Tag Archives: Alfonso VI

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime

King Alfonso and Tapas…

The Abacería L’Antiqua was full to overflowing and heaving with activity and just as we were pondering whether or not to stay a table became available and we made ourselves comfortable. The food looked good and the bar was doing brisk trade so we selected some items from the tapas menu and waited for our food to arrive.

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Travels in Spain, Tapas and Pinchos

Pinchos are Northern Spain’s equivalent of the tapas, the main difference being that pinchos are usually larger and always ordered and paid for independently from the drinks. They are called pinchos because this is the Spanish word for spike and many of them are held together with a sharp wooden skewer.  Another difference is that whilst tapas are served on a small dish, pinchos are generally arranged on bread slices and laid out on the bar as a mouth watering selection of tasty snacks and every one of them an attractive work of art.

Alicante TapasWine and Tapas

El Cid and King Alfonso VI

Alfonso VI, known as the Brave or the Valiant, was King of León from 1065, king of King of Castile and de facto King of Galicia from 1072, and the self-proclaimed ‘Emperor of all Spain’.  This was rather an exaggeration because he only effectively had power over about a third of the peninsular which meant that he had a lot of work to do to turn this aspiration into reality and under the leadership of Alfonso an earnest program of crusading reconquest began.

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El Cid and Minaya Alvar Fáñez

The story of the reconquest is a classic case of history being written by the winning side and has become a highly romanticised version of early medieval Spanish history.  El Cid wasn’t the only Spanish hero of the ‘Reconquista’ as many other warriors were fighting for the ambitious northern Kingdoms as they moved south in search of new lands and acquisitions.  Another hero of the crusade against the Moorish invaders was the Castilian nobleman Alvar Fáñez de Minaya who fought for King Alfonso VI of Castile-Leon and has been popularised by his appearance in the ‘Cantar de Mio Cid’ in which he is described as a friend and cousin of El Cid.

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