Postcard from Valladolid, Spain: Iglesias and a maligned queen

Above, Iglesia de San Pablo

Valladolid was flourishing in the 15th century when Isabella I, Queen of Castile, married King Ferdinand of Aragon in the city – an elopement with private ceremonies, as they were second cousins. With the city a favored spot for the Catholic royal family members to hold court, Pope Clement VIII elevated it to a bishopric, the center of an archdiocese.

Bolstered by this recognition, city fathers launched efforts to build a suitable cathedral, the largest in Europe. Architect Juan de Herrera (1530-1597) was commissioned for the design of Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion. Despite Herrera’s death, completion appeared possible with the official establishment of Valladolid as the capital of Spain by King Philip III (1578-1621) in 1601.

The rosy future dissipated as a royal advisor standing to personally benefit through his real estate holdings persuaded Philip of the need to move the capital back to Madrid in 1606. The cathedral budget was slashed – about 60 percent.

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Biannual roundup of your favorite posts

Above photo from Postcard from Toulouse, France: Falling in love one quirky detail at a time

The year 2022 brought a reshuffling of what blog entries caught your attention. You dove back as far as 2010, an indication of how long I have been blogging.

You politely made one of the stories drawn from research for An Ostrich-Plumed Hat, And Yes, She Shot Him Dead your number one favorite, clearly attracted by Texans’ love of pralines. You continue to support efforts to populate Brackenridge Park with ghosts, and thanks for welcoming a post about my new hometown focusing on the history of Zilker Park. And the quirkiness that is Toulouse sparked your attention. In other words, your interests are as unpredictably wide-ranging as my posts.

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19-teens Labor: Major holiday marches, brewing concerns and Colonel dogs

Above: 1914 Labor Day photograph of workers in front of Maverick Building on Alamo Plaza provided by Connie Fuller to Paula Allen for The History Column appearing in the November 7, 2013, issue of the San Antonio Express-News

Labor Day was the only national holiday between July 4 and Christmas.”

Carol Boyd Leon, “The Life of American Workers in 1915,” Monthly Labor Review, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Typical 1911 Fat Men’s Race from Kickass Fact Encyclopedia

With a dearth of holidays, it should come as no surprise that more than 50 unions turned out for San Antonio’s Labor Day Parade in 1911. A crowd of 5,000 gathered at the fairgrounds. “Colonel” Otto Wahrmund, vice president of the San Antonio Brewing Association which produced Pearl Beer, remarks in An Ostrich-Plumed Hat, and Yes, She Shot Him Dead, that there they encountered the excitement of the beer drivers’ union striving to have their candidate crowned queen; sporting events such as the fat men racing for 75 yards or the old men (50 years and up, how insulting!) crawling 50 yards to win a purse of $2; and fiery political speeches.

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