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Historyvolver

MANY ARE THE VILLA STORIES. FEEL THE STEPS OF KINGS, CRAFTSMEN, WARRIORS, NOBLE MEN

Morella's geographic location has been key in the course of centuries and the historical facts. Town of passage, a crossroads between the Ebro Valley and the Mediterranean, linking Catalonia, Aragon and Valencia, Morella has witnessed important events for all the civilizations that have lived here. Since prehistoric times, times of the Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iberians, Romans, Muslims, Jews, Christians ... everyone saw in this place a fortress. The shape of the city, its castle and walls have witnessed the passing of the likes of Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, El Cid, who fought two battles in this region to serve the Muslim king of Zaragoza in the eleventh century.

The medieval Christian conquest converted Morella in a town of privileges. Morella was conquered by Christians in October 1231, although on January 7th, 1232 when King James I came triumphantly into the city after tough negotiations with the noble Blasco de Alagon, whom the king had promised he could keep as much as he conquered. But the king wanted the walled city and his knight said that "Morella is no place for any man of the world, but for a king, because it was as good as a county with their possessions" The splendid medieval town is marked by being the axis of the Crown of Aragon, and that Morella would always belong to the King. In 1270 it became part of the Kingdom of Valencia and in the Valencian Parliament still occupies the place of protocol of being First Villa of the Kingdom, just behind Valencia and Xativa.

The medieval times were rich, with a society of multiple trade unions, goldsmiths, silversmiths, sculptors, weavers, blacksmiths, and merchants who already travelled to places like Greece, Italy or North Africa. In that time it is stressed the character Francesc of Vinatea, who in the fourteenth century faced the king Alfonso el Benigno to oppose the wishes of the king's wife, Eleanor of Castile, to give to his son Ferdinand the main towns in the crown, endangering the union of the kingdom.

The Western Schism. Another historic moment the city has witnessed was the Compromise of Caspe and the Western Schism. In 1410 Martí l'Humà  died without an heir, deciding that his successor would be elected by nine commissioners, one of them was from Morella,Domingo Ram, who, in 1412, when they decided that Fernando de Antequera would be the successor, was bishop of Huesca. In 1414 they met in Morella Pope Luna (Benedict XIII), King Ferdinand I and Fray Vicent Ferrer with the aim of ending the Western Schism, during which time there were three different Popes .. The negotiations lasted fifty days without solution, The King and Vicent Ferrer left the obedience of Pope Luna, who remained in Peniscola isolated until his death.

 

 

 

The War of Succession. The Succession War also took place in Morella. During this conflict, local authorities remained in the Borbon side, but two Austrian occupations resulted in the destruction of the neighborhood of San Miguel. After the bombs, Morella was left with only 1,800 inhabitants but to the astonishment of all, they rebuilt the town. The Decreto de Nueva Planta repealed the existence of the Kingdom of Valencia and Morella came to enforce the laws of Castile.

The Carlist wars and the Tiger of Maestrazgo. Carlist War I is one of the most decisive episodes in the history of Morella. The governor of the town and the Baron de Herbers proclaimed king Carlos V in 1833. The statement did not last long and for two years resisted the area as a small independent state led by General Ramón Cabrera. The wars fought here and in Catalonia predicted more wars in the new liberal state. Reformed the military organization in the area creating the General Command of Maestrazgo (1849-1871) reaching Catalonia, Aragon and Valencia and Morella was its capital, as it was done later to maintain the capital of the province of Castellón and south Tarragona (1871-1879). But once the Third Carlist War finished the military province returned to conform to civil boundaries. Ramon Cabrera, the Tiger of Maestrazgo came to deserve the title of Conde de Morella. After the conflict and after marrying a British noble went into exile in London, repenting of so much bloody battle. In the British capital there is a street dedicated to Morella, the one where the general lived.

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