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James I of Aragon (1208-1276)

On February 2, the eighth centenary of the birth of King James I of Aragon is commemorated. For this reason, it has been the date chosen to inaugurate the exhibition of some of the very important documents from his reign that are preserved in the Archive of the Crown of Aragon.

It is not necessary to underline the relevance of the figure of this monarch as one of the creators of the old Crown of Aragon and by extension of the origins of Spain. He expanded the borders of his Hispanic domains in an extraordinary way, incorporating the Muslim kingdoms of Majorca and Valencia. Its European dimension is also worth highlighting, due to the diversity and breadth of the international relations it established with all the Western monarchs, which for the first time included the Hispanic territories in the set of political relations on the continent. His conquests laid the foundations for the future expansion of the Crown of Aragon in the Mediterranean. From a cultural point of view, moreover, the court of this monarch had a transcendental influence on the reception and dissemination of common law throughout Europe, as well as on the transmission of medieval Christian culture.

Among the documents on display are some of great historical significance, such as the Treaty of Almizra between Aragon and Castile (1244) by which they set the limits of their respective expansion by Muslim Spain or the Treaty of Corbeil, signed with the King of France ( 1258), by which he waived his historical rights over the old Hispanic March. We can also highlight the successive testaments of the monarch, the marriage contracts of his children and the documents related to the conquests of Mallorca and Valencia. Some pieces have added artistic value, such as the poster for the brotherhood of Santa María de Tárrega, with a notable central miniature.

From February 1, 2008 to July 26, 2009

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