During the 12th century, the city was extraordinarily important for its strategic position in the wars between the Kingdom of León and the Almoravids and Almohads. As a result, the city preserves many churches and buildings from that time. In the 1140s and 1150s it was ruled by Prince Ponce Giraldo de Cabrera, who has a street named after him in the city today. In the next centuries, the city lost its political and economic relevance and suffered emigration, especially to South America (where many other cities called Zamora were founded). Henry IV granted Zamora the epithet of "most noble and most loyal city".

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