Virtual Plasencia Portal
Welcome to Virtual Plasencia — a geovisual re-creation of the medieval city of Plasencia, Spain. Telling the story of the city, especially during the fifteenth century (1400s a.d./c.e.) is particularly important due to the religious intermixing of Jews, Catholics, and Muslims during this age of increasing religious intolerance. Not only does this history reveal moments of conflict and cooperation between the different religious groups, but more importantly it details how some Jewish and Christian communities aligned their interest at the expense of other Christians. Similarly, the details of medieval life are exposed — including — how “physical ownership” of homes was ritually established, what the role of Jewish converts to Christian (conversos) was in the formation of the Catholic Church, how the production and sale of wine defined elements of the community, and lastly, in what manner did the medieval social class of knights (caballeros) distribute their wealth to their heirs.
These stories, derived from archival manuscripts pertaining to Plasencia, as well as many more, can be experienced in Virtual Plasencia. In this manner, not only have we electronically re-generated 15th century Plasencia, but we also have tied these narratives to the physical environment. In this way, the virtual visitor can stand at the steps of the Church of St. Nicholas and read about the deceased knight, Don Diego Gonzalez de Carvajal, or visit the synagogue and learn about it’s Jewish residents such as Rabbi Abraham de Loya.
Go to the Virtual Plasencia, Version 1.6 Launch Page
What do I do in Virtual Plasencia?
Yours is a quest to find ten objects/artifacts that reveal several short stories about the interrelations and lives of Placentino Jews, Christians, and Muslims. To learn more about these ten objects/artifacts (for example, a set of hand shackles or a broadsword), read more on the historical narratives page.
Version 1.6 (The Plaza de San Nicolas)
Our first version of this digital world models the medieval Plaza de San Nicolas, which was located in the city’s Jewish quarter (juderia). Within this zone, visitors can explore ten historical narratives from the fifteenth century, as well as view the Church of St. Nicholas (Iglesia de San Nicolas), the synagogue (reconstructed using architectural details from other contemporaneous synagogues), and the Palace of the Mirabeles (Palacio de los Mirabeles). This digital world is a “proof-of-concept” effort (read more) and we consider it to be working model, however it is incomplete and it is our intent to extend its capabilities for teaching and research purposes.
PLAZA DE SAN NICOLAS
(ORIGINAL COMMISSIONED ARTISTRY BY DAVID SEIDMAN)
Install Unity Web Player
To explore the 3D world, you will need to download and install a free software known as Unity Web Player (Go to Unity’s website and install software now.) Presently, Unity Web Player is compatible with Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Google Chrome is not supported.
Explore Virtual Plasencia Now
(Links to Web Pages and the Unity 3D World)
- What is Virtual Plasencia and the Revealing Cooperation and Conflict Project (RCCP)
- Explore the Historical Background on Medieval Spain and Plasencia
- Why Rebuild the Community of Plasencia?
- Explore Ten Historical Narratives Pertaining to 15th Century Plasencia (Learn About the Objects/Artifacts to Search for in Virtual Plasencia)
- Go to the Virtual Plasencia Launch Page Now.
Integrating Citizen Scholars into Our Work on Virtual Plasencia
A key component of the Revealing Cooperation and Conflict Project is the integration of citizen scholars into our research team. Citizen scholars are integrated into the project via our use of Massive Open Online Courses, or a MOOCs. During summer 2014 and fall 2014, Dr. Martinez-Davila offered the Deciphering Secrets: Unlocking the Manuscripts of Medieval Spain MOOC, and there are plans to continue using MOOCs during summer 2015 and fall 2015. Read more.