miércoles, 26 de septiembre de 2007

Habsburgs coat of arms

History of the Spanish Coat of Arms
Components of this emblem symbolize different aspects of the Spanish empire.
Black double eagle: A symbol of the Holy Roman Empire brought to Spain by Emperor Charles V (I of Spain) in 1530. Before that, the Catholic Kings (Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabell of Castile) used a one-headed black eagle (for St. John), and this eagle was used again in the Spanish arms under General Franco's Regime until 1977.
Crown: Represents the Royal Spanish Kingdom.
Lions: The rampant lions are derived from the Kingdom of Leon.
Castles: The two castles are derived from the Kingdom of Castile.
Sheep: The small dangling sheep at the down point of the shield originates from the Order of the Golden Fleece from Greek mythology, founded by Phillip the Good of Burgundy in 1430.


Plus Ultra (Latin for further beyond, more beyond or yet beyond) is the national motto of Spain.
Earl Rosenthal, author of The Palace of Charles V in Granada (1985), has researched the origin of the motto. It is closely associated with the Pillars of Hercules, which according to Roman mythology were built by Hercules, near the Straits of Gibraltar, marking the edge of the then known world. According to mythology the pillars bore the warning Nec Plus Ultra (also Non Plus Ultra, "nothing further beyond"), serving as a warning to sailors and navigators to go no further.
It is believed that the young Charles V adopted Plus Ultra as his motto at the suggestion of his doctor and personal advisor Luigi Marliano. The idea was to encourage him to ignore the ancient warning and encourage him to take risks and go further beyond. Charles V was born in Ghent in Flanders and as a result the motto is also used in this region.
The motto became popular in Spain after Charles V became king of both Aragon and Castile in the early 1500s. It subsequently became the motto of Habsburg Spain and featured on the Spanish dollar. The motto was used to encourage Spanish explorers to go beyond the Pillars of Hercules and onto the New World. Today the inscription, along with the Pillars of Hercules, is featured on both the national flag and emblem of modern Spain. It was also featured on the shield of the Second Spanish Republic.
In 1926 a crew of Spanish aviators, including Ramón Franco and Julio Ruiz de Alda Miqueleiz, completed a Trans-Atlantic flight on a hydroplane named the Plus Ultra. 1930 saw the formation of a Madrid-based football team AD Plus Ultra, which eventually developed into Real Madrid Castilla. In more recent times, the Plus Ultra Brigade was a brigade of troops from five Spanish speaking countries including Spain, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador, which served in the Iraq War.
(With information from Wikipedia)

domingo, 23 de septiembre de 2007

The first spaniards

25,000 to 10,000 B.C.: The cave paintings of Pinal, Peña de Candamo, El Pendal, Pasiega, Ribadesella and Altamira express the existence of a fine culture in the Magdalenian period.
1,100 B.C.: The Phoenicians found Gadir or Gades (Cadiz), Baria Adra, Almuñecar and Malaga.
1,000 B.C.: Civilization of the Tartessians. The Celts begin to arrive from across the Pyrenees.
7th century B.C.: The Greeks found Hemeroscopion and Manake.
6th century B.C.: Emporio (Ampurias) and Rhodaes (Rosas) founded.
237 B.C.: Hamilcar takes the S. and SE. and founds Akra Leuke (Alicante). Hasdrubal founds Cartago Nova (Cartagena)
218 to 201 B.C.: Hannibal takes Saguntum (Punic War). The Carthaginians invade Italy. Scipio lands in Spain and defeats Hasdrubal in Tarraco (Tarragona), Illipa (Alcala del Rio) and Gadir. Rome annexes the country and divides it into two provinces: Hispanis Citerior and Hispania Ulterior.

With so many different people from different places we became a melting pot of the different people in the mediterranean sea

I do like this flag. The colours of my country and the image of a powerful animal as the bull ...

miércoles, 19 de septiembre de 2007

The origin of helicopters

Juan de la Cierva, born on September 21, 1895, in Murcia, Spain, was an aeronautical engineer who invented the autogiro, an aircraft that combined the capabilities of a conventional airplane and the helicopter.
He was interested in flight as a teenager and experimented with gliders with his friends. After receiving his engineering degree, in 1918 he built the first trimotor airplane. Its crash in 1919 after a stall convinced him that aviation safety called for stall-proof aircraft that could make steep takeoffs and landings at slow speeds. He decided that only the wing and not the body should be used to maintain lift. He began experimenting with rotating-wing aircraft in 1920 and developed the autogiro as a more stable form of aircraft. His first attempts with rigid rotors were unsuccessful. He then applied the idea of mounting the blades to the hub of the rotor on hinges so they could flap. This would equalize lift on advancing and retreating sides of the rotor while in forward flight.

His first successful flight with the autogiro took place on January 9 1923. The craft was equipped with a conventional propeller for forward flight and an articulated, or hinged, air-powered rotor blade that could be adjusted to balance lift. This technical breakthrough was necessary for the successful development of the helicopter, which ironically, replaced the autogiro around the time of World War II.

Cierva moved to England in 1925. His aircraft were further developed by the Cierva Autogiro Company of Great Britain, as well as by U.S. and various continental companies. They were used widely in France, Germany, Japan, and the United States until World War II, when the helicopter replaced them.

Cierva died in an airplane crash on December 19, 1936, near London, England.

The first electrical submarine

On the 8th September, 1888, an electrically powered vessel built by the Spanish engineer and sailor, Isaac Peral, for the Spanish Navy was launched. It had two torpedoes, new air systems, and a hull shape, propeller, and cruciform external controls anticipating much later designs. Its underwater speed was ten knots (19 km/h). In June 1890 Peral's submarine launched a torpedo while submerged. After many successful dives the project was scrapped because of the difficulties of recharging at sea and the short range of battery powered vessels.

Good news from Spain

"Two of Spain's regional governments and its capital city plan to plant millions of trees to help offset the impact of the country's spiraling greenhouse gas emissions, environment officials said. Madrid, despite its snarling traffic, already claims to be one of the cities with most parks and gardens in the world." Reuters 10/July/07.
"The Spanish Environment Ministry has decided to stop the construction of a 300-kilometre motorway to save the Iberian lynx, the world's most threatened feline species, of which there are about 100 remaining". Earth Times 03/June/07

lunes, 17 de septiembre de 2007


Yes, I know this blog is supposed to be about Spanish History, but you know, history is what has just happende, so we can think it is. Yesterday Spain became, for the first time, European champion in volleyball. We also became the second in EuroBasket, aand we are still the World champion. We are also world champions in indoor soccer and in skate hockey. And our Fernando Alonso is in his way to get the third straight Formula 1 championship. So today is a happy day ...

martes, 11 de septiembre de 2007

Some facts about Spain

Official name: The Kingdom of Spain
Capital of Spain: Madrid
Top 3 Largest cities in Spain: Madrid 5.9 million inhabitants, Barcelona 5.3 million inhabitants, Valencia 1.6 million inhabitants.
Population size: 44,7 million in 2006. Density: 88,39 inhabitants per square kilometer.
Size: 506,000M square meters (Spain is the third largest country in Europe after Ukraine and France, about twice the size of Oregon).
Mean Altitude: 600 m. (which makes Spain the second highest country in Europe after Switzerland).
Highest Point: Teide in Tenerife 3,719 m.
Tourism: Over 52 million tourists visit Spain each year, Spain is in the top 3 most visited countries in the world.
Foreigners Living in Spain: officially there were 3.7 million foreign residents in 2005. Independent organisations such as Red Cross put the number at 4.8 million.
Political Structure: Parliamentary monarchy (since 1978).
Regions: Spain is made up of 17 autonomous regions. Time zone: +1 GMT except Canary Islands +2 GMT.
Currency: The introduction of the Euro in 2002 replaced the former Spanish Peseta.
Economy size: eighth largest economy worldwide with a Gross Domestic Product just over 1 trillion euros.
Labor force: approximately 20 million.
Gross Domestic Product per Capita: €27,767 per year, 25th on world ranking
Religion: approximately 90% of the population are Catholic and there is freedom of religion in Spain.

domingo, 9 de septiembre de 2007

Juan Sebastian Elcano

Juan Sebastian Elcano

This is Juan Sebastian Elcano, the first captain to circunnavigate the world. The expedition started with Magallanes in command, but he was killed, so the spanish Juan Sebastian Elcano took the command and finished with the few remnants this first round to the world.

sábado, 8 de septiembre de 2007


Hello everybody:

This first post is just to try to establish the guidelines of this blog. Spain is a very old country with a lot of history and has played a very important role in the world in many different aspects. A spanish built the first auto propelled submarine (Isaac Peral) or the antecessor of the helicopter (Juan de la Cierva). We have had very famous sailors (Elcano, Blas de Lezo, Gravina..), conquistadores (Hernan Cortes, Pizarro, Cabeza de Vaca,...), painters (Velazquez, Goya, Picasso, Dali ...), writers (Cervantes, Calderon de la Barca, Quevedo, Aleixandre, Cela, Umbral, Perez Reverte,...). But for many years we have been not ignored but insulted and humiliated by the official anglo saxon history. Their queen (Elizabeth) has almost become superwoman and our king (Philip II) the devil. And since there we have been badly treated or completely ignored. I will try to talk about the many important things Spain has done for so many years. I would like you to give your opinions and help me do a good blog.

Thank you,