we will never be royals. on this day in history.


On February 3rd, 1112, Ramon Berenguer III of Barcelona, known as the Count of Barcelona, and Douce I of Provence, married, uniting the fortunes of both of their states.  During Ramon’s reign, independent Catalonia reached the summit of its historical greatness, spreading its ships over the western Mediterranean and acquiring new lands from the southern Pyrennees to Provence.  Curiously, if not befittingly, the only images to be found of Ramon III are in battle.  There are no images of he and his Countess on the throne.  No images of he together with his sons, including his namesake, Ramon IV, who ruled after him.  The only depictions of him are those [mostly in battle scenes] as a conquerer.  Clearly, the extent of the territory he amassed during his reign is evidence of his success in this regard.  There are, however, numerous images of his predecessors and descendants, including Ramon I, Ramon II, Ramon IV and great-great-granddaughter, Eleanor, who was Queen of England, having married King Henry III.  If you visit Barcelona today, you can gaze at the same Roman architecture as Ramon and Douce had over 900 years before.  In the Plaça Ramón Berenguer, a square named after the Count, and behind a sculpture bearing his likeness [not surprisingly, again, in military fashion, on horseback], there is a section of a Roman wall crowned by the Gothic chapel of Santa Àgata.  This section of Roman wall dates from the early 4th century AD and appears to be constructed of repurposed stone from walls erected in the 1st century AD.  The area is a majestic blend of two different Barcelonas: the Roman and the medieval.  The Plaça Ramón Berenguer el Gran provides a unique insight into Gothic, medieval and Roman Barcelona.  If you research the Count of Barcelona, his predecessors and those who succeeded him, you will get a glimpse into the strange world of royal affairs of state, child betrothals, preservation of bloodlines, tradition and rituals that make me thankful that, borrowing the words of teen pop star Lorde, we [or at least I] will never be royals.

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