while the order Alcantara confined to the north and the south of Santiago, so that starts the configuration of the new region, Extremadura, and peripheral border, whose political influence lose the weight that would greatly in the past.

The very power of the order is fragmented and divided place frequent clashes between it, ladies and the same religion. Separated Portugal of the Spanish Crown, territory, and St. Benedict's own strategic knot are desired by the strategists of the two nations. This leads to further confrontations in which Alcantara will bear the brunt, since being peripheral region was poorly defended.

In 1703 Philip V, occupied population and declared war on Portugal and the Grand Alliance. Before the War of Independence, the French, with the blessing of Godoy, entered Spain, apparently to begin the conquest of Portugal. The Marshal Junot was aposentó in the conventual, making it their headquarters and carrying out major pillaging and looting, according to the custom of the time. Shortly after the French left the battered population, whose defenses were ruined.

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In April 1809, in the middle of the War of Independence French attack Alcantara, which is taken, and again ransacked while their defenses are destroyed by the French general Lapiche, which quickly had to abandon, under the pressure of the nearby Spanish army.

In the nineteenth century the seizure of Mendizábal, the county plunged into depression and underdevelopment, for the benefit of nobles and landowners who agreed to huge and rich properties, while the economic purposes that motivated these facts were not met and the consequences were relegated the territory and its people for centuries to backwardness and ostracism.

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