The arrival of Berenguel: urban revolts

The new archbishop comes to take control of the domain and of the Church of Santiago but he is not welcomed by the bourgeoisie.

Pope John XXII began an administrative centralisation process in Europe and designated Berenguel de Landoira Archbishop of Santiago. The new prelate was a French Dominican , Master General of the Order of Preachers, and a relevant figure in the papal court. Berenguel had royal and papal support, money, experience... and this was precisely his problem: he was the first archbishop since Xoán Arias, who had real capacity to take control over the domain and the Church of Santiago. 

At that time, the bourgeoisie of the city of Santiago sought to escape the feudal control of the Church to become a city under royal protection. Consequently, the arrival of the new archbishop was not welcome. Their response to the papal mandate was the beginning of an urban revolt that prevented the bishop from entering the city.

In November 1318, when Berenguel arrives in Santiago (the head of the diocese) to take office, the urban uprising forces him to take refuge for some time in the archbishop’s towers of Pontevedra and in the castle of Rocha Forte, closer to the city. The fortress becomes therefore, the main residence of the archbishop and also the centre of military operations against the rebels.

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