I will not stick to that torrid linearity that history has to describe a sober story of objetividades´, which would delight that father of extreme rationalism that was Voltaire, but I will grant myself the right to go to the crooked lines of God and letting myself be carried away by my own impressions, I will exercise myself by telling you my version of that story that is, after all, the fortress-and-convent of Calatrava la Nueva.
Nor will I begin with the genesis, as he recommends, with British brilliance, Mister Chesterton -occurring creator, among others, of the delirious novel 'The man who was Thursday'- nor do I intend to begin my bald tale with the boring 'once upon a time', which is generally used when it is difficult to set the horse of the imagination in motion.
The tale of Calatrava is a story of great secrets, but also, as Charles Dickens would say, of great ambitions, in whose beginnings the presence of those Custodians of Tradition, who were always the mysterious Knights Templar, is detected as a Campbelian shadow.
I will tell you, however, that you must not be deceived by the magnificence of the place and understand, from the beginning, that Calatrava la Nueva is, today and metaphorically speaking, a sleeping princess who can only aspire to the kiss of the Prince Charming, which is tourism.
This does not necessarily mean that there is not enough salt and pepper in Calatrava's present story-story, so as not to attempt to hurt, even from a glance, the susceptibility of orthodox historians, reluctant to admit another cause or effect that is not written down or at least initialled by the Vatican's secret archives, which for some reason are secret. However, they agree that Calatrava was the first erasure in the glorious history of the Order of the Temple, assessing collateral damage, metaphorically speaking, in the birth of the first order of Spanish monastic-military cavalry: the Order of Calatrava. The confrontation between the warrior of Allah and the warrior of God, the one who followed the guidelines set by Pope Urban during the First Crusade, which were summed up in a simple but terrible phrase: 'Deus lo Vult'. God wants it.
I join, out of animosity and conviction, those who want to see in the suspicious refusal of the Knights Templar to defend the square against the powerful Almohad threat, something more than a gesture of cowardice against the enemy and I congratulate myself with the hypothesis of a secret manoeuvre to conceal the presence in the shadow of the Order, which would be, in short, the leading head of those calatravos, that suspiciously, as Juan Eslava Galán hypothesizes, not only did they inherit a good part of their possessions when the Order was suppressed, but they also continued to settle in the places where the presence of an important telurism and remains of pre-Christian cultural activities are detected, renewing, in turn, the bonds of custody of Tradition, as did the Templars.
The myth needs embers to keep feeding the fire. The Temple is dead: Long live Calatrava. God and Allah claim their martyrs. Glory to Them in the heights and war on earth to military orders of goodwill.
Important defensive and control bastion -not in vain, compared admiringly with the famous Syrian castle of the Krak of the Knights- the importance of the fortress of Calatrava begins to decline, progressively, after July 1212, after the important Muslim defeat in the battle of Navas de Tolosa, some kilometers beyond the famous Despeñaperros pass. Or what is the same, an authentic carnage, where the shed blood and the decomposing corpses made the earth barren for centuries and only gave, as fruit, diseases and epidemics. Sit transic gloria Mundi.
Years of Disentailments and modern wars, managed to bring Calatrava la Nueva to the state in which it is today, although walking among its nicked remains, is still an exercise in nostalgic retroactivity, which is worth doing, at least once in a lifetime, letting itself be dreamed of by that feeling of loss, which offers the inexorable passage of time, and which the great poet Gabriel Celaya defined as the Byzantium syndrome.
WARNING: The text, the photographs that accompany it and the video that illustrates it -except the music, reproduced under license from Youtube- are my exclusive intellectual property.
Te invito a conocer el mundo del que estoy enamorado.
Image © juancar347. All Rights Reserved.
Original content by @juancar347
[Martial, latin poet]
Ars vtinam more Animvm qve effingere. Posses pulchrior in ter. Ris nvlla tabella foret.
Arte Ojala pudieras representar. el carácter y el espíritu. No habría sobre la tierra. Imagen más bella