Sunday, January 2, 2011


It is a formidable Castle, built by the Sultan ibn Monzones in the 9th century. The castle is almost impregnable. In the tenth century, one of the Sultans left a small retinue of guards in the Castle and went down to Cordoba. The Christians, intent on their RECONQUISTA - THE RETAKING of Spain , captured the Castle. Its courageous defenders all died. The Sultan considered this behavior treacherous.

He engaged the great EL CID to led his armies and retake the Castle for him. El Cid did just that and handed the Castle back to him.

In the eleventh century the Knights Templar took it over. Thy had more money than Croessus and Midas and their power was at its zenith. When Philip the Fair struck down the Templars in France, arresting, torturing and burning as many as his soldiers could capture at the stake, including their Grand Master Jacques de Molay - the Templars in the Castle ofMonzon, Huesca-Aragon prepared for a long siege. It lasted more than 30 years and was the last Templar Castle to fall to the Catholic Ruler of Aragon.

My maternal grandfather and his sisters were born in the Castle of Monzon. His father was the last foreign Military Governor appointed by a grateful King and nobility. He was Field Marshall Camillo Graf von Vacani. The Hapsburg Emperor had appointed him to train and lead Spanish and Italian forces to fight against the French and Italian armies of Napoleon Bonaparte. General von Vacani expunged the Fort known as Forte Olivo after a fierce siege. He was created Baron of Forte Olivo in Spain for his wise military strategies and tactics.

In addition, Field Marshall Camillo von Vacani was the Hapsburg Emperor's Ambassador Plenipotentiary during the negotiations for the Treaty of Florence which established the Grand Duchy of Parma of Maria Louisa von Hapsburg, former wife of Napoleon.

My grandfather, Miguel Vacani de Latorre attended the Military Academy at the Escorial. This was exclusively for the children of royalty and the nobility. My maternal great -grandmother Evarista de Latorre belonged to the clan of the Infanzones, and they were directly linked by blood, land and marital ties to King Ferdinand of Aragon.


To be continued...

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