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The Peninsular War

In 1807, the French emperor Napoleon moved his troops through Spain to invade Portugal. After feeding more than 100,000 troops into Spain under the pretext of supporting the invasion, Napoleon deposed the existing Spanish monarch in April, 1808, in order to place his own brother Joseph on the throne, who at that time was the King of Naples. An uprising by the Spanish ensued, resulting in the so-called Peninsular War (1808-1814), a skirmish that ultimately was won by Spain with a combined British-Portuguese-Spanish force under the command of Lt. Gen. Sir Arthur Wellesley, later known as the Viscount of Wellington, and which eventually led to Napoleon’s abdication.

Let me remind you that two weeks from now, like on the last Saturday of every month, soldiers of the 47ª Regimiento de Infantería Ligera Palma (Light Infantry Regiment) will engage in a recreation of the historical Guardia de Honor ceremony (changing of the guard). The ceremony goes back to 1808 when it was first performed by volunteers of the Palma Regimiento, created by the Marquis de Vivot. Nowadays, the professional soldiers of the Fuerzas Armadas are faithfully fitted with uniforms, muskets, halberts, fifes and drums, and other equipment of the time. The one hour-long ceremony starts at 12h00 noon at the Palacio Real de la Almudaina, directly opposite of the main portal of Palma’s Cathedral. There is no admission charge to see this colourful ceremony. I would recommend attendance even if you are neither into warfare nor into the realm of the armed forces.

The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: January 30th, 2010. The time was 12:06:03.

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February 2011


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