The Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, commonly known La Magione, is a Norman church of Palermo. It was completed in 1191 and is the last church built in the capital of the Norman Kingdom of Sicily during the period of the Hauteville dynasty. Its foundation is linked to the Chancellor of the Kingdom, Matthew of Ajello. Initially attributed to the Cistercians, during the period of the Hohenstaufen dynasty the church became the main house of the Teutonic Order. It is located in the quarter of the Kalsa, within the historic centre of Palermo.
In 1193 the prince Roger III of Sicily, son and heir of King Tancred of Sicily, was buried in this church. In 1194 Tancred himself was buried here.
After the death of Tancred the Kingdom was conquered by the Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI, husband of Constance of Hauteville, daughter of King Roger II of Sicily. In 1197 the church and its monastic fiefs was confiscated from the Cistercians and given to the Teutonic Knights. Their presence ensured the protection of young King Frederick II for over a decade during his minority. The knights built dormitories, an armoury and stables.
In 1492, at the request of Pope Innocent VIII, King Ferdinand II of Aragon, removed the Teutonic Order from Sicily. The complex became a residence for priests and abbots under the administration of the archbishop of Palermo. In 1780 it passed unto direct control of the Bourbon of Naples and in 1787 it was given to the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George. This situation ended with the unification of Italy in 1861.
In 19th century an important restoration was realized by Giuseppe Patricolo. Another restoration was realized after the Second world war. The church has the title of Minor basilica.References:
Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.
Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.
It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.
Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.
Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.
The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.
The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.
With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.
Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.