Archive for 'Castle'

The Kingdom of Naples, Part 13: Ferdinand II (1495-1496)

Ferdinand IIFerdinand II of Naples when he was Duke of Calabria
(Source: Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

King Alfonso II of Naples had fled his kingdom in the face of the French invasion. His son, Ferdinand II, would regain the kingdom, but died soon after. As described by Clara Erskine Clement:

Ferdinand II. returned to Naples, and with the aid of the great Spanish captain, Gonsalvo da Cordova, had regained nearly all that his father had lost, when, in October, 1496, he was borne from Somma to Castel Capuano, sick unto death. In the “Cronaca di Notar Giacomo,” this account is given:

“On the following Thursday, the Most Reverend Lord Archbishop, Alexander Carafa, led two solemn processions, one of which went towards the Nunziata, bearing the head and blood of the glorious martyr St. Januarius, followed by a numberless troop of women with burning wax torches. As the procession reached the castle, the queen mother appeared under the portal and threw herself on the ground, upon which the Archbishop uttered three prayers: the first to the Madonna, the second for the sick King, and the third to St. Januarius. Then they all exclaimed ‘Misericordia’ so loudly and tumultuously that the Archbishop could hardly finish the prayer amid the lamentations of the people. On the following Friday, at the seventh hour, another procession was about to march to Santa Maria la Nuova: then came the intelligence that God had taken the Lord King to himself. Cujus anima requiescat in pace.” › Continue reading…


The Kingdom of Naples, Part 10: Alfonso I (1442-1458)

Medalla_de_Alfonso_V_de_AragónSilver medal of Alfonso V (1449) by Pisanello. Source: Luis García / Wikimedia / Creative Commons

As described in my previous post, King Alfonso V of Aragon eventually defeated King René of Naples in 1442. He then ruled until his death in 1458 as Alfonso I of Naples. He was also Alfonso I of Sicily, meaning that he ruled over both parts of the former Norman kingdom of Sicily. At his death, he was succeeded in Aragon and Sicily by his son John II and in Naples by his illegitimate son Ferdinand. He thus began the Aragonese dynasty of Naples. › Continue reading…


The Kingdom of Naples, Part 8: Joanna II (1414-1435)

Giovanna_IIJoanna II of Naples (Source: Wikimedia)

King Ladislaus of Naples was succeed by his sister, Joanna II. The Queen still has a scandalous reputation. Author Clara Erskine Clement, in her book Naples, the City of Parthenope and its Environs (1894), writes that her private life “was far from reputable; she was guilty of infidelity in all her relations, as a woman and as a queen. But her second husband, Jacques de Bourbon, treated her so cruelly as to arouse great sympathy in her behalf, and her subjects drove him out of the kingdom.” She describes the struggles of Joanna II’s reign, which were dominated by the question of who would succeed the childless queen: › Continue reading…


The Kingdom of Naples, Part 3: Charles II (1285-1309)

Porto Mercantile

Charles II, the second king of Naples (without Sicily), succeeded his father, Charles I, in 1285. Clara Erskine Clement describes in her 1894 book, Naples, the City of Parthenope and its Environs:

Charles II. of Anjou was a worthy successor of his father in the conception and execution of public works. He constructed the original Molo Grande and the Porto Mercantile, or Porto Grande, in 1302; he continued the building of the cathedral, and erected S. Domenico Maggiore, still one of the finest churches in Naples, and founded the less important S. Pietro Martire.

› Continue reading…


The Kingdom of Naples, Part 2: Charles I (1266-1285)

Charles ISource: Bob and Nella’s World

Having defeated Manfred, the last Hohenstaufen king of Sicily, in 1266, Charles of Anjou, the brother of King Louis IX of France, was crowned king of Sicily. In 1282, Charles lost the control of the island of Sicily itself but retained the kingdom’s territory on the southern part of the Italian Peninsula. This resulted in there being two kingdoms of Sicily, one on Sicily and the other on the peninsula. Both would be called the Kingdom of Sicily, but Charles’s remaining territory is more commonly known today as the Kingdom of Naples, after its major city. › Continue reading…


Harriet Beecher Stowe in Scotland, Part Thirteen: Hawthornden Castle

HawthorndenHawthornden Castle (Source)

Hawthornden Castle is situated on the north bank of the River North Esk in Midlothian. It consists of a ruined 15th-century castle with an attached house built in 1638 by the poet Sir William Drummond of Hawthornden. Part of the castle is now made available by its current owners as a private retreat for writers. Harriet Beecher Stowe visited Hawthornden on April 27, 1853. › Continue reading…


Harriet Beecher Stowe in Scotland, Part Seven: Aberdeen

ScotlandCropped image from Wikimedia

It was towards the close of the afternoon that we found ourselves crossing the Dee, in view of Aberdeen. My spirits were wonderfully elated: the grand sea scenery and fine bracing air; the noble, distant view of the city, rising with its harbor and shipping, all filled me with delight.
–Harriet Beecher Stowe in Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands, Vol. 1

Crossing the River Dee on April 21, 1853, Harriet Beecher Stowe was reminded of a ballad that she had learned in childhood that begins:

The moon had climbed the highest hill
That rises o’er the banks of Dee,

She did not know the author of the ballad, but it was written by John Lowe (1750-1798), a native of Kenmure in Galloway. › Continue reading…

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