Segments in this Video

Palacio Real (02:11)


The Palacio Real is an imposing building, for centuries at the center of Spain's social and political life. With royal collections on public display, it now serves as a museum.

Cinnabar (02:37)

The Spanish mined cinnabar, from which they extracted mercury, valued by alchemists. It liberates precious metals from low-grade ore.

Mercury and Spanish Wealth (02:50)

The Spanish mixed mercury with ore in the New World to extract precious metals. Millions of miners died of mercury poisoning over the centuries.

Spanish Fencing (01:27)

Ramon Martinez and wife Jeannette Acosta-Martinez seek to revive an old Spanish style of fencing. Don Miguel Perez de Mendoza challenged 17 men to a fencing 1646 fencing match.

Violence (01:29)

Ramon Martinez likens his upbringing in the dangerous South Bronx to Mendoza's seventeenth century Madrid. People carried rapiers in Spain.

Idea Behind Destreza (01:27)

Destreza is a form of fencing based on an understanding of spatial relationships; the adversary is a geometric problem. 17 challengers answered Mendoza's advertisement; he faced them all in front of the King.

Destreza Approach to Fencing (01:34)

While modern fencing is linear, in destreza adversaries lead and follow each other in circles, reading body language and attempting deception. It allows fighters to avoid tension and tiring.

Mendoza's Strategy (01:25)

Mendoza likely waited for his adversaries to initiate the fight and reveal their intention. His destreza style was slow and calculating, allowing him to minimize exertion and defeat 17 challengers.

Ferdinand VI and Clocks (01:33)

Ferdinand VI collected clocks, then among the most intricate art forms in existence. We will learn of a demon-possessed clock at the Palacio Real.

Pierre Jaquet-Droz (01:14)

Pierre Jaquet-Droz created a clock that rang with eight different melodies and automata enacted scenes. He pioneered algorithms, the basis for the clock's workings.

Devil Possessed Clock (02:45)

Pierre Jaquet-Droz's clock relieved Ferdinand VI's melancholy over his wife's death. Royal advisors threatened deliver him to the Inquisition; he revealed its workings to show that the devil was not involved.

Flamenco for Tourists (02:40)

Franco ordered Spanish gypsies to make their traditions more tourist-friendly; authentic Flamenco is different from the version tourists see.

Authentic Flamenco (03:56)

Flamenco uses improvised songs of suffering; Spain long oppressed the Gitano people. Flamenco translates the feeling of the song into movement using duende, or spontaneity.

Adarga (02:06)

An adarga was a leather shield used in Spain during Islamic dynasties that heals itself after penetration. The Moors used it against Spaniard rebels.

Spanish Versus Apache (02:01)

While the Spanish charged in one direction, the Apache circled them; steel armor was a liability. The Spanish realized that their cavalry's cane games, with leather shields and circular motion, would be good training.

Testing Shield (02:46)

A man recreates an adarga and tests it, riding horseback as someone shoots arrows; the shield holds. Its light weight and mobility made the adarga very useful.

Spanish Political History (01:40)

Spain's King fled when rebels proclaimed a republic. Franco seized power after a civil war. Today, the hereditary monarchy is back on the throne, with Juan Carlos the constitutional monarch.

Prince-in-Exile (00:42)

Juan Carlos was Spanish prince-in-exile; his father sent him to Spain as Franco's ward, believing he needed a Spanish education to recover the throne.

Franco's Regime (01:18)

The daughter of a disappeared political opponent of Franco hopes turns to a researcher to investigate her father's death.

Juan Carlos and Franco (02:39)

Juan Carlos was the smiling face of Franco's brutal regime; Franco spied on him to insure his loyalty, then made him his successor. Yet Carlos liberalized Spain and moved it toward democracy.

Execution Sight (00:50)

A researcher shows a woman the wall where her father was likely shot under Franco.

Credits: Inside the Palacio Real, Madrid: Museum Secrets (Series 3) (00:58)

Credits: Inside the Palacio Real, Madrid: Museum Secrets (Series 3)

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Inside the Palacio Real, Madrid: Museum Secrets (Series 3)

Part of the Series : Museum Secrets (Series 3)
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Both a museum and the official palace of the Spanish royal family, the Palacio Real features armor, artworks and treasures that were once the private possessions of Spain’s kings and queens. Inside the Palacio Real, Madrid, we discover that Spain reached its height of glory not through the acquisition of silver and gold, but because of the unique properties of a third element. We investigate how a famous swordsman bested 17 challengers, then examine the inner workings of a clock that was said to have been powered by witchcraft. We probe why a shield of leather can be better than steel, then meet a Gypsy who reveals how to separate Flamenco that is strictly for tourists from Flamenco that is real. And finally, we meet a modern king of Spain who outfoxed a Fascist dictator. A BBC Production. A part of the series Museum Secrets (Series 3).

Length: 43 minutes

Item#: BVL57627

ISBN: 978-0-81609-522-3

Copyright date: ©2013

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