A totally unexpected ‘spectacular’ was to be viewed in Yunquera plaza today. We only saw the posters last night.
It was celebrating the Spanish War of Independence. Heard of it? Well, I confess that I had not. I had heard about the events around it however – the Peninsular War, the beating of Napoleon’s troops and the ending of the French empire. This was a big thing – the first time in Europe that an empire had been beaten by partisans, and, in fact, was the origin of the word “guerrilla” in the English language (from the Spanish Guerra de guerrillas or “war of little wars”).
One of the final battles that sealed Spain’s independence was fought in Andalucia, hence the importance to this area. 24,000 French troops surrendered to the Spanish, in a battle where Spaniards fought house-to-house through the cities, and in some cases even burned their own houses to prevent the French from gaining ground. To all reports, their behavior was absolutely heroic in the face of highly-experienced French troops.
History lesson over! The point of today’s blog is to tell you that our very energetic town council arranged this reenactment for the townspeople. In this year of economic crisis, the council is trying very hard to employ local people in town building improvements, and they are making more of the local celebrations and fiestas, to keep spirits up.
Maybe it wasn’t as grand as the Willimsburg reenactments, maybe the actors didn’t move around much on this hot day, but hey, this is Yunquera! It was really good, and more importantly, fun was had by all.