The Longest War

If asked what's the longest war there has been, you'll probably answer the 100-Year War, but you'd be wrong, because there is the 172-Year War.

GRA Huescar 02Well, actually, we should stipulate that we’re referring to the longest European war because there is a war that lasted 290 years, known as the Arauco War between native Americans and Spaniards in the Cono Sur of South America, which lasted from 1536 and 1825.

No, the longest war in European history was one between Denmark and… Huéscar in the north-east of Granada, lasting from 1809 to 1981.

It was the longest war because everybody simply forgot about Huéscar’s participation when peace was signed back in the early 19th Century. Huéscar, after an initial huff promptly forgot about it, too, until 1981, when a local historian found the declaration of war, nudged the Mayor, who nudged the Danish Ambassador and peace was officially signed.

On the momentous and joyous occasion of peace, Danes dressed as Vikings and the good folk (and a handful of the bad ones) set about liquidating the town’s wine and blood sausage stocks. There was even a documentary made entitled, La Guerra Más Larga for the occasion, with footage of Madrid, Zaragoza and the Costa del Sol squeezed in… and no doubt some holiday snaps from the Mayor’s last summer trip with his wife and brood.

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Forty years have passed since this reconciliation in a bloodless war. Local historian Vicente González Barberán recounts that there was a prisoner of war taken just moments before the peace signing; a Danish reporter who was there for an exclusive…

The end result of the peace treaty signed on the 11th of November, 1809, was that Huéscar was twinned with the Danish town of Kolding. This bonding manifests itself in a two-yearly event when school kids from the two towns do exchange visits. Of course, Covid put the mockers on that for the time being.

Now, forty years down the line, the Town Hall and the Danish Consulate are planning to mark the anniversary with something festive… with wine and morcilla making an appearance at some point, no doubt.

There will be exhibitions, concerts and a series of round table (chats). The documentary will also be screened in the towns theatre on the 11th (for Danish and Local dignitaries), on the 12th at the high school and then on the 13th for the general public.

But it doesn’t end there because it will be projected on the 18th of November in Madrid followed by a conference with the director, Jorge Rivera and screenwriter, Jaime Noguera.

(News: Huéscar, Altiplano, Granada, Andalucia)

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