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LetsGoNorth meets LetsGoSouth

Scotland and Spain have been inextricably linked since the time of the Crusades. There are many historical and cultural connections.. Read all about them on this blog!

28 February 2015 @ 20:57

What does a small Spanish town near Ronda have to do with Scottish history?  For those who have read Scottish history, this may not be such an obscure question, but for those who haven't, then it is not so strange. When King of the Scots,  Robert the Bruce, lay dying on the battle field in 1329, his last wish was for his heart to be removed, embalmed and taken on the Crusades.   Sir James Douglas duly carried out his friend's wishes and when he was on the way to Jerusalem a year later, he was carrying the heart in a silver casket, it is said.

Now, in the centre of Teba, there is a memorial to Robert the Bruce.  On his way to Jerusalem, Sir Douglas came upon King Alfonso  XI of Castile who was at war with the Moors of Granada when he was laying siege to the castle at Teba.  While the King was waiting for equipment to arrive to assist with breaking the castle walls, Sir Douglas was entrusted to be in charge of the foreign contingent. There is some discussion about whether Sir Douglas died in this particular battle or in another skirmish later on.  The battle was not conclusive. The Scottish poet John Barbour was in the entourage and collected Sir Douglas' body as well as the casket containing the heart and took them back to Scotland.

You would not think that nowadays that such battles could have taken place in such a tranquil place.  The evidence is, however, there.  The castle still stands proudly on the hill, dominating all around, like so many other castles.  You can visit the keep at certain times and there are lots of interpretive panels explaining about the area, the geology and the history.  Teba is well worth a visit. The most important day of the year is 7th October honouring the Virgin of the Rosary.   There are also events on 15th May and the summer fair from 10 to 12 August.


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