Mariana of Austria

Mariana of Austria or Maria Anna (24 December 1634 – 16 May 1696) was Queen of Spain from 1649 until her husband Philip IV died in 1665. She was appointed regent for their three-year-old son Charles II and due to his ill health remained an influential figure until her own death in 1696.

Mariana of Austria
Diego Velázquez 032
Portrait by Velázquez
Queen consort of Spain
Tenure7 October 1649 – 17 September 1665
Born24 December 1634
Wiener Neustadt, Archduchy of Austria, Holy Roman Empire
Died16 May 1696 (aged 61)
Uceda Palace, Madrid, Spain
SpousePhilip IV of Spain
IssueMargaret Theresa, Holy Roman Empress
Infanta Maria Ambrosia
Philip Prospero, Prince of Asturias
Infante Ferdinand Thomas Charles
Charles II of Spain
Full name
Maria Anna
FatherFerdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor
MotherMaria Anna of Spain
ReligionRoman Catholic

Early life

Frans Luycx - Double portrait of King Ferdinand IV with his sister Archduchess Maria Anna as children
Maria Anna and her older brother, Ferdinand, by Frans Luycx, c. 1636

Maria Anna was born on 24 December 1634 in Wiener Neustadt, the second child of Ferdinand of Hungary and Maria Anna of Spain. In 1637, her father became Emperor Ferdinand III on the death of Emperor Ferdinand II.

Her parents had six children, of whom three survived into adulthood. Maria Anna's elder brother, Ferdinand IV of Hungary died in 1654 at the age of 21; her younger brother Leopold succeeded as Emperor in 1658.

Queen of Spain

The Habsburgs preferred to marry within the family to retain their lands and properties, and in 1646 Maria Anna was betrothed to her Spanish cousin Balthasar Charles, Prince of Asturias, heir to the Spanish crown. When he died three months later, Maria Anna was left without a husband and Philip IV without a male heir. His own wife had died several years before and on 7 October 1649, forty-four-year-old Philip married his fourteen-year-old niece in Navalcarnero, near Madrid. From then on, she was known by her Spanish name 'Mariana.'

The marriage was not a happy one; Mariana was excluded from government, focusing instead on religion and exceptional piety.[1] Only two of their five children lived into adulthood; the eldest, Margaret Theresa (1651-1673) followed her mother's example in 1666 by marrying her maternal uncle Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor. Mariana's second daughter, Maria Ambrosia, lived only fifteen days, followed by two sons, Philip Prospero (1657-1661) and Ferdinand Thomas (1658-1659).

Shortly after Philip Prospero's death, on 6 November 1661 Mariana gave birth to her last child, Charles. Unlike his elder sister, he suffered a number of physical disabilities and was known as El Hechizado or "The Bewitched" from the popular belief his ailments were caused by "sorcery." In Charles' case, the so-called Habsburg lip was so pronounced he spoke and ate with difficulty all his life. He did not learn to walk until he was eight and never attended school but foreign observers noted his mental capacities remained intact.[2]

It has been suggested Charles suffered from the endocrine disease acromegaly and a combination of rare genetic disorders often transmitted through recessive genes, including combined pituitary hormone deficiency and distal renal tubular acidosis.[3] However, this is speculation; the authors of the most significant study state that 'it has not been demonstrated the disabilities suffered by Charles II were caused by the expression of detrimental recessive alleles inherited from common ancestors.[4]


Marie-Anne d'Autriche, reine d'Espagne
Mariana by Velázquez, 1660.

As Charles was only 3 years old when Philip died on 17 September 1665, Mariana was appointed his regent, advised by a Regency Council, until he became a legal adult at the age of 14. Her competence is difficult to assess; even modern opinions often reflect contemporary views on the role of women and Mariana as a 'foreigner,' while the second half of the 17th century was one of almost continuous crisis for Europe in general, not only Spain.[5] Recent studies argue she attempted significant reforms but these were compromised by internal political feuds.[6]

The struggle between 'Austrian' and 'French' factions, respectively led by Mariana and Charles' illegitimate half-brother John of Austria the Younger, was worsened by Spain's division into the Crowns of Castile and Aragon. Each had very different political cultures and traditions, making it hard to enact reforms or collect taxes; government finances were in perpetual crisis and Spain declared bankruptcy nine times between 1557 and 1666, including 1647, 1652, 1661 and 1666.[7]

El cardenal Juan Everardo Nithard
Cardinal Juan Everardo Nithard, c. 1674, Mariana's first validos.

Mariana followed the system established by Philip of governing through personal advisors or "validos," the first of whom was Juan Everardo Nithard, an Austrian Jesuit and her personal confessor. Since Philip's will excluded foreigners from the Regency Council, Nithard first had to be naturalised, which caused immediate resentment.[8] The new government was faced with the long-running Portuguese Restoration War and the War of Devolution with France; Spain declared bankruptcy in 1662 and 1666, making reductions in military spending a matter of extreme urgency. In 1668, the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ended the war with France while the Treaty of Lisbon accepted the restoration of the Crown of Portugal and loss of the Portuguese Empire.[9]

These concessions were an acceptance of reality and in many ways Aix-La-Chapelle was a diplomatic triumph, since France returned most of its gains but many nobles saw it as a humiliation. John instigated a revolt in Aragon and Catalonia, forcing Marianna to dismiss Nithard in February 1669 and replace him with Fernando de Valenzuela. When Charles came of age in 1675, John used the opportunity to dismiss Valenzuela but he was restored in 1677 when the Regency was reinstated due to Charles's ill-health.

Coello - Mariana of Austria as a Widow
Mariana, as a widow, in her later years, by Claudio Coello, c. 1685–1693

The Franco-Dutch War in 1672 dragged Spain into another expensive war with France and John finally gained control of government in 1678. He died in September 1679, one of his last acts being to arrange a marriage between Charles and 17-year-old Marie Louise of Orléans in November 1679. Mariana was once more restored as regent, although her influence over Charles was diminished by his new wife.

The 1683-84 War of the Reunions was followed in 1688 by the outbreak of the Nine Years' War. In February 1689, Marie Louise died; as with many deaths of the period, there were allegations she was poisoned but modern assessments of her symptoms conclude the cause was almost certainly appendicitis. To replace her, Mariana selected Maria Anna of Neuburg, one of 12 children, whose eldest sister Eleonore was the third wife of Emperor Leopold, making her aunt to future emperors Joseph I and Charles VI. From Marianna's perspective, these Austrian connections and the family's record of fertility made her an ideal choice.[10]

However, Charles' second marriage was also childless; by that time, he was almost certainly impotent, his autopsy later revealing he had only one atrophied testicle.[11] As his health declined, internal struggles over the succession became increasingly bitter, with the leadership of the pro-French faction passing to Fernández de Portocarrero, Cardinal and Archbishop of Toledo.

Under the influence of the 'Austrians,' in 1690 Spain joined the Grand Alliance coalition against France, which proved a disastrous decision. The state declared bankruptcy once again in 1692 and by 1696, France occupied most of Catalonia; Mariana retained power with the support of German auxiliaries under Maria Anna's brother Charles Philip, many of whom were expelled after Mariana's death.[12] She died on 16 May 1696 at the Uceda Palace in Madrid, at the age of sixty-one; the cause is thought to have been breast cancer.[13]


Las Meninas, by Diego Velázquez, from Prado in Google Earth
Her daughter Margaret Theresa in Velázquez's masterpiece Las Meninas.
Las Meninas mirror detail
Las Meninas detail; Mariana and Philip appear reflected in a mirror.


Mariana supported the 1668 mission led by Diego Luis de San Vitores and Saint Pedro Calungsod to convert the indigenous Chamorro people of Guam and the Mariana Islands to Christianity.

The Portrait of Mariana painted by Diego Velázquez was commissioned by Philip and is the only known full-length painting of her. The original is in the Prado Museum in Madrid; a copy was sent to her father Ferdinand and is held by the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

Several other portraits of her were made, including Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo's Queen Mariana of Spain in Mourning, 1666. She also appears as a detail in Velasquez' masterpiece Las Meninas which features her daughter Margaret Theresa.

Heraldry and family tree

Coat of Arms of Mariana of Austria, Queen Consort of Spain
Coat of arms of Mariana of Austria as Queen Consort
Coat of Arms of Marianne of Austria as Queen Dowager of Spain
Coat of arms of Mariana of Austria as Queen Dowager
Ancestors of Mariana of Austria
16. Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor[20]
8. Charles II, Archduke of Inner Austria[16]
17. Anne of Bohemia and Hungary[20]
4. Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor[14]
18. Albert V, Duke of Bavaria[21] (= 20, 30)
9. Maria Anna of Bavaria[16] (= 15, ≠ 5)
19. Anna of Austria[21] (= 21, 31)
2. Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor[14]
20. Albert V, Duke of Bavaria[22] (= 18, 30)
10. William V, Duke of Bavaria[17]
21. Anna of Austria[22] (= 19, 31)
5. Maria Anna of Bavaria[14] (≠ 9)
22. Francis I, Duke of Lorraine[23]
11. Renata of Lorraine[17]
23. Christina of Denmark[23]
1. Mariana of Austria
24. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor[24]
12. Philip II of Spain[18]
25. Isabella of Portugal[24]
6. Philip III of Spain[15]
26. Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor[25]
13. Anna of Austria[18]
27. Maria of Austria[25]
3. Maria Anna of Austria[15]
28. Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor (= 16)
14. Charles II, Archduke of Inner Austria[19] (= 8)
29. Anne of Bohemia and Hungary (= 17)
7. Margaret of Austria[15]
30. Albert V, Duke of Bavaria (= 18, 20)
15. Maria Anna of Bavaria[19] (= 9, ≠ 5)
31. Anna of Austria (= 19, 21)


  1. ^ Graziano, Frank (2004). Wounds of Love: The Mystical Marriage of Saint Rose of Lima. OUP. pp. 106–107. ISBN 0195136403.
  2. ^ Onnekink, David (ed) Mijers, Esther (ed), Rule, John (2017). The Partition Treaties, 1698-1700; A European View in Redefining William III: The Impact of the King-Stadholder in International Context. Routledge. pp. 91–108. ISBN 1138257966.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Callaway, Ewen (19 April 2013). "Inbred Royals Show Traces of Natural Selection". Nature News. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  4. ^ Gonzalo, Alvarez, Ceballos, Francisco; Quintero Celsa (2009). "The Role of Inbreeding in the Extinction of a European Royal Dynasty". PLOS. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005174. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  5. ^ de Vries, Jan (2009). "The Economic Crisis of the 17th Century" (PDF). Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies. 40 (2): 151–194. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  6. ^ Mitchell, Sylvia Z (2013). Mariana of Austria and Imperial Spain: Court, Dynastic, and International Politics in Seventeenth- Century Europe. University of Miami Scholarly Repository. pp. 19–21. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  7. ^ Jon Cowans (2003). Modern Spain: A Documentary History. U. of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 26–27. ISBN 0-8122-1846-9.
  8. ^ Storrs, Christopher (2006). The Resilience of the Spanish Monarchy 1665-1700. OUP Oxford. p. 154. ISBN 0199246378.
  9. ^ Barton, Simon (2009). A History of Spain. Palgrave. ISBN 0230200125.
  10. ^ Rommelse, Gijs (2011). Ideology and Foreign Policy in Early Modern Europe (1650–1750). Routledge. p. 224. ISBN 1409419134.
  11. ^ García-Escudero López, Ángel, Arruza Echevarría A, Padilla Nieva and R. Puig Giró1, Padilla Nieva, Jaime, Puig Giró, Ramon (2009). "Charles II; from spell to genitourinary pathology". History of Urology. 62 (3): 182.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ Storrs, Christopher (2006). The Resilience of the Spanish Monarchy 1665-1700. OUP Oxford. p. 158. ISBN 0199246378.
  13. ^ Graziano, Frank (2003). Wounds of Love : The Mystical Marriage of Saint Rose of Lima. Oxford University Press. pp. 106–107. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  14. ^ a b c Wurzbach, Constantin, von, ed. (1861). "Habsburg, Maria Anna (Königin von Spanien)" (in German). Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich [Biographical Encyclopedia of the Austrian Empire]. 7. Wikisource. p. 24.
  15. ^ a b c Wurzbach, Constantin, von, ed. (1861). "Habsburg, Maria Anna von Spanien" (in German). Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich [Biographical Encyclopedia of the Austrian Empire]. 7. Wikisource. p. 23.
  16. ^ a b Eder, Karl (1961), "Ferdinand II.", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 5, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 83–85; (full text online)
  17. ^ a b Wurzbach, Constantin, von, ed. (1861). "Habsburg, Maria Anna von Bayern" (in German). Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich [Biographical Encyclopedia of the Austrian Empire]. 7. Wikisource. p. 23.
  18. ^ a b Wurzbach, Constantin, von, ed. (1861). "Habsburg, Philipp III." (in German). Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich [Biographical Encyclopedia of the Austrian Empire]. 7. Wikisource. p. 120.
  19. ^ a b Wurzbach, Constantin, von, ed. (1861). "Habsburg, Margaretha (Königin von Spanien)" (in German). Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich [Biographical Encyclopedia of the Austrian Empire]. 7. Wikisource. p. 13.
  20. ^ a b Wurzbach, Constantin, von, ed. (1860). "Habsburg, Karl II. von Steiermark" (in German). Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich [Biographical Encyclopedia of the Austrian Empire]. 6. Wikisource. p. 352.
  21. ^ a b Wurzbach, Constantin, von, ed. (1861). "Habsburg, Maria von Bayern" (in German). Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich [Biographical Encyclopedia of the Austrian Empire]. 7. Wikisource. p. 20.
  22. ^ a b Sigmund Ritter von Riezler (1897), "Wilhelm V. (Herzog von Bayern)", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), 42, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 717–723
  23. ^ a b Cartwright, Julia Mary (1913). Christina of Denmark, Duchess of Milan and Lorraine, 1522-1590. New York: E. P. Dutton. pp. 536–539.
  24. ^ a b Wikisource-logo.svg Kurth, Godefroid (1911). "Philip II" . In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia. 12. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  25. ^ a b Wurzbach, Constantin, von, ed. (1860). "Habsburg, Anna von Oesterreich (Königin von Spanien)" (in German). Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich [Biographical Encyclopedia of the Austrian Empire]. 6. Wikisource. p. 151.


  • Barton, Simon; A History of Spain; (Palgrave, 2009);
  • Cruz, Anna; Early Modern Habsburg Women: Transnational Contexts, Cultural Conflicts, Dynastic Continuities; (Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2013);
  • De Vries, Jan; The Economic Crisis of the 17th Century; (Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 2009);
  • Graziano, Frank; Wounds of Love : The Mystical Marriage of Saint Rose of Lima; (OUP, 2003);
  • Mitchell, Sylvia Z; Mariana of Austria and Imperial Spain: Court, Dynastic, and International Politics in Seventeenth- Century Europe; (University of Miami, 2013);
  • Rommelse, Gijs; Ideology and Foreign Policy in Early Modern Europe (1650–1750) (Routledge, 2011);
  • Rule, John; The Partition Treaties, 1698-1700; A European View in Redefining William III; (Routledge, 2011);
  • Storrs, Christopher; The Resilience of the Spanish Monarchy 1665-1700 (OUP Oxford, 2006);
Mariana of Austria
Born: 23 December 1634 Died: 16 May 1696
Spanish royalty
Title last held by
Elisabeth of France
Queen consort of Spain
7 October 1649 – 17 September 1665
Title next held by
Marie Louise of Orléans
1669–70 papal conclave

The papal conclave of 1669–70 (20 December – 29 April) was convened on the death of Pope Clement IX and ended with the election of Emilio Altieri as Pope Clement X. The election saw deference within the College of Cardinals to Louis XIV of France, and a freeing of the cardinals loyal to Spain to vote according to their conscience. Eventually the elderly Altieri was elected with support of the major factions within the College.

Camarera mayor de Palacio

The Camarera mayor de Palacio (First Lady of the Bedchamber) was the Official of the Royal Household and Heritage of the Crown of Spain, who was in charge of the person and the rooms of the Queen of Spain.

El Tapado

"El Tapado" (real name Antonio Benavides, marqués de San Vicente, d. July 12, 1684) was a mysterious person who arrived in New Spain in 1683, claiming to be visitor general and governor of the colony, and governor of the castle of Acapulco, appointed by the Court in Spain.

El Tapado disembarked at Veracruz on May 22, 1683, about the same time that the pirate Lorencillo and his men occupied and looted the port. It is possible that he was a confidential messenger or inspector from Queen Regent Mariana of Austria, but he was unable to establish his credentials.

He was arrested at Cuetlaxcoapa (Puebla), accused of being in league with the pirates. From there he was conducted to Mexico City in fetters. In Mexico City, in a place called Xico, he was taken to the scaffold (July 12, 1684). At the time of his execution, an eclipse of the sun was seen. The common people, who had given the marquis his nickname of El Tapado (the "covered-up", or "hidden"), viewed the eclipse as a sign from God that an innocent man was about to be executed. Nevertheless, the authorities continued with the hanging.

Afterwards, the head of Benavides was taken to Puebla and displayed in front of the door of the La Compañía church. The reason for this is not known.

Giuseppe Zamponi

Giuseppe Zamponi also Gioseffo Zamponi (or Zamboni, Samponi, c.1615 – February 1662) was an Italian composer best remembered for his opera Ulisse all'isola di Circe performed in Brussels in 1650, which was the first opera performed in the low countries, at the time part of the Spanish ruled Southern Netherlands.Zamponi was born in Rome, and was the organist at Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore, then known as San Giacomo degli Spagnoli, in Rome's Piazza Navona, from 1629-1638, substituting for Paolo Tarditi (c.1580-1661). From 1638-1647 he was in the service of cardinal Pietro Maria Borghese (1599-1642). In 1648 he left Italy to join the court in Brussels of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria, who was governor of the Southern Netherlands on behalf of the King of Spain. He was appointed maestro di cappella in 1648, and died in 1662Brussels.

Ulisse all'isola di Circe was performed on 24 February 1650 in celebration of the October 1649 wedding of Philip IV of Spain and Mariana of Austria. It was staged again in 1655 at the occasion of the visit of Queen Christina from Sweden.

Johanna Theresia Lamberg

Johanna Theresia Lamberg (1639-1716), countess of Harrach, was a Spanish court official. She was a lady-in-waiting and favorite of the queen regent of Spain, Mariana of Austria, in 1653-60, with whom she corresponded until Mariana's death. She was married to the imperial ambassador to Spain in 1673-76, and played an important role as a mediator and channel for the sale of offices as well as in the diplomatic service, particularly concerning the proposed marriage between Charles II of Spain and Maria Antonia of Austria.

Joseph Ferdinand of Bavaria

Joseph Ferdinand Leopold of Bavaria (28 October 1692 – 6 February 1699) was the son of Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria (1679–1705, 1714–1726) and his first wife, Maria Antonia of Austria, daughter of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, maternal granddaughter of King Felipe IV of Spain.

Juan Everardo Nithard

Juan Everardo Nithard (Johann Eberhard Nithard, in German) (Falkenstein (Upper Austria), 8 December 1607 – Rome, 1 February 1681) was an Austrian priest of the Society of Jesus, confessor of Mariana of Austria (Queen and Regent of Spain), cardinal, and valido (royal favorite) of Spain.

Juan Henríquez de Villalobos

Juan Henríquez de Villalobos (1630 – Madrid, 1689); Spanish soldier and administrator who, after participation in various European wars, was designated as governor of Chile by Mariana of Austria. In this position, between October 1670 and April 1682, he became, according to Chilean historiography, the epítome of the corrupt and nepotistic governor. His government tenure was darkened by a long series of litigations and accusations by oidores of the Real Audiencia of Santiago and other vecinos of the colony. He was one of the governors who left the position richer than he began, with not less than 900 thousand pesos, according to Jose Toribio Medina.

In the War of Arauco, in January 1671 Henríquez held the Parliament of Malloco ending hostilities that began with the Mapuche Insurrection of 1655. However in 1672 Henríquez faced a Mapuche revolt, by the former toqui Ayllicuriche and other leaders that he repressed before it went very far. March 1674 he was able to hold a festive Parliament of Concepcion to celebrate the end of hostilities.

List of Aragonese monarchs

This is a list of the kings and queens of Aragon. The Kingdom of Aragon was created sometime between 950 and 1035 when the County of Aragon, which had been acquired by the Kingdom of Navarre in the tenth century, was separated from Navarre in accordance with the will of King Sancho III (1004–35). In 1164, the marriage of the Aragonese princess Petronila (Kingdom of Aragon) and the Catalan count Ramon Berenguer IV (County of Barcelona) created a dynastic union from which what modern historians call the Crown of Aragon was born. In the thirteenth century the kingdoms of Valencia, Majorca and Sicily were added to the Crown, and in the fourteenth the Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica. The Crown of Aragon continued to exist until 1713 when its separate constitutional systems (Catalan Constitutions, Aragon Fueros, and Furs of Valencia) were swept away in the Nueva Planta decrees at the end of the War of the Spanish Succession.

Maria Anna of Neuburg

Maria Anna of Neuburg (Spanish: Mariana; 28 October 1667 – 16 July 1740), was Queen of Spain from 1689 to 1700 as the second wife of Charles II, the last Habsburg King of Spain.

Maria Bárbola

Maria Bárbola, also known as Mari, Mariabárbola and Mariabárbola Asquín (died after 1700), was a Spanish court official, foremost known from the famous painting Las Meninas.

She was from Austria and from 1651 onward employed as a court dwarf in the household of the queen regent of Spain, Mariana of Austria, with the official title Enana de la Reina, and a companion to Margaret Theresa of Spain. On 30 March 1700, King Phillip V reorganized the Spanish royal court in accordance with then-modern principles and as a consequence, the offices of court dwarf, fools and several other positions deemed outdated were abolished, and Maria Bárbola returned to her native Austria.

In Las Meninas, Maria Bárbola is depicted in an unusual way for a person in her position at the time. While people with dwarfism normally did not enjoy much respect in the 17th century and were often depicted in an insulting fashion, Maria Bárbola is depicted in a dignified position, standing upright beside the princess, with a thoughtful and controlled expression, meeting the eyes of the viewer.

Mariana Islands

The Mariana Islands (; also the Marianas) are a crescent-shaped archipelago comprising the summits of fifteen mostly dormant volcanic mountains in the western North Pacific Ocean, between the 12th and 21st parallels north and along the 145th meridian east. They lie south-southeast of Japan, west-southwest of Hawaii, north of New Guinea and east of the Philippines, demarcating the Philippine Sea's eastern limit. They are found in the northern part of the western Oceanic sub-region of Micronesia, and are politically divided into two jurisdictions of the United States: the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and, at the southern end of the chain, the territory of Guam. The islands were named after the influential Spanish queen Mariana of Austria.

Spaniards, who in the early 16th century were the first Europeans to arrive, eventually annexed and colonized the archipelago. The indigenous inhabitants are the Chamorro people. Archaeologists in 2013 reported findings which indicated that the people who first settled the Marianas arrived there after making what was at the time the longest uninterrupted ocean voyage in human history. They further reported findings which suggested that Tinian is likely to have been the first island in Oceania to have been settled by humans.

Marie Louise d’Orléans

Marie Louise of Orléans (26 March 1662 – 12 February 1689) was Queen consort of Spain from 1679 to 1689 as the first wife of King Charles II of Spain. She was a granddaughter of Louis XIII of France. In her adopted country, she was known as María Luisa de Orleans.


Medellín (Spanish pronunciation: [meðeˈʝin] or [meðeˈʎin], Local pronunciation: [mɛ.ð̞ɛˈɟ͜ʝˈin] or [mɛ.ð̞ɛˈd͡ʒin] or [mɛːˈd͡ʒin]), officially the Municipality of Medellín (Spanish: Municipio de Medellín), is the second-largest city in Colombia and the capital of the department of Antioquia. It is located in the Aburrá Valley, a central region of the Andes Mountains in South America. According to the National Administrative Department of Statistics, the city has an estimated population of 2.5 million as of 2017. With its surrounding area that includes nine other cities, the metropolitan area of Medellín is the second-largest urban agglomeration in Colombia in terms of population and economy, with more than 3.7 million people.

In 1616 the Spaniard Francisco Herrera Campuzano erected a small indigenous village ("poblado") known as "Saint Lawrence of Aburrá" (San Lorenzo de Aburrá), located in the present-day El Poblado commune. On 2 November 1675, the queen consort Mariana of Austria founded the "Town of Our Lady of Candelaria of Medellín" (Villa de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria de Medellín) in the Aná region, which today corresponds to the center of the city (east-central zone) and first describes the region as "Medellín". In 1826, the city was named the capital of the Department of Antioquia by the National Congress of the nascent Republic of Gran Colombia, comprised by present-day Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama. After Colombia won its independence from Spain, Medellín became the capital of the Federal State of Antioquia until 1888, with the proclamation of the Colombian Constitution of 1886. During the 19th century, Medellín was a dynamic commercial center, first exporting gold, then producing and exporting coffee.

At the beginning of the 21st century the city regained industrial dynamism, with the construction of the Medellín Metro commuter rail, liberalized development policies, improved security and improved education. Researchers at the Overseas Development Institute have lauded the city as a pioneer of a post-Washington consensus "local development state" model of economic development. The city is promoted internationally as a tourist destination and is considered a global city type "Gamma -" by GaWC.The Medellín Metropolitan Area produces 67% of the Department of Antioquia's GDP and 11% of the economy of Colombia. Medellín is important to the region for its universities, academies, commerce, industry, science, health services, flower-growing and festivals.

In February 2013, the Urban Land Institute chose Medellín as the most innovative city in the world due to its recent advances in politics, education and social development. In the same year, Medellín won the Verónica Rudge Urbanism Award conferred by Harvard University to the Urban Development Enterprise, mainly due to the North-Western Integral Development Project in the city. In September 2013, the United Nations ratified Colombia's petition to host UN-Habitat's 7th World Urban Forum in Medellín, from April 5–11, 2014.Medellín won the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2016. The award seeks to recognize and celebrate efforts in furthering innovation in urban solutions and sustainable urban development.

Palacio de los Concejos

The Palace of the Councils or Palace of the Duke of Uceda (in Spanish, Palacio de los Consejos or Palacio del duque de Uceda) is a building from the 17th century located in central Madrid, Spain. It is located on the Calle Mayor, corner of calle Bailén Street.

The palace is representative of Spanish baroque architecture, and was commissioned by Cristóbal Gómez de Sandoval-Rojas, first Duke of Uceda, and powerful minister or valido of King Philip III of Spain. It was designed by Francisco de Mora, although works was directed by Juan Gómez de Mora and executed by Captain Alonso Turrillo from 1608 to 1613. The palace stands before the Church of Santa María de la Almudena.

When it was built, decorated with the heraldic arms of the Sandoval family flanked by lions, it was judged too ostentatious for a nobleman. After the Duke's fall from grace, it became property of the Royal family, and housed the mother of Charles II of Spain, the queen mother, Mariana of Austria. She died there on the night of May 16, 1696.

Upon his arrival to Madrid in 1701, the Bourbon king Philip V of Spain transferred many of the royal offices or councils from the then extant Real Alcázar of Madrid to the Palacio de Uceda, and since then, it has been known as the Palacio de los Consejos. The main council, however, remained in the palace. In the 19th century, the council of state and the Capitanía General were moved here.

Pedro de Obregón

Pedro de Obregón, (1597–1659) was a Spanish painter and printmaker.

According to art historian Antonio Palomino, Pedro de Obregón was initially taught by Vincenzo Carducci, and became one of his best pupils, imitating the teacher in drawing. Palomino asserts that he painted many pictures for individuals and few to the public, although some notable works include a Holy Trinity for the convent of the Merced Calzada of Madrid, and San Joaquin and Santa Ana, commissioned by the Church of Santa Cruz, also of Madrid. These pieces were lost, but one noted was the Apparition of the Infant Jesus to San Antonio dated 1633, in the convent of Santa Clara in Villacastín.

Documentation shows he also made prints, one of them a Saint Dominic in Soriano made from a drawing by Alonzo Cano, and the other a small work with a woman sitting painting. There is also an etching also attributed to him that was given to Charles II and Mariana of Austria, signed P º Obregon.

He was the father of Diego de Obregón, a writer specializing in book illustration, and Marcos de Obregón, a priest who also practiced engraving but with less success.

Philip Prospero, Prince of Asturias

Philip Prospero, Prince of Asturias (Felipe Próspero José Francisco Domingo Ignacio Antonio Buenaventura Diego Miguel Luis Alfonso Isidro Ramón Víctor; 28 November 1657 – 1 November 1661) was the first son of Philip IV of Spain and Mariana of Austria to survive infancy. Philip IV had no male heir since the death of Balthasar Charles, his son by his first wife, Elisabeth of France, eleven years before, and as Spain's strength continued to ebb the issue of succession had become a matter of fervent and anxious prayer.

Portrait of Mariana of Austria

Portrait of Mariana of Austria is an oil-on-canvas painting by Diego Velázquez completed c. 1652–53. Dona Mariana (known as Maria Anna) was the daughter of Emperor Ferdinand III and the Infanta Maria Anna of Spain. She was nineteen years old when the painting was completed. Mariana had been intended to marry Prince Baltasar Carlos, her first cousin. When he died, his father, and her uncle, Philip IV married her to preserve the hegemony of the Habsburg in Europe. As such she became Queen consort of Spain and reigned from 1634–1696. Based on the description of a portrait sent to Ferdinand in Vienna, the portrait was probably completed by 15 December 1651.The painting shows the future Queen in a black and silver dress with silver braid and red bows. Her bodice is adorned with jewellery, including a gold necklace, bracelets and a large gold brooch. Mariana is shown as wearing an unhappy expression. Her face is heavily made up, and her right hand rests on the back of a chair, and she holds a lace scarf in her left hand. Alongside her, a clock rests on scarlet drapery. The picture is bathed in harmonious shades of black and red; the rather dramatically drawn curtain was painted over by another hand.

The portrait is one of a series of Velázquez's portraits of the Spanish royal family completed in the 1650s. These paintings are marked by an emphasis on brighter hues, dark backgrounds, extravagant head dress, fashionably wide dresses and penetrating physiological examination. The series culminates with the 1656 Las Meninas, which includes an older maternal Mariana, her daughter at center-stage, and the Infanta Margarita Teresa.

Sebastián Herrera Barnuevo

Sebastián Herrera Barnuevo (1611 or 1619–1671) was a painter, architect, sculptor and etcher, who was born and died in Madrid, Spain. His father, Antonio Herrera, was a sculptor; after teaching his son, Sebastiano was taught by Alonzo Cano. Like Cano, Herrera worked for Philip IV of Spain, among others in the nobility. His was held to be modest and deeply religious.

His painting colors were brilliant and harmonized in the manner of Titian, however his style was so close to Guido as to be sometimes indistinguishable. (St. Barnabas was long believed to be by Guido.)

At the end of the 19th century, most of his paintings were in Madrid. His best are considered the "St. Barnabas" in El Escorial, the Beatification of St. Augustine in the Chapel of the Augustinian Recollects and the Nativity in the San Jerónimo el Real. Another of his paintings is Retrato de Carlos II niño con su madre la Reina Mariana de Austria (Portrait of King Carlos II as a child, with his mother Queen Mariana of Austria).

In 1991 a memorial plaque for Herrera was installed at Plaza de Oriente, 3 in Madrid.

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