Black legend

The life and loves of Felipe II

If you ask a Spanish person who Felipe II was, they’ll likely tell you he was a great and learned king who rebuilt the Escorial, had major issues with his insane eldest son but managed to do his duty and father a (relatively) healthy heir, Felipe III. In passing, they may mutter something about constant …

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What is in a name? Of Don Carlos, in various incarnations

Being named Carlos was not really a good thing if you were a Spanish Hapsburg – well with the exception of the first, namely Carlos I of Spain. But this Carlos was not really Spanish. Yes, his mother was Spanish – the woman known to history as Juana la Loca or Joanna the Mad – …

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