martes, 10 de noviembre de 2015

Some great characters in the history of Spain

Abd ar-Rahman III (891–961), Umayyad emir (912–29) and first caliph (929–61) of Córdoba. When he succeeded to the throne, the Spanish emirate was reduced to Córdoba and its environs and beset with tribal warfare. Abd ar-Rahman recovered the lost provinces, consolidated the central government, and created internal peace and prosperity. He built up a strong army and navy and waged war successfully against the Fatimids in N Africa and the Christian kings of León. He made Córdoba one of the greatest cities in the West.

Alfonso I (Alfonso the Battler) d. 1134, king of Aragón and Navarre (1104–34), brother and successor of Peter I. The husband of Urraca, queen of Castile, he fought unsuccessfully to extend his authority over her kingdom. He also fought energetically against the Moors, from whom he captured Zaragossa (1118), Calatayud (1120), and many other towns. His raid (1125) into Andalusia bolstered Christian morale, and he encouraged Christians in Muslim lands to settle in his domain. Alfonso was killed in battle against his stepson, Alfonso VII of Castile, and was succeeded by his brother Ramiro II in Aragón and by García IV in Navarre.

Cid or Cid Campeador [Span., = lord conqueror], d. 1099, Spanish soldier and national hero, whose real name was Rodrigo (or Ruy) Díaz de Vivar. Under Ferdinand I and Sancho II of Castile he distinguished himself while fighting against the Moors, but Alfonso VI distrusted him and banished (1081) him from Castile. Entering the service of the Moorish ruler of Zaragoza (a course not unusual among Castilian nobles of his time, in accord with the rights of a free lord in feudal society), he fought against Moors and Christians alike. In 1094 he conquered the kingdom of Valencia, which he ruled until his death. His widow Jimena surrendered the kingdom to the Almoravids in 1102. The Cid's exploits have been much romanticized.The Song of the Cid, an anonymous Old Spanish work of the 12th cent., has served as basis for numerous treatments, notably the plays by Guillén de Castro y Bellvís and Pierre Corneille.

Palafox, José de, (1776?–1847), Spanish general in the Peninsular War, celebrated for his heroic defense of Zaragoza. Elected captain general of Aragón in 1808, he held Zaragoza against the French with an improvised garrison of citizens and peasants. Though the French breached the city walls, his forces held out behind street barricades from June to Aug., 1808, when the French withdrew. In Dec., 1808, the French under Lannes again besieged the city. Palafox surrendered only in Feb., 1809, after three weeks of street fighting. He was held a prisoner in France until 1813. Palafox commanded the royal guards during the uprisings of 1820–23 against Ferdinand VII, but he lost his post because of his stand in favor of the liberal constitution. He later commanded the loyal troops against the Carlists and was created duque de Zaragoza.

Suárez González, Adolfo, (1932–2014), Spanish political leader. Because he worked in the Nationalist Movement (the Falange) for 18 years and became its secretary-general after Franco's death (1975), centrist and leftist forces opposed his appointment in July, 1976, as premier by King Juan Carlos. In 1977 he led his Union of the Democratic Center to victory in Spain's first free elections in 41 years. His centrist government instituted democractic reforms, and his coalition again won the 1979 elections under the new constitution. Less successful as a day-to-day organizer than as a crisis manager, he was replaced as prime minister in 1981; Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo succeeded him, but only after a failed coup in which the Cortes was seized while in session. In 1982 he founded the Democratic and Social Center party. He retired from active politics in 1991.

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes; (30 March 1746 – 16 April 1828) was a Spanish romantic painter and printmaker. He is considered the most important Spanish artist of late 18th and early 19th centuries and throughout his long career was a commentator and chronicler of his era. Immensely successful in his lifetime, Goya's late works especially have been highly influential and he is often referred to as both the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns.
Goya was born to a modest family in 1746 in the village of Fuendetodos in Aragon. He studied painting from age 14 under José Lúzan y Martinez and moved to Madrid to study with Anton Raphael Mengs. He married Josefa Bayeu in 1775; the couple's life together was characterised by an almost constant series of pregnancies and miscarriages. He became a court painter to the Spanish Crown in 1786 and the early portion of his career is marked by portraits commissioned by the Spanish aristocracy and royalty, and the Rococo style tapestry cartoons designed for the royal palace.
Goya was a guarded man and although letters and writings survive, we know comparatively little about his thoughts. He suffered a severe and undiagnosed illness in 1793 which left him completely deaf. After 1793 his work became progressively darker and pessimistic. His later easel and mural paintings, prints and drawings appear to reflect a bleak outlook on personal, social and political levels, and contrast with his social climbing. He was appointed Director of the Royal Academy in 1795, the year Manuel Godoy made an unfavorable treaty with France. In 1799 Goya became Primer Pintor de Càmara, the then highest rank for a Spanish court painter. In the late 1790s, commissioned by Godoy, he completed his La maja desnuda, a remarkably daring nude for the time and clearly indebted to Diego Velázquez. In 1801 he painted Charles IV of Spain and His Family, the tone and intent of which is still debated; likely Goya saw Charles IV as a weak, ineffectual king. In 1807 Napoleon lead the French army into Spain.

He remained in Madrid during the disastrous Peninsular War, which seems to have affected him deeply. Although he did not vocalise his thoughts in public, they can be inferred from his "Disasters of War" series of prints (although published 35 years after his death) and his 1814 paintings The Second of May 1808 and The Third of May 1808. Other works from his mid period include the "Caprichos" and Los Disparates etching series, and a wide variety of paintings concerned with insanitymental asylumswitches,fantastical creatures and religious and political corruption, all of which suggest that he feared for both his country's fate and his own mental and physical health. His output culminates with the so-called "Black Paintings" of 1819-1823, applied on oil on the plaster walls of his house the "Quinta del Sordo" (house of the deaf man) where, disillusioned by domestic political and social developments he lived in near isolation. Goya eventually abandoned Spain in 1824 to retire to the French city of Bordeaux, accompanied by his much younger maid and companion, Leocadia Weiss, who may or may not have been his lover. There he completed his "La Tauromaquia" series and a number of canvases. Following a stroke which left him paralysed on his right side, and suffering failing eyesight and poor access to painting materials, he died and was buried on April 16th 1828 aged 82. His body was later re-interred in Spain.

Marco Valerio Marcial (40-104 ac): Writer and Spanish poet, born about the year 40 in the town of Bilbilis, modern Calatayud (city of the Spanish province called Tarraconensis), and dead to the 104, perhaps in the same Bilbilis. The cognomen Martialis or martial would derive, apparently, they were born on March 1. After educated in Hispania, marched to Rome in 64, famous year because it was the fire of Rome by Nero; It remained there, relationship with other intellectuals of Hispanic, such as Seneca and Lucan, until these and others fell into disgrace after the Pison conspiracy of the year 65. In the Urbs, he remained nearly thirty-five years, because we know that he left it in 99. After living as a poet for hire in search of a rich patron for years (which justifies the praise directed to various patricians and even the same Domitian), his fame grew, and with it, received honors, tax exemptions and the right to have slaves, the ius trium ius liberorum (but never married) and even an appointment as military Tribune. He took home in Rome and a villa in Nomento.
Related to all court, since the Emperor until the last of his acolytes, also maintained close contact with many writers (particularly, with Pliny the younger, Silius Italicus, Juvenal and his countryman, Quintiliancalagurritano), although it is known that its relations with Estació were really bad. All this universe is reflected in 1,561 epigrams he composed between 86 and 98; at the end of his life, according to the testimony of Plinio the younger, he sang the Palinode, regretted some of his poems and decided to return to his homeland to take charge of a villa donated by a such Marcella; After a long trip to Hispania, which paid for the same Pliny, it died about the year 104.

Baltasar Gracián (1601-1658): Writer, thinker and religious Spanish, born in Belmonte (a village belonging to the region of the zaragozan town of Calatayud, now known as Belmonte de Gracian) at the beginning of January 1601 (perhaps that same day 8 it is dated his baptism certificate), and died in Tarazona (Zaragoza), December 6, 1658. Possessor of a very broad humanistic education, an exceptional ability for analysis and reflection, and an amazing virtuosity in the handling of the literary language and its various rhetorical procedures, left a dazzling artistic and intellectual legacy which, at the formal level, makes it one of the best exponents of this Baroque conceptismo which reached its peak in Hispanic letters during the first half of the 17TH century printed, while, by the coverage of its contents, places him at the head of the Spanish philosophic thought of the modern era.

domingo, 21 de junio de 2015


Mihai Eminescu

Mihai Eminescu  (15 January 1850 – 15 June 1889) was a Romantic poet, novelist and journalist, often regarded as the most famous and influential Romanian poet. Eminescu was an active member of the Junimea literary society and he worked as an editor for the newspaperTimpul ("The Time"), the official newspaper of the Conservative Party (1880–1918).His poetry was first published when he was 16 and he went to Vienna to study when he was 19. The poet's Manuscripts, containing 46 volumes and approximately 14,000 pages, were offered by Titu Maiorescu as a gift to the Romanian Academy during the meeting that was held on 25 January 1902.[3] Notable works include Luceafărul (The Vesper/The Evening Star/The Lucifer/The Daystar), Odă în metru antic (Ode in Ancient Meter), and the five Letters (Epistles/Satires). In his poems he frequently used metaphysical, mythological and historical subjects.

Constantin Brâncuși

Constantin Brâncuși (February 19, 1876 – March 16, 1957) was a Romanian sculptor, painter and photographer who made his career in France. Considered a pioneer of modernism, one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th-century, Brâncuși is called the patriarch of modern sculpture. As a child he displayed an aptitude for carving wooden farm tools. Formal studies took him first to Bucharest, then to Munich, then to the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1905 to 1907. His art emphasizes clean geometrical lines that balance forms inherent in his materials with the symbolic allusions of representational art. Brâncuși sought inspiration in non-European cultures as a source of primitive exoticism, as did Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, André Derain and others. But other influences emerge from Romanian folk art traceable through Byzantine and Dionysian traditions. 

Carol I

Carol I (20 April 1839 – 27/10 October 1914), born Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was the ruler of Romania from 1866 to 1914. He was elected Ruling Prince (Domnitor) of the Romanian United Principalities on 20 April 1866 after the overthrow of Alexandru Ioan Cuza by a palace coup. After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire (1878) in the Russo-Turkish War, he declared Romania a sovereign nation (the country had been under the nominal suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire until then). He was proclaimed King of Romania on 26 March 1881. He was the first ruler of the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen dynasty, which ruled the country until the proclamation of a republic in 1947.

jueves, 30 de abril de 2015


Rubik Ernő

Ernő Rubik born 13 July 1944) is a Hungarian inventor, architect and professor of architecture. He is best known for the invention of mechanical puzzles including Rubik's Cube (1974), Rubik's Magic, Rubik's Magic: Master Edition, and Rubik's Snake.
While Rubik became famous for Rubik's Cube and his other puzzles, much of his recent work involves the promotion of science in education. Rubik is involved with several organizations such as Beyond Rubik's Cube, the Rubik Learning Initiative and the Judit Polgar Foundation all of whose aim is to engage students in science, mathematics, and problem solving at a young age.

Rubik licensed the Magic Cube to Ideal Toys, a New York based company, who in 1979 rebranded The Magic Cube to the Rubik's Cube before its introduction to an international audience in 1980. The process from early prototype to significant mass production of the Cube had taken over six years. The Rubik's Cube would go on to become an instant success worldwide, winning several Toy of the Year awards, and becoming a staple of 1980's popular culture. To date, the Rubik's Cube has sold over 350 million units, making it the best selling toy of all time.

Egerszegi Krisztina

Krisztina Egerszegi born 16 August 1974 in Budapest, Hungary) is a Hungarian former world record holding swimmer and one of the greatest Hungarian Olympic champions of the modern era. She is a three-time Olympian (1988, 1992 and 1996) and five time Olympic champion; and one of three individuals (Dawn Fraser and Michael Phelps being other two) to have ever won the same swimming event at three Summer Olympics. She is the most successful and greatest female swimmer of all-time with 5 individual Olympic gold medals and she is the first and only female swimmer who won 5 individual Olympic gold medals.
She held the world record in the long course 200 m backstroke for almost 17 years (August 1991 – February 2008), after setting it at the 1991 European Championships (2:06.62). As of June 2009, that time remains the European and Hungarian records. It is the oldest record on the European list, and the second-oldest on the Hungarian list — Egerszegi's former world record in the 100 m backstroke (1:00.31), set 3 days prior to the 200 m backstroke, is the oldest. She is considered by many to be the greatest female backstroker of all-time.

Kertész Imre

Imre Kertész (born 9 November 1929) is a Hungarian author, Holocaust concentration camp survivor, and recipient of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Literature, "for writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history". Born in Budapest, Hungary, he resides in Berlin with his wife.
During World War II, Kertész was deported at the age of 14 with other Hungarian Jews to the Auschwitz concentration camp, and was later sent to Buchenwald. His best-known work, Fatelessness (Sorstalanság), describes the experience of 15-year-old György (George) Köves in the concentration camps of Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Zeitz. Some have interpreted the book as quasi-autobiographical, but the author disavows a strong biographical connection. In 2005, a film based on the novel, for which he wrote the script, was made in Hungary. Although sharing the same title, the film is more autobiographical than the book: it was released internationally at various dates in 2005 and 2006.

Kodály Zoltán

Zoltán Kodály 16 December 1882 – 6 March 1967) was a Hungarian composer, ethnomusicologist, pedagogue, linguist, and philosopher. He is best known internationally as the creator of the Kodály Method.
Throughout his adult life, Kodály was very interested in the problems of many types of music education, and he wrote a large amount of material on teaching methods as well as composing plenty of music intended for children's use. Beginning in 1935, along with his colleague Jenö Ádám (14 years his junior), he embarked on a long-term project to reform music teaching in Hungary's lower and middle schools. His work resulted in the publication of several highly influential books.
The Hungarian music education program that developed in the 1940s became the basis for what is called the "Kodály Method". While Kodály himself did not write a comprehensive method, he did establish a set of principles to follow in music education, and these principles were widely taken up by pedagogues (above all in Hungary, but also in many other countries) after World War II.

miércoles, 29 de abril de 2015


Galileo Galilei

(1564- 1642)was an Italian physicist, mathematician, engineer, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the scientific revolution during the Renaissance.

 Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta 

(1745-1827) was the first Italian physicist. He invented the first electrical battery, the Voltaic pile, in 1799.

Michelangelo Buonarroti 

(1475-1564) was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer of the High Renaissance. Michelangelo created the most influential works in fresco in the history of Western art: the Sistine Chapel in Rome.

Guglielmo Marconi 

(18741937) was an Italian inventor and electrical engineer, known for his pioneering work on long-distance radio transmission and for his development of Marconi's law and a radio telegraph system.



He is a medieval legendary satirical Sufi figure. Nasreddin was a populist philosopher and wise man, remembered for his funny stories and anecdotes. Much of Nasreddin's actions can be described as illogical yet logical, rational yet irrational, bizarre yet normal, foolish yet sharp, and simple yet profound. What adds even further to his uniqueness is the way he gets across his messages in unconventional yet very effective methods in a profound simplicity

Hacivat and Karagöz

Traditional Turkish Puppets Shadow Play was developed from religious, moral and educational urge to imitate human actions.

Yunus Emre

He is one of the most important Turkish poets. He was a Sufi Muslim ascetic of Anatolia. He probably lived in the Karaman area. His poetry expresses a deep personal mysticism and humanism and love for God.


He is  the hero "son of the blind man", defending his clan against threats from outside. Köroğlu earns his name from the wrongful blinding of his father, an act for which the son takes his revenge and which initiates his series of adventures. He is portrayed as a bandit and a poet.A number of songs and melodies attributed to Köroğlu survives in the folk tradition.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

He was born in 1881 in the former Ottoman Empire. As a young man he was involved with the Young Turks, a revolutionary group that deposed the sultan in 1909. Ataturk led the Turkish War of Independence and signed the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, which made Turkey a republic. He was elected its first president and ushered in reforms that modernized Turkey. He died in 1938.

martes, 28 de abril de 2015


Boris Christoff 

World famous Bulgarian bass Boris Christoff was a phenomenon in opera. Emblematic artist of the Russian opera classics, he was unbeaten in the role of Boris Godunov of the eponymous opera by Mussorgsky. Philip II in Don Carlos by Verdi is another memorable role of the Bulgarian royal bass. Performances were inimitable and his church Slavonic Chants - hardly a Bulgarian who does not know his "Mnogaya leta ”(To many years to come). In 1986 the Bulgarian Academy of Arts and Culture was opened in Rome - the great Bulgarian donated his home to the Bulgarian state to care for the development of young opera singers. And donated his home in Sofia, also in favor of art. The bass genius was born in 1914 in l Bulgaria and died in 1993 in Rome.

Dimitar Berbatov 

Dimitar Berbatov is a Bulgarian footballer who played for Pirin (Blagoevgrad), CSKA (Sofia), Bayer Leverkusen. With the German team he signed a contract for 4.5 years and the amount of transfer was 4.5 million DEM. In May 2006, passed in the English team Tottenham Hotspur for 16 million euros. His father and his grandfather are former players,his younger brother named Assen, is also a footballer, currently playing in Pirin( Blagoevgrad).On July 29, 2006 Dimitar Berbatov has 31 goals in 49 appearances for the Bulgarian national football team, which ranks him third place in the ranking of the best scorers in the national team of all time. Before him are only Hristo Bonev (47 goals) and Hristo Stoichkov (35 goals). He was declared a footballer № 1 in Bulgaria for 2002, 2004 and 2005.At the moment Berbatov is playing for one of the most famous and powerful teams in the world-Manchester United. 

Albena Denkova and Maxim Stavisky 

Bulgarian “ lady of ice” and her partner Maxim Stavisky combine two important qualities – strong-mindedness and unusual talent .They overcame all difficulties on the road to the world-wide fame .In 2006 in Calgari Albena and Maxim won the gold medal and became world champions .This was the first gold medal for Bulgaria in figure skating. Bulgarian figure skaters grabbed the gold medal for the second time in their career in Tokyo , Japan in 2007.Bulgaria's sweethearts have been planning to get married someday but they said there was never enough time off from skating and practice to do that. World Ice Skating Champions 2006 Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviski got finally married in end of December 2006 in a small Bulgarian mountain village.

John Atanasov 

The father of the computer was proud of his Bulgarian origin. The genius inventor was born on October 4, 1903 in Hamilton. His father, Ivan Atanasoff, left an orphan after the April uprising, emigrated to the United States. There he became an electrical engineer and married Iva Lucena, mother of John, a mathematics teacher. His idea to create the perfect computing machine led to the discovery of the computer. John Atanasov was awarded the highest prize of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for Pioneer Research, discovery and construction of the first digital computer ...", which is the basis of all modern computers. 


Wlodzimierz Lubanski 

Born in Gliwice in 1947. With national team he won a gold medal in Olympic games in 1972 as a captain of a team.  After he ended his career he went to Belgium and he has been living there till today. Football player, multiple representative of Poland, Olympic champion. In Polish colors he played 75 official international matches, shooting 48 goals.

Jerzy Kukuczka

(24 March 1948 in Katowice – 24 October 1989 Lhotse) - was a Polish alpinist and high-altitude climber. Born in Katowice, his family origin is Goral. On 18 September 1987, he became the second man, after Reinhold Messner, to climb all fourteen eight-thousenders in the world. He is the first man who made the first winter ascents of three eight-thousanders:  Dhaulagiri with Andrzej Czok in 1985, Kanchenjunga with Krzysztof Wielicki in 1986 and Annapurna I with Artur Hajzer in 1987. He is the only climber to have ascended four of the eight-thousanders during winter.  Along with Tadeusz Piotrowski, Kukuczka established a new route on K2 (the so-called "Polish Line"), which no one has ever repeated.

Jak Kiepura

(May 16, 1902 – August 15, 1966) was an acclaimed Polish singer (tenor) and actor. Jan Kiepura was born in Sosnowiec, Poland, the son of Miriam (née Neuman), a former professional singer, and Franciszek Kiepura, a baker and grocery owner. His mother was Jewish. He had a brother, Władysław later known as a Ladis Kiepura. He was probably the most famous Polish musician between first and second world war.

Lech Wałęsa 

Born 29 September 1943 is a Polish politician, trade-union organizer, philanthropist and human-rights activist. A charismatic leader, he co-founded Solidarity (Solidarność), the Soviet Block’s first independent trade union, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and served as President of Poland from 1990 to 1995.