Spain occupies town on Portuguese border claiming rights by treaty

Plaza de la Constitución Olivenza

AS Spain repeats its demands for Gibraltar and with King Felipe on record as requesting its return, little is mentioned of Olivenza.

The town was first occupied by the Portuguese in 1170 and had a chequered life passing to the Moors, Spanish and Knights Templars until it was ceded by Spain to Portugal in the Treaty of Alcañices in 1297.

This state of affairs continued until 1801 when the French and Spanish invaded Portugal and under the Treaty of Badajoz, the town was ceded to and occupied by Spain.

Despite the fact that Portugal claimed in 1815 that Spain had breached the treaty and asked for the return of Olivenza, Spain rejected this, relying on the terms of what they consider to be a legally binding treaty and continue to occupy the town to the present day.

In 1713, the Spanish Monarchy signed the Treaty of Utrecht which ceded Gibraltar to Britain in perpetuity and despite two further armed attempts in the eighteenth century to recapture the Rock it further accepted that status quo in the later Treaties of Sevilla and Paris.

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