The Iberian Peninsula was assimilated by the Roman culture. Later, Visigoths and Muslims conquered this land but, little by little, Christians took over it again until Muslims were definitely defeated and expelled in 1492.
Talavera was conquered by Alfonso VI in 1083. Christians built the first wall with 47 watchtowers, three doors and two bridges. That is the reason why Talavera´s coat of arms has a watchtower with two cows.
Besides many medieval churches, we can find important civil buildings such as the Old Town Hall and the Local Hospital.
The 16th century is known as “the golden century”. Several important people, like Juan de Mariana, Fernando de Rojas and Francisco de Aguirre represent the flourishing culture of that time. In this period Talavera stood out for its pottery, a trade that still marks the identity of the town.
Talavera hosted nearly all the Castilian kings and later the Habsburgs and Bourbons . In the 19th century the Royal Silk Factory was set in Talavera (where our school is now located) under the patronage of Ferdinand VI. Delicate fabrics emerged from their looms.
In 1809, a famous battle took place in Talavera against French troops during the Independence War. This battle is known as The Battle of Talavera. After the Civil War, the number of inhabitants increased greatly in Talavera, in a few years it doubled its population. Today it is the second largest town in Castilla-La Mancha.
Spread out over 186 km2, Talavera de la Reina is a medium-sized city in the central area of the Iberian peninsula and is just 109 kilometers away from Madrid, the capital of Spain. It is 4 miles away from the river Tagus (called “Tajo” in Spanish), which is one of the five major rivers in Spain. Also known by its nickname of “the Tagus Ceramics City”, Talavera de la Reina is located in the province of Toledo and with its 88,755 inhabitants is the most populous town in this province.
Talavera de la Reina was engaged in the textil, ceramics and animal husbandry. Now the people of Talavera work in ceramics, animal husbandry and agriculture also in service sector like banks and hotels. The Ribera del Tajo school is over the old Real Silk Factory.
There are four important festivals in Talavera de la Reina:
The Iron Bridge of Talavera de la Reina or Reina Sofía Bridge is built in iron, steel and concrete mainly, and is 426 metres long and 10 metres wide. It spans the Tagus River. It took four years to build and it was inaugurated in 1908.
During the Muslim occupation Muslims, Christians and Jews lived side by side and at this time the citizens cultivated cereals and grapes. In 1328 when Alfonso XI got married to Maria of Portugal, Sancho IV's first sister, he gave the queen the city of Talavera which became “Talavera de la Reina”: this is how the city got its name.
The city later became a very important center for trade and famous for its wonderful ceramics.
In 1809, during the Spanish War of Independence, the battle of Talavera began in the north of the city, and the defense of this city was an important battle in this war.