Tag: Spain

7 July 1520 – Battle of Otumba – Temalacatitlán

On 7 July 1520, the Spanish forces and their Tlaxcalan (Indian) allies under Hernán Cortés faced a pursuing Aztec (Mexica) army as the approached the town of Otumba de Gómez Farías. As Cortés’ force was overtaken, the were forced to stand and fight. The Spaniards were exhausted after fleeing from the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán on the night of 1 July 1520 when their alliance with the Aztec leader named Moctezuma II ended abruptly with his controversial death. The overnight flight from Tenochtitlán was called La Noche Triste or The Night of Sorrows. Confident of victory, the pursuing Aztecs were no longer trying to kill the few remaining Spaniards, but attempting to secure prisoners for their sacrificial rituals. Cortés and a handful of horse-mounted Spaniards rode through the Aztec lines in a desperate attempt to turn the tide of their demise. Cortés and a comrade managed to kill one of the prominent Aztec battle leaders and put the huge Aztec force into a panic. The Spaniards and Tlaxacalans killed thousands of the Aztecs in the ensuing chaos.

The Spaniards regrouped at Tlaxcala, but the Aztec loss emboldened Cortés to take the Aztec capital again. Thereafter, Spain’s control of the area was assured and it became known to Europe as New Spain.

The battlefield is approximately 70KM from the center of México City. This would make a good winter ride as a refugee from Canadian or American winters. A rider could also take in a Liga Mexican de Béisbol game at the Mexico City Red Devils (Diablos Rojos de México) or the Puebla Parrots (Pericos de Puebla). (see map)

Image Credit: By Anónimo, Manuel de Yáñez [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Charles I of Spain Becomes the Holy Roman Emperor 28 June 1519

On 28 June 1519, Charles I of Spain became Charles V, The Holy Roman Emperor. His kingdom spanned the Iberian peninsula to Italy and north into Germany and the low countries. There are some great roads in his former empire and I’ve been fortunate enough to ride many of them. The mountain roads of the Pyrenees between Spain and France are especially nice and quiet; the Alps between Italy, France, Switzerland and Austria are legendary; the heavily forested areas of the Ardennes in southwestern Germany, Belgium, and Luxembourg are the scenes of much of the 20th century’s history. All are full of great roads, food, and hospitality. Go!

Charles V was also credited with one of my favorite quotes,

I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men and German to my horse.

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