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Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Zamora, Spain (Capital)

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An episcopal city, and the capital of the Spanish province of Zamora; on the right bank of the river Duero (Douro), and at the junction of railways from Salamanca, Medina del Campo and Astorga. Pop. (1900) 16,283. Zamora occupies a rocky height overlooking the Duero, a little below its confluence with the Valderaduey. The river is crossed by a fine 14th-century bridge of sixteen pointed arches. The citadel of Zamora dates from the 8th century. The small but beautiful cathedral, one of four 12th-century churches in the city, is a Romanesque building, with a square tower, a dome above the crossing, and an elaborately-decorated interior. It was completed about 1175, and contains some interesting medieval tombs, and paintings by Fernando Gallegos (1475-1550). The other principal buildings are the 17th-century town-hall, the palace of the provincial assembly, a hospital with curious Gothic windows, an ecclesiastical seminary, and a school of engineering. The trade is chiefly agricultural, but linen and woollen goods, pottery, hats, leather, and spirits are manufactured in small quantities.

In the early period of the Christian re-conquest Zamora, from its position on the north bank of the Duero, was a place of considerable strategic importance. It was taken from the Moors by Alphonso I. of Leon in 748, but was again held by them for short periods in 813, 939, 9 6 3, 984 and 986. It was entirely repaired by Ferdinand I. of Castile and Leon, who in 1061 gave it to his daughter Dona Urraca. After his death in 1065 his son Sancho II. disputed possession with Urraca and laid siege to the city, but without success, although the famous Ruy Diaz de Bivar was among his warriors, and indeed at this time received his title of "The Cid." Zamora became subject to Alphonso VI. in 1073.

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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Zamora, Spain (Capital)'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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