Alba de Tormes, Spain (Alba de Tormes, España)
Driving slower due to the low visibility, it was lunchtime when we arrived in Alba de Tormes.
We saw signs for the convent of Santa Teresa, one of Spain's most famous Catholic figures. She lived as a standard nun until she felt that the Catholic church had become vacuous and concerned more with welcoming wealthy citizens inside to view the cloister than spirituality. At first, she was told that her thoughts were spawned from the devil, so she punished herself with heavy bouts of flagellation. But soon enough she embraced the ideas as divine and set about a reformation. She recruited Saint John of the Cross as co-reformer and together they spread ideals of humble living and self-punishment. Apparently Santa Teresa's motto was "Lord, either let me suffer or let me die." That's rather dire. At first unpopular, she and Johnny boy won over followers and forty years after her death she was canonised as a saint.
A few fun facts about Alba de Tormes:
1. A large battle took place here (aptly called the Battle of Alba de Tormes) during the Napoleonic Wars, and the Spanish army suffered terrible losses.
2. The fourth Duke of Alba held the title of governor-general of the Spanish Netherlands in the 17th-century. Eh, what? Spanish Netherlands? What the heck is that? How have I not heard of this before?!
3. The eighteenth Duchess of Alba, who was head of the house until 2014, holds the Guinness World Record for most number of noble titles held by one person (57 titles in all). What a duchess! (And marquise, and countess, and countess-duchess, and vicountess, and lady.)
Today's post was almost called: The Fenestration of Wilson’s Spanish Cousin