Court life and diplomacy
Colonisation is a basic attribute of imperial thinking.
Colonisation is a basic attribute of imperial thinking. Fortresses and ports became meeting points for mercantile as well as diplomatic affairs. Exotic articles were a symbol of outstanding wealth and power; Asiatic porcelain, exotic fruits or weapons were important attributes of this illusion. Oranges, chocolate and coffee comprised part of every banquet, representing the host’s high standing. Ceremonials played an important role both politically and diplomatically, and therefore, heads of state and foreign guests were treated to elaborate ceremonials, which in addition to the banquet, included a concert or play.
Fortress of St James

Porto Azzurro, Isola d'Elba, Italy
Built by order of Philip III of Spain; project realized by Don Garcia de Toledo
Some towns become fortresses, not only in order to protect the inhabitants, but also to demonstrate the rulers power.