Habsburg Spain  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
The Spanish Golden Age

Habsburg Spain refers to the history of Spain over the 16th and 17th centuries (1506–1700), when Spain was ruled by the major branch of the Habsburg dynasty (also associated to its role in the history of Central Europe). Under Habsburg rule (chiefly under Charles V and Philip II of Spain), Spain reached the zenith of its influence and power, controlling territory ranging from the Americas to the Philippines in Asia, the Low Countries (which included territories now in France and Germany), to most of modern-day Italy in Europe, and from 1580 to 1640 Portugal, the Portuguese Empire and various other territories such as Malta in the Mediterranean basin and small enclaves like Ceuta and Oran in North Africa. Altogether, Habsburg Spain was, for well over a century, the world's greatest power. For this reason, this period of Spanish history has also been referred to as the "Age of Expansion".

During the latter Habsburg kings, and mainly in the second half of the 17th century, Spain experienced a gradual political and cultural decline.

Spanish art and culture (1516–1700)

The Spanish Golden Age was a flourishing period of arts and letters in Spain which spanned roughly from 1550–1650. Some of the outstanding figures of the period were El Greco, Diego Velázquez, Miguel de Cervantes, and Pedro Calderón de la Barca.

El Greco and Velázquez were both painters, the former most notably recognized for his religious depictions and the latter—now regarded as one of the most important figures in all of Spanish art—for his precise, realistic portraiture of the contemporary court of Philip IV. Cervantes and de la Barca were both writers; Don Quixote de la Mancha, by Cervantes, is one of the most famous works of the period and probably the best-known piece of Spanish literature of all time. It is a parody of the romantic, chivalric aspects of knighthood and a criticism of contemporary social structures and societal norms. Juana Inés de la Cruz, the last great writer of this golden age, died in New Spain in 1695.

This period also saw a flourishing in intellectual activity, now known as the School of Salamanca, producing thinkers that were studied throughout Europe.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Habsburg Spain" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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