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THE BELL OF HUESCA 


The King of Aragon, Alfonso I el Batallador (the Warrior) died in 1134. As he had no heirs to the throne, the nobles offered the Crown to his brother Ramiro, who was in retreat in the French monastery Saint Pons de Thomiéres. With an inexperienced and apparently timorous king, the Aragonese nobles thought that they could do as they pleased.

Ramiro II, the Monk, took over the throne at the end of that year, having agreed to return to his ecclesiastical duties after two years, once the line of succession has been ensured. The nobles’ continuous disdain and rebelliousness made it almost impossible for the king to govern, and Ramiro, who was a novice in matters of court and government, asked his mentor, the monk of Saint Pons, for advice. After listening to the King’s emissary, without saying a word and with a knife in his hand, the mentor went to the monastery’s kitchen garden. There, he cut off the most eye-catching heads of cabbage, and ordered the emissary to tell the king what he had seen.

After the emissary had delivered his account, the King summoned all the Aragonese nobles to court, saying he wished to show them a huge bell whose peal would ring out over all the kingdom. Surprised, curious, sceptical, the most rebellious nobles were led into the room one by one to look upon the famous bell. As they entered, an executioner beheaded them, one by one. The heads were set out in a circle with one in the centre hanging from a rope, like the clapper of a bell, and the King made the rest of the nobles enter the room to stare at the Bell from Huesca, which rang out  over the whole kingdom of Aragon.
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