Sunday, March 08, 2009

Palencia, Spain - May 25th 2008

Palencia is a city of about 80,000 people in north-west Spain. It is the capital of the province of Palencia (like a US county) in the community of Castile-Leon (sort of equivalent to a US state). It is still possible to trace the old city walls that, for the most part, were a forbidding 35 feet in height. San Antolin cathedral was built over the years 1321 to 1504 and is a highlight of the city.
With a typical European
blood curdling history, the city was starved into submission by the Romans in the second century BCE, was all but destroyed in 457 CE in the Visigoth wars against the Suevi, trashed again when the Moors arrived in the early eighth century before being restored to normalcy by the first prelate Bernado in 1035.
The first university in Spain, the Studium Generale of Palencia was founded by Alfonso VIII in 1208. However, the school did not long survive him, the teachers being drawn to the thriving University of Salamanca. Click here for slide-show.

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