Tag Archives: Ximena

The Legend of El Cid and the Reconquista

El Cid 1

The seven hundred year period between 722 and 1492 has long been known to historians of Spain as the ‘Reconquista’ and the Spanish have organised their medieval history around the drama of this glorious event which over time has become a cherished feature of the self-image of the Spanish people.

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El Cid and Ximena

A hero needed a wife and El Cid was married in either in1074 or 1075 to Doña Ximena of Oviedo, a city in the modern day Principality of Asturias in the north of Spain but in the eleventh century part of Alfonso VI’s Kingdom of Leon and Castile.

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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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El Cid and the Spanish Reconquista

El Cid 1

The seven hundred year period between 722 and 1492 has long been known to historians of Spain as the ‘Reconquista’ and the Spanish have organised their medieval history around the drama of this glorious event which over time has become a cherished feature of the self-image of the Spanish people.  It has become embellished into a sort of organised Catholic national crusade and although there is some truth in this much of it in reality was simply due to the expansionist territorial ambitions of competing northern Spanish kingdoms such as Asturias and León.

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