Spain flourished under the Roman empire Hispania, thus becoming one of the Empire's most important regions at the time. During the times of the Middle Ages, Spain was under Germanic rule, only later to become under ruling of the Islamic caliphate. Spain emerged as a unified country in the 15th century, following the completion of the reconquest of the Iberian peninsula in 1492. Conversely, it has been an important source of influence to other regions, chiefly during the Modern Era, when it became a global empire that has left a legacy of over 500 million Spanish speakers today, making it the world's second most spoken first language.
The Libro de los juegos, ("Book of games"), or Libro de acedrex, dados e tablas, ("Book of chess, dice and tables") was commissioned by Alfonso X, king of León and Castile, during the 13th century and completed in 1283. It consists of 98 pages, many with color illustrations. The games covered include chess (including the earliest known European chess problems), dice, and tables (the family of games that includes backgammon). The book contains the earliest known description of some of these games, including many games imported from the Arab kingdoms.
It is one of the most important documents for researching the history of board games. The only known original is held in the library of the monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial near Madrid in Spain. The book is bound in sheepskin and is 40 cm high and 28 cm wide (16 in × 11 in). A 1334 copy is held in the library of the Historical Academy of Madrid. Alfonso was likely influenced by his contact with scholars in the Arab world. Unlike many contemporary texts on the topic, he does not engage the games in the text with moralistic arguments; instead, he portrays them in an astrological context
The Alhambra (Arabic: الحمراء = Al-Ħamrā; literally "the red") is a palace and fortress complex of the Moorish monarchs of Granada in southern Spain (known as Al-Andalus when the fortress was constructed), occupying a hilly terrace on the southeastern border of the city of Granada.
There are so many beautiful parts of the world... Thailand, Italy, the south of France. There are places in Spain that are astonishing. But here . . . 25 miles and you go up on Mount Tam to see the fog come in; 25 miles the other direction and you're somewhere else that takes your breath away. There's no question this is where I want to live. Never has been.