The Tavera-Fonseca lawsuit: the witnesses

A document collects the memories of 183 people that saw the castle before its destruction and plundering.

Counterfactual history consists in imagining alleged reality of a past that never happened. Suppose the Lisbon’s earthquake of 1755 had destroyed the cathedral of Santiago for good, there would only remain the living memory of the people to reconstruct the appearance of the temple.

That was exactly was happened to the Castle of A Rocha Forte. A social tremor brought the fortress to an abrupt end. The irmandiños left no stone upon another, such was the hatred they felt for this symbol of feudal oppression. But the time of the Irmandiño Wars was also the end of the world castles represented. After the pacification of the Kingdom of Galicia by the Catholic Monarchs, that time of warring bishops and struggles between city councils and lords was history. A vague recollection survived among the local elders.

In early 16th century, a dispute over the ownership of the castles of the archbishopric of Santiago led scribes and notaries of the time to put in writing the statements of every person in their eighties and nineties that had seen the castle of A Rocha in all its splendour. This lawsuit is known as Tavera vs. Fonseca.

Anything Wrong?