Joan of Castile, also known as Joan the Mad, was a controversial queen who ruled over Spain and Portugal in the 15th century.
Joan was born on November 6, 1479, in Toledo, Spain, the daughter of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, two of Spain’s most important monarchs of all time.
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Ioana’s childhood, a happy place
Ioana had a happy childhood, growing up with her younger brother, Carol V. The two children were educated by the best teachers of the day, learning foreign languages, history, religion and mathematics, among other subjects.
In 1496, Ioana married Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor. The marriage was arranged by her parents, who hoped to strengthen relations between Spain and the Holy Roman Empire.
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Joan and Maximilian had three children: Philip I, Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand I, Archduke of Austria and Marie, wife of Louis XII of France.
In 1504, Joan’s mother, Isabella I, died. Joan became, at that time, Queen of Castile, and her brother, Charles V, became King of Aragon.
In 1516, Charles V died, leaving the thrones of Spain and the Holy Roman Empire to his son, Philip I. Joan and Philip reigned together as kings of Spain for a good period of time.
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The beginning of the end for Joan of Castile
Unfortunately, in 1506, Ioana began to show signs of mental instability. She began to have episodes of rage and hallucinations, all so that three years later, in 1509, Philip left for Flanders, leaving Joan in Spain. In Filip’s absence, her mental state worsened considerably.
In 1517, Joan was declared unfit to rule, and as a result, Philip became the sole king of Spain.
However, his real troubles would only begin now. Soon after, she was imprisoned in the castle of Tordesillas, where she remained until her death in 1555. Unfortunately, the woman remained in solitude, locked in a room, for more than 46 years, which , obviously, did not bring any benefit to the state in which he was.
Joan of Castile is a controversial figure in Spanish history. Some historians see her as a weak and incapable queen, while others see her as a victim of her own mental illness. Regardless of opinion, Joan of Castile was an important queen who played a significant role in the history of Spain and Europe in general.
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