Castle of Xativa - Valencia - Spain
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Castle of Xativa is a famous Spanish castle located in the city of Xativa near Valencia. It is strategically located on the ancient roadway Via Augusta leading from Rome across the Pyrenees and down the Mediterranean coast to Cartagena and Cádiz.
In 1092, the Castle fell into the occupation of the Almoravids Dynasty who were expelled in an uprising that took place in 1145. During this uprising, the Castle was placed under siege by the Governor of Valencia (Marwan Abd-al-Aziz). In 1171, the Castle finally fell, along with the rest of the Levante coast, into the hands of the Almohades.
King Jaime I of Aragon began his crusade there in the summer of 1239 finally capturing Xátiva on Sunday, 22 May, 1244 following a five month siege. After submitting to the Christian monarch and signing the Treaty of Jativa the Moors handed over the smaller nearby Castle to Jaime I, while they were allowed to continue occupying the larger castle for another two years based on the terms of the treaty.
After the 2 years had elapsed Jaime I of Aragon repopulated a large part of the town with Catalan and Aragonese settlers. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_of_Játiva)
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Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.
The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.
Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".
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Text by Steve Smith.