Today in History - On this Day - November 23rd. 1221 - Alfonso X of Castile

November 23rd. 1221 marks the birth of Alfonso X of Castile in Toledo,
Spain. His parents were King Ferdinand III of Castile and Elisabeth of Swabia.

His mother was the paternal cousin of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II,
who looked very well like Alfonso X of Castille.

In January 1249 Alfonso X of Castile married Violant of Aragon. Due to
Violant's age, she was unable to get pregnant for several years. He almost
annulled their marriage. However they went on and they would have
11 children. He would also have children with his mistresses.

In 1252 Alfonso succeeded his father as King of Castile. The next year he
invaded Portugal.He made an agreement that his daughter Beatrice would
marry King Alfonso III of Portugal and another daughter Eleanor should
marry Edward I of England.

King Alfonso X had many works translated from Arabic and Latin to
Castilian in his court. He encouraged the use of the Castilian language instead
of Latin!

The Alfonsine tables which provided the data for computing the position
of the Sun, Moon, Planets relative to the fixed stars were named after
King Alfonso X of Castile, who sponsored their creation.

King Alfonso X died on April 4th. 1284 in Seville.There he was buried
in the cathedral.

Source pictures: Wikipedia

Today in History - On This Day - November 22nd. 1536 - Johann VI, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg

Johann VI, also called John VI or John the Elder was born on
November 22nd. 1536 at Dillenburg Castle.

His parents were William I, Count of Nassau- Dillenburg and
Juliane of Stolberg-Wernigerode. Johann or John was the
younger brother of William the Silent.

Johan VI was married 3 times and he had 24 children.

1/ Countess Elisabeth of Leuchtenberg. Their marriage took place on
June 6th. 1559. They would have 13 children. Elisabeth died in 1579.

2/ Kunigunde Jakobaä of Simmern on September 13th. 1580. They
would have 4 children. She died on January 26th. 1586.

3/ Johannetta of Sayn-Wittgenstein on June 14th. 1586. She bore him
7 children.

Johann VI, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg was the principal author of
the Union of Utrecht. This Treaty was signed on January 23rd. 1579.
It founded the Republic of the Seven United Provinces.

In 1581 a formal declaration of independence was signed.

Johann VI or John the Elder died on October 8th. 1606.

Source pictures: Wikipedia

My Happy Weekend Picture : The Austrian Parliament in Vienna

Several years ago, I had the chance to visit the Austrian Parliament in Vienna
during a public tour. After the security check, a sympathetic and well informed
guide told my husband and I and others the story of this magnificent building.

Austrian Parliament vienna outside

In 1861 plans were formed to create a new building for the Imperial Council.
The original plans contained two separate buildings: one for the House of Lords
and one for the House of Representatives.

Austrian Parliament vienna inside

In 1867 the Austro-Hungarian Compromise founded a dual monarchy, the
Kingdom of Hungary received its own legislative body and the plans for the
two buildings were dropped.

On the site of the new building there were during that time ancient fortifications
and walls. It was Emperor Franz Joseph himself who wanted a large new
boulevard called the 'Ringstrasse'. The parliament building had to be near the
Hofburg and the Vienna City Hall.

The ground was broken in June 1874 and the cornerstone had the date
September 2nd. 1874. the architect became Theophil Hansen with his
Greek style based design. They chose the Greek Style for two reasons:
it was popular in that time and the democracy started in Greece.

Pallas Athena Vienna

In front of the building there came a large statue of Pallas Athena, in the Greek
mythology inter alia the goddess of the wisdom. In the Viennese streets there
was a joke about this statue. People said that Palace Athena turned her back
to the parliament because she didn't want her to see what was happening inside.

If you have time, check the page 'House of Habsburg' on top of my blog
or on this link.

With this post I want to thank you all for the likes, the reshares on Google+
and on Twitter as well!

I want to wish you all a very Happy Weekend and a good start of the brand new

Today in History - On this Day - November 19th. 1779 - Duchess Louise Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

On November 19th. 1779 a very noble girl was born in the
Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in Germany. She received the
names Louise Charlotte.

Her parents were Frederick Francis I, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-
Schwerin and Princess Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg.

In 1795 Louise Charlotte was engaged to King Gustaf IV Adolf of
Sweden, however he broke off the engagement in 1796.

On October 21st. 1797 she married Augustus, Hereditary Prince of
Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. He was through her mother a second cousin.

This marriage was against the will of Duchess Louise Charlotte and
it became an unhappy one: her spouse abused her and she wanted to
leave him but her family forced Duchess Louise Charlotte to stay with
her husband.

On December 21st. 1800 Duchess Louise Charlotte gave birth to her
child, it was a daughter and she received the name Louise. This Louise
would became the mother of Albert, the Prince Consort of Queen Victoria
of the United Kingdom.

On January 4th. 1801, at the age of 21, Duchess Louise Charlotte died
in Gotha.

Source picture: wikipedia