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The Making of Spain: Reconquest

Christianity in the North re-awakens, and one by one the Moslem states fall. Attempts are made by pious Islamic sects from North Africa to win back Spain. By the mid-15th century only the city-state of Granada remains, which is besieged by the warrior Catholic King and Queen - Ferdinand and Isabella. Granada falls in 1492, and 700 years of Muslim rule comes to an end. The Jews are expelled and the inquisition is launched. Simon Sebag Montefiore finds out some distressing information about his own family.
2017; 2015

The Making of Spain: Conquest

This episode spans the early years when Iberia was a minor province of Carthage, through to the glories of Spain's Moslem age and the Cordoba Caliphate. Simon Sebag Montefiore travels to Cadiz with Spain's first invaders and visits a sacred island where the Carthaginian warrior Hannibal received the blessing of the Gods. We learn how early Spain was a battleground for empires, and visit Italica - a perfectly preserved Roman city with one of the finest amphitheaters outside Rome. From there this episode covers the early, brazen Christian Martyrs, the Visigoths and the Moslem conquest.
2017; 2015

The Making of Spain: Nation

Spain enters its Golden Age. King Philip II is a colossus on the European Stage, and for a time is King of England as well as Spain with his brief marriage to Queen Mary. With the power of Spain enhanced by the spoils of the American Empire, Philip founds Madrid and launches a great Armada against England. We visit El Escorial, Philip's mighty palace outside Madrid, and learn how his successors, with their reliance on favorites and mistresses, cannot live up to his reign. The last Hapsburg king Charles II is a victim of inbreeding, and dies childless. Spain is ruled by the Bourbons, becomes part of the Napoleonic Empire and eventually succumbs to a devastating Civil War and dictatorship under Franco before emerging as a modern, twentieth century nation and a model of democratic monarchy.
2017; 2015

Severo Ochoa

Severo Ochoa was a Spanish scientist of international renown; he became an American citizen in 1956. In 1959, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (shared with American scientist Arthur Kornberg) for his important work on the metabolism of nucleic acids and the discovery of the enzyme polynucleotide phosphorylase.
2016; 1976

Antonio Saura

Spanish artist and writer Antonio Saura (1930-1998) was a guest of A FONDO in June 1976. The founder of the group "El Paso" describes his initial trajectory, his long seasons in France, his friendship with Picasso and Miró, the evolution towards expressionism and abstraction, the treatment of color, the moral attitude, and his attitude to the success he obtained: "I do not worry at all ... The important thing is to live".
2016; 1976

Luis García Berlanga

Luis García Berlanga is a Spanish film director. His film El verdugo (The executioner) won the Critics Prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1963 and is considered the best film in the history of Spanish cinema.
2016; 1980

Joan Manuel Serrat

Joan Manuel Serrat is a Spanish musician, singer, songwriter, performer, actor, writer, and poet who was born in Barcelona in 1943. He is one of the most prominent figures of modern song in Spanish and Catalan, receiving the Latin Grammy and Person of the Year in 2014.
2016; 1977

Julián Marías

Julián Marías Aguilera (Valladolid, Madrid, 2005) earned a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Madrid and was a disciple of Ortega y Gasset. Although an outstanding essayist and distinguished philosopher, Marías did not teach in the Franco's Spanish University due to ideological discrepancies; he was a lecturer in Europe and America. His presence in the Spanish intellectual world has been constant: he collaborated with relevant newspapers, was a member of the Royal Academy, and a senator by royal appointment. He presided over the Foundation for Sociological Studies from its creation in 1979 until his death. In 1974, he published The Social Justice and other Justices and in 1996, received the Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities, shared with Indro Montanelli.
2016; 1976

José Luis de Vilallonga

José Luis de Vilallonga Cabeza de Vaca, IX marquis de Castellbell (Madrid, 1920 - Andratx, Mallorca, 2007) was an aristocrat, writer and Spanish actor. He rejected the diplomatic career that his family wanted him to follow and thanks to his contacts, had the opportunity to make friends with many celebrities of the political and artistic world. He participated in over 70 films including Lovers of Louis Malle and Breakfast with Diamonds (Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1961). He published Allegro barbaro in 1978 and La nostalgia es un error in 1980. He was spokesman of the Democratic Board during the Transition and wrote an authoritative biography of Juan Carlos I, El Rey. Perhaps his best work is the four volume autobiography, Unauthorized Memoirs.
2016; 1980

Spain: Hospital on the High Seas

Emergency doctor Bernard Fontanille travels to the port of Santander to board the Juan de la Cosa. Every year in June, the Spanish floating hospital accompanies an armada of over 600 tuna-fishing boats off the Gulf of Gascony, bringing aid to fishermen in the event of an accident.
2016; 2013

The Alhambra - Granada [electronic resource]

The Alhambra is a palace, or rather a group of two palaces, built for two consecutive XIVth century caliphs, Yusuf 1st (1333-1353) and Mohammed V (1353-1391). The two palaces are hemmed into an older fortress (X century), crowning a 700 meter-long rocky peak. Here, refinement is everywhere - the porcelain mosaics on the floor, the plasterwork sculpted on the walls, the woodwork sculpted and painted on the ceiling- everything is set out in geometric, floral, or epigraphic patterns. Overall this produces a complex yet harmonious decor. Understanding this division of space, means understanding an architecture that develops from the inside, and not from the facade, an architecture that uses geometry to hide the plan and not to display it.
2015; 2006

Carlos Saura [electronic resource]

In a 1976 interview for Spanish television, Spanish filmmaker and photographer, Carlos Saura, talks to Joaquin Soler Serrano about his films that reflect the anxiety provoked by the Spanish Civil War, and censorship in its aftermath. His films often deal with the terrors experienced in childhood, and like his mentor, Luis Bunuel, blends reality with the macabre and subjective imagination. He is married to the actress Geraldine Chaplin who starred in many of his films. With his host, Saura discusses his films and difficulties of filmmaking in Spain.
2015; 1976

Joaquín Rodrigo [electronic resource]

In this 1976 interview for Spanish television, composer and pianist, Joaquin Rodrigo, performs two pieces for pianoand talks with Joaquin Soler Serrano about his family, his closeness with musical greats of the turn of the century, his blindness, and especially how he came to compose his most renowned "Concierto de Aranjuez.
2015; 1976

Andrés Segovia [electronic resource]

In this 1976 interview for Spanish Television, classical Spanish guitarist, Andrés Segovia, talks with Joaquin Soler Serrano about his early life and influences like Francisco Tárrega,and his present wife and six-year old son.In anecdotes he describes his literary friends like Miguel de Unamuno and Federico Garcia Lorca, and fellow musicians like Miguel Llobet and Manuel de Falla. Segovia recalls his world tours and cites his hopes for the future of the classical guitar.
2015; 1976

Narciso Yepes [electronic resource]

Narciso Yepes was one of the finest classical guitarists, second only to Andres Segovia. In this 1976 interview for Spanish Television, Yepes performs a Bach piece he transcribed from the Baroque lute. He also achieved distinction as a composer, and following the interview, we hear two Catalan songs that he composed for an album. His many travels took him to world capitals where he perfomed in concert to acclaim. Yepes perfected the ten-string guitar and tuning that produces more sympathetic vibration and resonance from all the notes.
2015; 1976

Carmen Martin Gaite [electronic resource]

In this 1981 interview for Spanish television, writer Carmen Martin Gaite tells about her New York experiences while teaching at Barnard College; discusses her childhood in Salamanca and Ourense Province during the Spanish Civil War; recalls her academic life influenced by notables such as Unamuno, and her bohemian circle of literary friends in Madrid that came to represent the Social Realists of the post war generation. Her experiences are reflected in her many novels, short stories, poetry, screenplays and essays. She won important awards, and at the time of her death in 2000, she was only one of two female members of the Spanish Royal Academy.
2015; 1981

The Passionate Historian

In this Ideas Roadshow episode, Sir John Elliott of University of Oxford speaks with Howard Burton about how a chance undergraduate encounter with Spain led to a lifetime love affair, along the way describing how the past influences the present and how the field of history is changing.
2015; 2013

Discovering Dali [electronic resource]

Filmmaker Jack Bond Jack travels to Stockholm, Sweden where the Moderna Museet is holding an exhibition of Dali's work and revisits his 1965 film, Dali in New York. Jack explores the enigmatic character of Dali and the surreal nature of his own films. As part of his investigation Jack discusses Dali and his work with museum curators and art historians. He reminisces about his friendship with Salvador Dali and the making of his film. Through the journey Jack discovers the influence Dali had on his own filmmaking and learns more about the personality and politics of the great surrealist.
2015; 2010

Spain [electronic resource]: Yes We Can!

Sally Sara meets the grass roots, social media-driven activists who are turning politics on its head in Spain. Now that they've got the power, what will they do with it?

Caveman Cold Case [electronic resource]

A tomb of 49,000 year-old Neanderthal bones discovered in the caves of El Sidrón in Northern Spain led to a double mystery: How did this group of individuals die? And, could the fate of this group help explain Neanderthal extinction? Some bones have deep cuts, long bones are cracked and skulls crushed-distinct signs of cannibalism. Was it a result of ritual or hunger? Neanderthal experts are adamant that they were not bloodthirsty brutes. Will this investigation challenge their views? What happened here will take us from El Sidron to the other end of the Iberian Peninsula where scientists are searching for underwater sites off Gibraltar. Scientists working here had theories-but no proof-for why Neanderthals went extinct. El Sidron may change this.