Ciudadela de Jaca         

Jaca, Spain                
The Spanish city of Jaca, very close to the French border at the Pyrenees, dates back at least to the latter half of the 2nd century BC: Coins were minted in Iaca at that time. The Moors did their Moorish thing in the 8th century and captured Jaca, and it was reconquisted in 1016, in time for Ramiro I (1007-1063), the first King of Aragon, to made the city his capitol in 1063. The city's location at a ford in the Aragon River placed it at the intersection of two important medieval trade routes.

Construction on the Citadel was begun in 1595, under the direction of one D. Juan de Velasco, named the King Lieutenant of the Citadel. Being the King Lieutenant apparently gives one the right to be buried in the chapel of one's fort, which is where Mr. Velasco remains to this day. Work on the fort was completed in 1641.

In principle, the Citadel in question was built to prevent the French from doing what everyone knew the French would eventually do, which was invade Spain.

When France executed King Louis XVI (1754-1793) and declared itself a Republic in 1793, the rest of monarchial Europe was predictably freaked out. Spain, among other countries, immediately went to war with the new French Republic, and the adventure that played out as the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) began. Once Spain had been collected by Napoleon (1769-1821), he declared his brother Joseph Bonaparte (1768-1844) as its new king in 1808. The following conflict, aimed at booting France from Spain, is remembered as the War of Spanish Independence (1808-1814), and saw the only time that the Citadel of Jaca was used in an actual military conflict: France occupied it, and Spain "attempted to retrieve it." Retrieve it they did.

The Citadel of Jaca's other dubious military accomplishment took place on December 12 and 13 of 1930, when its garrison mutinied against the rule of King Alfonso XIII (1886-1941) (more accurately they would have been rebelling against the rule of Miguel Primo de Rivera (1870-1930), who had effectively been Spain's dictator since 1923, though with the support of King Alfonso), demanding the abolition of monarchy and a democratic republic. The mutiny was put down, with a good deal of difficulty and loss of life...but the mutiny of Jaca's garrison was considered one of the first major events leading to the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939).

Today, the Citadel of Jaca is the home to a flock of rock sparrows.

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Ciudadela de Jaca?
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Thanks to Google Maps for the image!