On a hill and guarding the road that unites the coast with the Kingdom of Castile, rises the Castle of San Vicente de Argueso. Built during the XIII-XV centuries, it represents the most outstanding and ancient example of the Roqueno Castle of Cantabria, being the only interior castle that exists in the Community.
The castle was one of the strengths of Senorio de la Vega from which they defended their interests in Campoo de Suso. In the fifteenth century, he is the owner of the same Don Leonor de la Vega, wife of the Admiral of Castile, Don Diego Hurtado de Mendoza and mother of Inigo Lopez de Mendoza, the illustrious Marques de Santillana, one of the key players in the Castilian politics of that era. He is more known perhaps for the quality of his poetic work. On the death of the Marquis, in 1458, his first born son, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, succeeded him, and thanks to the fidelity shown to the Catholic Monarchs, he was appointed in 1475 Duke of the Infantado, Marques de Argueso and Campoo. From then on, the castle became the seat of the Marquesado de Argueso, which was organized under an administration that was independent in some respects from that of the Merindad de Campo. Don Mariano Tellez Giron, Duke of Osuna and the last Marques owner of the castle, sold the castle in 1873. Ever since then passing through different hands. The last owner of the castle, Dona Teresa Rabago, donated the castle to the City Council of the Brotherhood of Campoo de Suso in 1962 with the "only" condition is that the castle would be renovated. They are still the owners of the fortress until this day.
Declared a Cultural Interest Property in 1983, the castle was restored by the Town Council of the Brotherhood of Campoo de Suso and the Regional Government.
On the occasion of this restoration in 1988, highlighting the great artisanal work done on the noble wood by the Sobaler family and their team of local craftsmen (artisans). They found in the basement of the south tower and the walls of the old chapel of the martyr San Vicente (S. IX), around which a necropolis was still visible in the courtyard of the castle.
In August of 1999, the Castle opened its doors to the public, functioning as a cultural centre, hosting both temporary exhibitions, as well as other festivities.
Castle-Palace of the Fernández de Heredia family, XIV century (Mediterranean Gothic style).
The largest castle you can imagine.
Mora de Rubielos Castle is a representative building of the Mediterranean Gothic style situated in the highest part of the town, on a rocky hill.
The Castle is a solid stone construction built on an irregular, quadrangular ground plan with four fortified towers, a porticoed parade ground and a cloister gallery. It covers an area of 4,300 sq m (67 by 65 m). The Castle can be accessed through a zig-zag ramp with loopholes (long narrow windows through which arrows could be fired against attackers) along its length, which reveal the castle’s former defensive function. After going through the gate, a slight slope with some steps leads us to:
Porticoed parade ground (cloister when the building was used as a convent). It covers an area of 1,400 sq m (38 by 37 m). Its ground plan is a slightly irregular square, surrounded by pointed arches of different sizes. Some of the capitals are decorated with animals or monsters, but they are badly damaged.
Stables. They are in the basement that can be accessed through an oblique arch next to the angle formed by the walls, going down a slight slope with steps which once was a dirt slope. At the bottom, we get to a large space where there used to be troughs.
Stonemasons’ marks: These can still be seen engraved on some of the keystones that form the transverse arches situated closer to the entrance, as well as in some other rooms of the castle. They are the “signature” of the stonemasons who shaped these stones.
Great dining room or multi-purpose room, depending on whether it was a time of peace or war at the castle, something quite common in medieval times.
Antechamber, which could have possibly been used as an armoury, a scriptorium or a dressing room. Nowadays, this room hosts part of the Ethnographic Museum, where you can see different pieces which have been obtained in Mora de Rubielos.
Main bedroom in the castle of the Fernández de Heredia family. This chamber is inside the east tower. The walls are very thick here, something that can be appreciated in the thickness of the window, as well as in the reinforced ceiling, with twice as many beams as normally needed.
The dungeon. It used to be a high security prison. The Great Stairway, Outside tower and gate, Spiral Staircase, The Sacristy (when the castle was used as a convent), The Great Hall (with an area of 284 sq m), The Well, First and Second Level Basements, The Burial Crypt, The Crypt and The Chapel.
The Castle was awarded the status of National Monument in 1931 and Mora de Rubielos was declared a national heritage site in 1978. Restoration works in the castle began in 1972 with the removal of debris and the cleaning and consolidation of arches and structures.
Garcimuñoz Castle is a small town in the province of Cuenca, which was declared a historic complex in 2002. Its main peculiarity is that it is made up of two different castles: one on top of the other. Namely, the castle that was inhabited by Don Juan Manuel since 1312 and the other that was built by the Marquis of Villena Don Juan Pacheco in 1458.
The first references to the Castle of Arab origin date back to the year 1172 when the Emir Abu Yacub Yusuf, by way of Huete, destroys and enslaves its women and children. Restored by Garcí-Muñoz, it was inhabited by Don Juan Manuel who controlled the manor of Villena from this settlement, and so continued the successive marquises until Don Juan Pacheco moved the control center to Belmonte.
In the visit to this castle you can see the North-south wall that protected it, and various spaces organized around an inner courtyard that acted as a distributor.
The castle of Don Juan Pacheco began to be built in 1458 on the remains of the previous one that had been demolished. The master who built it was Martín Sánchez Bonifacio, one of the members of the School of Toledo.
It's a transition castle to Fort Bastions, built in Elizabethan Gothic style as testified by its billiard of Çross and Orb and the decorative frame that surrounds the castle below the windows of the second floor, the diamond tips and Avila´s balls of its cover, etc
Its destruction and the recess of its canvases and towers occur from the year 1663 when a Castle's bay becomes the current Church of St. John the baptist, inaugurated in 1708. The Castle's walls served as a quarry for the works of the Church.
The castle has been recently restored (2010-2016) by Izaskun Chinchilla in postmodern Style. It is a controversial restoration, where the sculpture is mixed with the architecture, but it is worth the visit to assess the different styles of restoration of Castles.
The rehabilitation carried out permits the visit to:
- The homage tower with 16.5 meters in diameter whose original cistern has been recovered.
- The four Gothic windows on the second floor and the singular windows of the First.
- The inside of the Southwest tower that ends the visit to this castle and leads to the platform that gives access to the castle of Don Juan Manuel, in it we find 40 solar chimneys today which are only decorative.
The Castle of Buñol built on two masses of rock, dominates the town of Buñol and the surrounding area know as La Hoya de Buñol. Its strategic importance was based on its proximity to the frontier between Valencia and Castilla.
The castle, whose origins date back to the 11th century would be later extended and modified in Christian times. The structure of the current architectural complex is of Christian chronology, made in phases between the 14th, 16th, 18th and 19th centuries. The restoration works of the fortress began during the second half of the 20th century and continue today.
In 1238, Jaime I donated it to the knight Rodrigo de Linaza, who occupied it in 1245, transferring it to the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, together with the castles of Macastre and Montroy. The sites soon returned to Jaime I, who handed them over to Berenguela Fernández and their son, Pedro Fernández. In 1304, Jaime II bought it for his son Alfonso.
After several years of conflict for its possession, in 1424, Alfonso V acquires it and sells it to Berenguer Mercader on the 20 of May, 1425. Years later Felipe III turns the area into a county on the 3rd of May, 1603, granting the first title of count to Gaspar Mercader i Carrós.
After the expulsion of the Moors in 1609, the county suffered a great depopulation, forcing the count to repopulate the area by granting a new Carta Puebla to people coming mostly from the Kingdom of Valencia, but also from Castilla, Mallorca and Navarra with the obligation to reside in the villa.
In 1787, the inhabitants of the county requested their incorporation to the Crown. This was obtained in 1836 after a lawsuit of nearly forty years between the counts of Buñol and the inhabitants of the Hoya de Buñol
It was from then on that the population began to build houses within the site taking advantage of all the existing constructions and building their houses in the empty spaces of the fortress, thus transforming the area into another neighborhood of the population.
Previously, during the War of Succession, the War of Independence and the Carlist Wars the castle was used as a barracks and jail. During the War of Independence, the French army plundered the castle and its church.
The Association Pro-Castillo de Buñol was created in 1957, with the aim of recovering and restoring the castle. After its dissolution, the City Council of Buñol has taken over all the restoration works.
The castle of Buñol is located in the center of the city (the city grew around it), taking advantage of a rocky spur, surrounded by a ravine and the river Buñol. A location that allows the domain over the town and over the whole region of La Hoya de Buñol. Its location is strategic; close to the old Royal Road from Valencia to Madrid.
Of Muslim origin, its functions have varied in its more than one thousand years of history: castle, manor house, barracks, jail, administrative center, popular neighborhood and now tourist attraction.
The first enclosure is a polygon, formed by a straight wall, its angles flanked by two towers and a central tower built to defend the entrance gateway. Here we find La Plaza de Armas (military courtyard), where visitors will find a path of surveillance that runs around the upper wall completed with loopholes for shooting arrows. This area today, still contains a number of built houses against the original wall.
In the center of the castle we find a tower know as Torre del Homenaje (Main Tower) which serves as a passageway to the castle’s second enclosure (southern enclosure).
The southern enclosure houses the residential structures of the fortress. Part of the Gothic palace is conserved - the hall known as El Oscurico where exhibitions and cultural events are held - still contains inside the original ashlar arches.
The old palace of the counts – La Casa Señorial - is the structure of the south façade. Inside we can currently find the Tourist Office and the Archaeological Collection along with the Muslim remains of a waterwheel well and a cereal silo.
The church of El Salvador today houses an ethnological exhibition. It was most probably built between the second half of the 13th century and the first half of the 14th century. It is a nave with a semicircular vault, lunettes and two transverse arches that divide it into three sections.
This area also contains some inhabited houses. The street of the Castle ends on a steep slope that gives access to the old quarters of the town - Mallorquines Street- after crossing the fortified gate called La Torreta. This access is composed of a staircase on a layered axis and a tower located at the lowest level of the castle site.
In 1957 the Asociación Pro-Castillo de Buñol was created and the need to recover and restore the monument as a vestige of historical and strategic importance was raised.
In 1964 it was declared a National Historic-Artistic Monument. Today it is the center of the urban nucleus that has been growing around it.
The castle is on a mountain in the middle of a valley.
It controls the region of Els Ports, a large territory of more than 1000 km2 that was set in the Islamic era. This landscape is approximately what you can see from the highest point of the castle (Plaza de armas). It is in Islamic era (7-14-1231) when the castle takes over from Lesera, the Iberian Roman city in the current term of Forcall, as a center of the region. In this period (1084) is when The Cid arrives, who was at the service of the Muslim king of Zaragoza.
The importance of the castle during the Christian era is given by its location in the geographical center of the Crown of Aragon. Moreover, the castle was the only fortress under the control of Aragon Crown in many kilometers around, because all the near territory was under military control. Jaime I el Conquistador said that the castle was worth as much as a county and that it could only be in the hands of the King.
It has gone through a thousand vicissitudes and countless wars: Unión wars, (s.XV), Las Germanías (XVI), war of succession (XVIII), Francés war (XIX) and three Carlist wars, the first one was the most important war (1833-1840). In this period appears the General Cabrera who ruled the castle and Morella as a small state at the end of the war.After the three Carlist wars, the castle and Saint Francesc Convent were controlled by the Otumba infantry regiment with 300 soldiers until 1911 when they leave the square.
So, the castle history covers from the Neolithic Age where there were already settlements until well into the 20th century.The history of the castle is linked to the history of Spain.
It is National historic monument from 4th July 1931.
References to its importance as a monument or site of cultural interest
The Canena Castle, erected by the Arabs on top of a Roman settlement, became a fortress of the Order of Calatrava during the reconquista. In 1538 it was acquired by Don Francisco de los Cobos, the Secretary of State to Charles V, who transformed it into a Castle Palace, lodging the Emperor himself under its roof.
The Canena Castle is one of the most important ones in Andalusia, and is the most emblematic building in the town of Canena, which is built around it. Though by the 16th C. the military architecture of the region no longer had a function as such, this fortress—dating back to before the 13th C.—was restored and transformed into a palace by Francisco de los Cobos, the great Renaissance patron of the Úbeda region. Andrés de Vandelvira (1509-1575) supervised the construction.
Located in the rich Guadalquivir Valley and near Úbeda and Baeza (both World Heritage cities), the Canena Castle was declared a National Monument in 1931. It is privately owned and lends its name to the family business of its owners (Castillo de Canena Extra Virgin Olive Oil).
Brief summary of the castle’s artistic and historical heritage
The Canena Castle Palace (Jaén Province, Spain) was built in the 16th C. in the Spanish Renaissance style by the architect Andrés de Vandelvira (1509-1575). It belonged to Francisco de los Cobos and was mentioned by the Marques de Santillana in one of his famous serranillas, or short poems.
The building as it stands today was built in the 17th Century. It has an extraordinary interior courtyard, the second floor of which is ringed with a balustrade with Ionic columns, upon which rest beautiful architraves. It is now the private property of the Vañó family.
In 1538 Francisco de los Cobos, Secretary of State to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and a great patron of Renaissance arts in Úbeda and its surroundings, bought the Canena villa. The property became part of his extensive domains, which after his death were administered by his wife Doña María de Mendoza and her descendants, the Marquis of Camarasa. In Canena this great patron of the arts left us one of his greatest undertakings: the transformation of the castle into a sumptuous palace, designed and executed by Andrés de Vandelvira.
The Canena Castle is solidly built on a square plan, with two great circular towers that protect the corners of its main face and two smaller towers on the back side. The keep is in the center of the edifice. The whole castle was formerly surrounded by a moat—now filled in— and is equipped with a drawbridge.
The portal is a round arch flanked by Corinthian pilasters on plinths, with a frieze entablature decorated with grotesques and a cornice upon which another arch is raised. In the tympanum of this arch appears the coat of arms of the palace’s founders, with fantastic supporters at each side. The arch is crowned with stone torches and one can see the grooves for raising the drawbridge.
The interior courtyard is in Renaissance good taste, with a double loggia and a cloister stairway. The lower level is comprised of round arches with ornate keystones and relief medallions placed on alternate spandrels. The upper gallery has the peculiar feature of large ornate abacuses over the columns, which themselves rest on plinths decorated with military motifs, ringed by a stone balustrade.
This architectural complex, half medieval fortress, half neo-Gothic palace, is made up of two towers linked by an habitable building and a parade ground, rounded by a double wall. Its origin, in the XII century, is related to Paio Méndez Sorrede’s figure. Intended as a military and defensive fortress until the XV century, it evolves consistently, from a defensive tower to a double walled fortress.
Pedro Álvarez de Soutomaior, better known as Pedro Madruga, was the most singular character related to the castle. The Castle of Soutomaior enjoyed its period of maximum splendor during the XV century.
He became a legend because of his engagement in several episodes in the history of Galicia, as his confrontation with the “Irmandiños”, the church hierarchy or other noble families. Moreover, he was also responsible for the fortress rebuilt after be destroyed by the “Irmandiños revolt” in the XV century, adapting the castle for the use of firearms, which were introduced for the first time in Galicia.
After three centuries of decline and complete abandonment, the castle was transformed into a Residencial Palace at the end of the XVIII century when it was bought by the Marquis of Mos, who placed his coat of arms in the current south entrance.
In 1870, the Marquises of la Vega de Armijo y Mos transformed the castle into a summer neo-Gothic palace where the chapel and the Lady gallery are noteworthy. They are also responsible for creating the park and the gardens, declared in 2012 “Garden of Excellence” by the International Camellia Society.
María Vinyals, the Marquises’ niece, who was the heir of the Castle of Soutomaior, built the Lluria Sanatorium close to the castle together with her husband, Doctor Enrique Lluria. However, the political activities caused them to lose the property in the beginning of XX century, so the fortress started its gradual abandon and damage.
In 1982 the “Diputación de Pontevedra” bought the castle and the properties that surrounded it, making a great complex renovation, but preserving its original structure to used it for cultural purposes.
Erected at the end of the 12th Century, the Castle of Olvera was part of the defensive system of the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada until its takeover by Christian troops in 1327 would lead it to become an almost impassable stronghold of the Crown of Castile. Its strategic position, 623 metres above sea level, allowed them to see the border line of castles that separated the Muslim and Christian Spain. The medieval city would begin to form around it, surrounded by canvases of wall and towers that culminated in the citadel, and in which the mosque or the souk was located. At present, the castle has obvious Christian features in its construction, the result of the successive remodelling that it had to undergo since its capture by King Alfonso XI, who would end up granting the estate to the nobility, who became the owner of each and every good that was in it, including the castle.
In the year 1460, in exchange for 1,700,000 maravedis (medieval Spanish coins) the Villa of Olvera passed hands from the Stúniga to the Girón, one of whose members, Pedro Téllez Girón, would receive the title of Duke of Osuna, in the year 1562, from King Felipe II. It was as a result of this that the town of Olvera and its Castle became dependent on this ducal house for more than 300 years.
The castle, which was declared an item of Cultural Interest in 1985, reveals an irregular floor adapted to the form of the cliff where it sits. The manmade construction is fully integrated with the natural landscape, descending on spectacular slopes to this rock formation.
From the castle of Olvera you have a 360-degree viewpoint of the scenic surroundings. To the north it is possible to catch a glimpse of the Sierra de las Harinas mountain, the Salado stream and the Castillo del Hierro castle, in the Sevillian town of Pruna. To the east, the horizon is outlined by the Peñón de Zapapaldar Rock and the Sierra Blanquilla mountain, as well as the depressions of the north of the province of Málaga. In the south, the towns of Alcalá del Valle and Setenil de las Bodegas are visible, as well as the elevation of the Malaver mountain. And to the western side are the town of El Gastor, the Peñón de Lagarín Rock, the Castle of Zahara de la Sierra and the Sierra de Líjar mountain, whose background is outlined by the Sierra de Grazalema mountain range. In addition, breaking the horizon is the elevation of Peñón de Zaframagón Rock, declared a Natural Reserve and an indisputable icon of the Sierra Greenway.
The Condestable Dávalos Castle has been a historical and artistic monument since 1931. It was built between 1395 and 1422 by Ruy López Dávalos, in granite stone, with a square floor plan, and four towers on each corner. Its most characteristic element is the Homage Tower, with a rectangular floor plan, 26 meters high, with round arch doors and windows and defensive balconies. The Castle has a parade ground surrounded by the wall, which originally housed the servants' quarters, stables, warehouses and kitchens. The Homage Tower was the nobility residence.
The Condestable Dávalos Castle was the residence of important people in the history of Spain, such as Rodrigo Alonso de Pimentel or Doña Juana de Pimentel, who received the castle as part of her dowry for her marriage to Don Alvaro de Luna, and for whom the Castle receives the nickname "Castillo de la Triste Condesa".
Until the 18th century, Condestable Dávalos Castle was the residence of the Dukes of Infantado, until it became the property of Don Luis de Borbón, who abandoned it because he considered it was not a worthy place to make it his residence, which is why he began the construction of a Palace, which became his residence, and which also has a BIC declaration.
During the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries the castle was used for different purposes: prison, cemetery, warehouse, and so on. It is currently owned by the Arenas de San Pedro Town Hall, and since 2006 it has been the most emblematic, touristic and cultural site in the town, after being fully restored.
The Homage Tower has 4 floors where you can find: The Condestable Dávalos Castle Information Office, the Conference Room, the Medieval Room, the Souvenir Shop and the Exhibition Hall.
The Conference Room is also used to celebrate weddings and cultural or musical events. The Exhibition Hall houses the permanent exhibition of the local painter Manuel Aznar. From the Homage Tower you can access the adarve that surrounds the entire parade ground to enjoy spectacular views of the town and the Gredos Mountains.
The parade ground is the perfect place to hold summer concerts, local folklore festival performances, theatre performances, and specialty fairs.
Villena's Atalaya Castle was built by the Almohad Empire at the end of the 12th Century, to be used as a shelter for the Muslim population and a fortress against the attack of the peninsular Christian kingdoms. During this period, the inner rampart and the first two floors of the keep were built, with its imposing vaults, unique in the castles of Spain along with the fortress of Biar. King James I of Aragon conquered the castle in 1240 and, after the Treaty of Almizra, Villena Estate passed into the domain of the Manuel family, first feudal lords.
In the 14th century, the famous writer Don Juan Manuel, author of El Conde Lucanor, became Prince of Villena. In addition, his second wife, Princess Constanza of Aragon, lived in the castle, forcing him to carry out some important works, such us the building of the chapel, remains of which are still visible. In the 15th century, the castle was ruled by the powerful Pacheco family, Marquises of Villena, who added two new floors to the keep and built the second rampart.
In 1476, the Catholic Monarchs took the castle away from the Pacheco after a harsh siege throwing stone projectiles, with some of them still remaining in the courtyard. During the following centuries, the castle was used in the Germanías War, the war of the Spanish succession and the Peninsular War, with formidable canonball hits and graffiti made by prisoners still visible on the castle's walls.
San Marcos Castle, located in El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz, was built in the 13th century configured as a border fortress-church with the Nasrid kingdom of Granada under the reign of Alfonso X the Wise, who took the population of Alcanatif and integrated it into the kingdom of Castilla y León.
San Marcos Castle is built in a key place both strategic and spiritual. The oldest construction on this site dates from the Ist century; a Roman temple built in what was the highest point of Portus Gaditanus, a small fishing village dedicated mainly to obtaining salt and fishing in the bay.
This structure was marked by the different vicissitudes faced by the entire surrounding area such as the Visigoth invasion and the subsequent Arab conquest from North Africa, transforming the temple into a church and mosque respectively.
With the population increase experienced by the entire Andalusian Caliphate in the 10th century, the Alcanatif village was founded where Portus Gaditanus once stood and, erecting the mosque that today keeps this emblematic castle. It is precisely the structure of the mosque that first stands out inside the Castle: a temple of “Córdoba” tradition that uses the marble columns of the now disappeared Roman temple to support the roof and the vaults inside the building.
Highlights in the mosque not only the horseshoe arches that are distributed throughout the space, but the Mihrab located in the Quibla wall. Mihrab that has endured to this day surviving 7 centuries of Christian worship.
After the capture of Alcanatif by Alfonso X, it became part of the kingdom of Castilla y León under the name of "Santa María del Puerto" and the same monarch ordered not only the conversion of the mosque into a Christian church but the beginning of the works to turn it, also, into a fortress and border post with the Nasrid kingdom of Granada, giving it the name of "Castillo de San Marcos" in honor of the onomastics of the day of the conquest of Alcanatif, on April 25th.
Until the 14th century, the Castle and the village of Santa María del Puerto were part of the crown of Castilla until Luis de la Cerda, the first Duke of Medinaceli, was granted the duchy who owns the castle until the 19th century and under his orders the different works of the castle of extensions and adhesions that we can see today were made.
The most representative dates from the 15th century, a period in which the ducal house invests a good amount of resources in the population, also financing the construction of the city's Basilica.
Already in the 19th century the ownership of the castle passes to the town hall that manages to keep it barely carrying out reforms and reconstructions trying to seek its conservation. Today, it belongs to the Caballero Group that has managed to maintain successfully and in good condition this emblematic monument of El Puerto de Santa María.
Located in the Sierra de Gredos, barely 90km from Madrid, the castle of La Adrada has dominated the landscape of the Tiétar Valley since the 14th century. Built on a Gothic church dated 1250 which, in turn, seems to have been built on another castle of Roman origin, the castle gains in relevance from the 14th century with the designation of La Adrada as Villa (township). It was a temporary residence of Enrique III, Juan II, Enrique IV and the Catholic Monarchs (Fernando and Isabel), expanding in size and in facilities that guaranteed better security, such as the case of ts walls until, from the 19th century onwards, it begins to fall into ruins. The castle was victim to plunder from locals and foreigners alike. It remained in that state until the end of the 20th century, at which time, it was transferred to La Adrada Town Hall and with the support of various institutions, it was restored and began being open to the public in 2004.
Since then and to date, the castle of La Adrada has recovered use and life. With a €3 entrance fee, reduced for groups and free entrance on Wednesdays, visitors can stroll through the castle and its walls, learn about its history through a short film, and visit the Tiétar Valley Historical Interpretation Center. This Interpretation Center explains the origins and traditions of the many beautiful villages that make up the Tiétar Valley, its most representative mountains and other curiosities of the area.
But the castle is not limited to only being a monument worthhy to be seen and admired, but rather it is also a public building that is being used for many cultural and social events including weddings.
Since 2004, the Castle has been the epicenter of the La Adrada Medieval Fair with archery tournaments, madrigal concerts, and theatratrical performances.
Since 2018, it has also been the main stage of the Tiétar Summer Festival - La Adrada festival - hosting an average of 15 performances a year. Artists such as Carlos Núñez, Bebe, Paco Ibáñez, Luar Na Lubre, Hevia ... have performed on this stage which is located in the original apse of the 13th century Gothic church.
Also, for more than five years, it has been one of the favorite set locations for film and television series recording studios such as Águila Roja, Reinas, El Ministerio del Tiempo, Isabel, El Cid…
In short, a very charming place ready to receive your visit.
Loarre Castle is the oldest Romanesque castle and best preserved in Europe. It´s located on the natural border between Ebro river valley and the mountain range of Pyrenees, the castle dominates the Hoya de Huesca landscape from a cliff at 1070 m. above sea level.
The castle was built during the XI century in different stages that were meeting the different needs.
The first phase begins around the year 1020 by the great King of Sancho Sancho el Mayor, who in his eagerness to protect the Pyrenean counties from the Muslim attacks, takes advantage of the mountains of the Huesca pre-Pyrenees to install a series of forts that will create an authentic fortified border, of which Loarre will be one of its last links. Of this first phase the two main towers and the Romanesque chapel of Santa María stand out. The second phase is initiated by his grandson, the second king of Aragon Sancho Ramírez, around 1071, who with the support of the Holy See decided to surround the old fortress of his grandfather, which was still a frontier, with a large monastery that will house a order of Augustinian canons, uniting in Loarre the sword and the cross, the military and the monastic function. Of this phase highlights the impressive Church of San Pedro, a unique jewel of Romanesque architecture crowned by a spectacular dome.
Supported by the Pope, Sancho Ramirez surrounded the old castle of his grandfather with a great monastery for an order of Agustinian Canons monks, joining the cross and the sword, the military and monastic function in the same building. The most prominent build of this phase is the impressive St. Peter’s church, a wonder of Romanesque architecture, crowned by a dome.
The last phase of construction will be delayed until the end of XIII century, and it is the wall marked by semicircular towers that runs over 170 m of perimeter, and that surrounded not only the fortress, but also a small town emerged under the castle, and that is the origin of the current Loarre. It will be already at the dawn of the Renaissance when such a great fortress is finally abandoned leaving its presence undaunted at the top of the Sierra de Loarre.
We are located in the municipality of Alcaudete, which is in the Comarca of the Sierra Sur of Jaén. Alcaudete is a prosperous land in olive groves, fruits and water. It was a strategic passing zone during the Middle Ages and the Arab domain, as it was on the road that went from Cordoba to Granada and border place for more than a hundred years, once conquered by Christians.
This make us to think about one thing: why is there a Castle in Alcaudete? It was the year 711 when the Muslims entered the Peninsula and began the conquest of what was called Al-Andalus, reaching the Duero’s and Ebro’s valleys. However, by the year 1030, their power got weaker and, because of that, Christian kings began an offensive to recover the conquered lands and protect the territory and its inhabitants. In that way they created a powerful defensive system to prevent the lands recovery by Muslims, based on a wide variety of large castles, watchtowers and fortresses, such as the Castillo of Alcaudete. Alcaudete was known in the ninth century as al-Qabdaq or al-Qibdaq, being a place of refuge for peasant populations in the area. To this aim, a fortress was built at the top of the hill, taking advantage of the steep slopes, rocky complexes and natural gorges for its defence. Thus, during the Almohad domain, a great wall was built around the urban core, as well as a fortress on the summit. All of that to protect in case of attack the inhabitants and soldiers of Alcaudete. Inside the fortress there was a tank that collected rainwater to survive and tents used as home, in order to live there and sleep.
Afterwards, the Castle of Alcaudete was part of the defence belt that King Ferdinand III The Holy entrusted for the protection of the western border of the kingdom of Jaen against the Nasrid kingdom of Granada. It was built between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. This Castle has had several stages throughout its life, which have impregnated its walls with legends and stories, memories and adventures, which have left their mark on its structure and which make the monumental complex possess a unique beauty that leaves no one indifferent to their visitors.
Fernando III and his son Alfonso X granted manors in the Kingdom of Jaén as payment for their help in the conquest of the Upper Guadalquivir Valley, and with the clear objective of serving as a protective belt against the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada. For this reason, Alcaudete was handed over to the Order of Calatrava in 1245. Hence, the castle was renamed Castillo Calatravo of Alcaudete.
The Castle of Alcaudete has had several stages throughout its history. When the Calatrava Order leaved, this land and the village became a manor zone, and the Castle was transformed into a private Palace, where the lords of Alcaudete who inhabited it placed the shields of the Cordoba and Montemayor family on the door. Currently these shields are so deteriorated that they hardly distinguish.
The castle of Monclova, which has its origin in the SXIV, is located on the city of Obulcula S.II b.c. It constitutes the last avatar of a secular population nucleus of the prehistoric, turdetana and roman epochs, and the perduration of the city in the form of farmstead through the Muslim domination, as the historians and geographers of antiquity affirm, in their repeated mentions. Its name of indigenous origin, is the diminutive of the other great Iberian city called Obulco, in Porcuna (Jaén).
In the year 1342, King Alfonso XI granted the castle of Monclova to his Admiral of the Sea Micer Egidio Bocanegra as a reward for the services rendered. In the sixteenth century these lands belonged to the family of La Vega until the death of the famous poet Garcilaso related to the House of Mendoza by marriage of Leonor de la Vega, with Don Iñigo Lopez de Mendoza, Marquis of Santillana.
On September 20, 1617, Mr. de la Monclova, Mr. Antonio Portocarrero and Enriquez de la Vega were awarded the title of Count of La Monclova and on May 5, 1706, the greatness of Spain. Already in the eighteenth century these lands fall to the Marquis of Ariza and then joins the house of the Duke of Infantado.
In the year 1910, Joaquín de Arteaga y Echagüe, XVII Duke of the Infantado rebuilt the castle.
At present, it has diversified its activity to welcome visitors and guests who wish to explore the charming residence, learn about its centennial history and enjoy this emblematic place.
The castle of La Monclova had a rectangular plan, and had rectangular towers, of which vestiges are preserved in the north and east angles. Although they were very remodeled with the later works, the oldest remains that are conserved of this castle date back to the XIV century, being these the tower of the Homage and three canvases of the walled enclosure. The keep is rectangular in shape, and has two overlapping chambers and a roof with a parapet and hooded battlements.
This tower must have been originally massive, although today it houses the main staircase of the palace. The entrance to the castle is made through a portico with a semicircular arch over columns and family shields in the spandrels. In a frieze can be read It is over 1668.
From the entrance you walk into a large patio porticoed on three sides with semicircular arches on columns and shields of the Order of Mercy in the spandrels. Today the chapel has an altarpiece of Castilian tendency of the sixteenth century, from the Castillo de Viñuelas, in Madrid, which was the property of the Duque del Infantado. The wooden doors are a sample of the size of the seventeenth century.
Castillo de Láchar, declared as a Monument of Cultural Interest, holds an interesting history. Two years ago was opened to the public visits for first time.
It’s located in La Vega de Granada, in the village of Láchar. Only 15 minutes drive from Granada city center, 5 minutes drive from the Granada – Jaén Airport and 60 minutes drive from Málaga. Based in the main street of the municipality, where there are also some restaurants, tapas bar and shops nearby.
From its first opening to the public in 2017, it’s receiving a great recognition. This fact, suprises to all the public organisations and it’s helping the monument to become in one of the “must-see” in the province of Granada.
Castillo de Láchar has its own tourist informants team. They will guide the visitors during the route through the castle. All the tourist products we offer have a guided tour.
The most ancient evidences we have from Castillo de Láchar’s history are from the 14th Century, when a vigilance tower is built in order to protect the Nasrid lands located in Láchar. When the Catholic Kings conquest these lands, they decide to offer them to Cañaveral’s family, very influent in that times. They made some modificactions in the structure of the tower. After some generations until reach the 19th Century, Julio Quesada Cañaveral decides to extend the enclosure and built the Palace area, linked to the rest of the structure. As he was a very important person, Julio it’s declared as “Duque de San Pedro de Galatino y Grande de España”, it’s when the castle-palace lives its great splendeur moments. Some important personalities visited the castle during this period, as the painter Joaquín Sorolla, Marquis of Viana or even King Alfonso XIII, who slept in the palace in many ocassions.
The castle was constructed in an Alhambra or neo-arab style, plenty of ornament such as ceramic tiles and yeserías (typical plaster-works). There are also pieces of great value like Nasrid capitals from the 14th Century and woodcarving doors from the 16th Century. In addition, there is furniture with high artistic value. The castle has a very rich history with unique moments and important historic elements.
The Castle of Cornatel stands on a hillock of the Aquilanos Mountains, about 800 meters above sea level, in Villavieja, in the municipality of Priaranza del Bierzo, province of León.
It is a construction of a single wall covered by a walk (adarve) of defensive round, totally crenellated to the one that was acceded by means of ladders flown of slate. The abrupt rock in which it rises forced its builders to adapt the different buildings, raised at different heights, to such special circumstances, configuring an enclosure with a triangular plan.
Two of its flanks are walled, while the third, on the northeast slope, is especially impregnable naturally, since it is located vertically on a ravine at an approximate height of 180 meters on the stream of the Indrina, which runs at his feet.
Several authors have referred to this castle since the end of the 19th century, almost always describing the remains visible on the surface or recording some historical data. Apart from these works, the building has been the object of several legends in relation to its possible connection, at a certain moment, to the order of the Templars, who were about one hundred years, from 1213 to 1312.
In this line the most well-known work is the novel of the Berciano romantic author Enrique Gil y Carrasco, entitled The Lord of Bembibre.
The current castle, built entirely of slate masonry, is dated, practically in its totality, on the end of the XV century, at the time of the first count of Lemos, lord of it. However, its historical origins could be traced back to much earlier dates that link it with the castle of the early medieval of Ulver, abundantly quoted in the documentation of the time, a theory accepted by most of the authors who have written about this fortification. However, some of them, among which we can mention Fernando Cobos, architect in charge of the Cornatel Master Plan, pointed out the existence in the surroundings of the castle of several depopulated with remains of structures that could have corresponded with Ulver.
It is believed that Muslims started the construction of the castle in the 11th century (in the era of the Almohads) as a result of a boarder reinforcement in order to stop the advance of Christians and Alfonso VIII. When the area of the river Júcar was conquered in 1213 the castle was passed on to Christians.
There are scarse remains of the Islamic castle. Only things preserved of Muslim origin are the remains of the two entrance columns on the left. The rest belongs to the reforms made by Christians.
Although completely reformed and remade, it was built of masonry and the restored parts were rebuilt with ashlars.
It seems that its current look is due to the fortifications carried out in the middle of the 15th century, at the time of Don Juan Pacheco, Marquis of Villena.
The castle is constituted by three sections:
- Main courtyard
- Tower keep
The tower keep is a pentagonal fortified tower with two turrets with a circular floor, placed in the right angles of the castle. The interior of the tower consists of three floors, it is completely restored and its rooms are used for cultural events and as temporary exhibition halls.
The hall situated on the first floor is a diaphanous space and it has about 90m2. Its entrance is high up and to be able to get in an elevated step which forms a semicircular arch had been constructed.
The hall on the second floor of tower keep is also a 90m2 diaphanous room with a barrel vault ceiling made of brick.
The halls are connected by a spiral staircase made out of stone. The staircase consists of three sections, one that goes down to the dungeon, and two that lead to the second floor and the tower. The halls are illuminated with natural light coming through the large windows built in the stone walls.
The tower’s upper terrace (the turret) has a pentagonal form and consists of two round towers and three peaks which were used as lookouts to control the passage through Alcalá del Júcar.
The esplanade has about 4000m2. It was fortified except for one part which was formerly where the town used to be situated. Now, there’s only a foundation left in this area because in peacetime the people left to live in the lower part of the village.
The areas open to visitors, managed by the Castellón Provincial Council, comprise the castle itself and the Artillery Park, which surrounds the perimeter of the fortress overlooking the sea. The castle was erected by the Knights Templar between 1294 and 1307, when the Order was on the verge of extinction.
These walls also gave shelter to Benedict XIII "Pope Luna" who spent his final years in this fortress, between 1411 and 1423, transforming the castle into a pontifical palace and defending his legitimacy as Pope until his death. Both the Knights Templar and Pope Luna survived their own tragedy and have their place in history today.
The Artillery Park is a military area with batteries, tunnels and ramps that connect with the maritime zone. The gardens that surround them were created in the 20th century.
In the lower area, you can visit the fortifications built in the time of Philip II, in order to modernise the defences of the medieval castle and combat the attacks of pirates and the Turkish Navy.
The upper area of fortifications and gardens connects with the medieval castle and with the lighthouse enclosure.
The lighthouse building was built at the end of the 19th century and was converted into a visitor reception centre in 2017. From the square around the lighthouse you can see the 13th century tower of Pope Luna and, next to it, the bastion that protects the entrance built in the time of Charles I and the stairs of Pope Luna. These are located in the fortifications on the east side, 45 meters above sea level.
The current castle of Puebla de Sanabria was built on the same site as the XIII century castle. Of this previous site, few data are available, since its scarce remains have only allowed to influence its plant. Some historians have wanted to see as the only fortification before the current one a strong tower, known as "Losada", however, the majority tend to think that the Plenomedieval construction was a castle on the same site and similar in size to the current one.
It belongs to the group of castles with a clear relationship with the power for the benefit of noble families that in certain circumstances supported the monarchs in their companies. Arrived at the hands of the III Count of Benavente, Alonso Pimentel, it is possible to assume that the new castle began towards the middle of the XV century, as can be deduced from his testament, dated in 1455.
This could be undertaken by the IV Count, Rodrigo Alonso de Pimentel with his wife María Pacheco, who between 1477 and 1482 will build most of the work. Although to these corresponds most of the works of first building, it must have been his successors, Alonso de Pimentel and Ana de Velasco, who would finish the works definitively.
Nowdays the castle is one of the most visited monuments in the province of Zamora, with more than 50,000 visitors in 2017
The Castle of Lorca, declared BIC (Heritage of Cultural Interest), was a defensive bastion during centuries (in the Middle Ages), on the frontier between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Nazarí kingdom of Granada. After some years of work for its consolidation and rehabilitation, it opened its doors in 2003 and can be visited every day of the year, finding different proposals, exhibitions, workshops for children, guided tours, extraordinary season activities, in short, a space to learn the History and Culture of Lorca.
The Castle is a symbol for all the inhabitants of Lorca. From its privileged location, in the Guadalentín valley, it has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, which has made it an exceptional archaeological site to know the past, from Prehistory to the present.
The current appearance of the Castle of Lorca is the result of the continuous changes that the different cultures have been carrying out in its 52,000 m² of extension. Thanks to archaeology we know the Argaric burials of 3.500 years and the Roman vestiges that hide its subsoil. Nevertheless, the definitive configuration of the Castle took place in the Middle Ages, a period during which most of the preserved remains correspond. Synagogue and a Jewish quarter from the 15th century are the most recent discovery that can be visited every day of the year.
Depending on the season you can do different activities that complement the cultural visit like music, gastronomy... There are also offers for different types of visitors: families with children, schoolchildren, groups and general public. Pets are welcome. The Castle is an area to learn and have fun at the same time.
Dona Urraca Castle is perched on the Galician borough of Salvaterra de Miño and it is located in a privileged position, right on the border between Galicia and Portugal separated by the waters of the River Miño.
It is one of the most representative buildings of the whole region and part of the old medieval castle, which sheltered monarchs such as Dona Urraca, the Queen of Galicia in the late 11th and the early 12th centuries.
However, the modern appearance of the castle is the result of a Portuguese occupation in the 17th century, time when it is restructured by the French engineer Carlos Lessar.
This castle, of which today only a small part is preserved, was built in granite seal and ridge vaults made of brick and it is consists of two “L-shaped” plants.
In it, it is remarkable the “dressing room of Dona Urraca”, a small circular room that is in the lower floor, which was part of the only medieval tower that was preserved to date. This space has exceptional acoustics thanks to the thickness of its walls and vaulted shape.
In addition to that, it is also curious its “double-sided spiral staircase”, a unique example that communicates its two vaulted floors, as well as the “well” identified as an access point to a passageway that crossed the River Miño towards Portugal. According to a legend, it was used by Dona Urraca to escape to Portugal secretly.
The Castle, was declared, alongside the Fortress, as Cultural Heritage in 1949. Nowadays, the building houses the Wine Museum, inaugurated on the 25th of February 2019, being considered one of the largest spaces devoted to the dissemination on viticulture and enology in Spain.
Besides, it is one of the most interactive museums of our country. Thus, the museum is packed with panels, videos or games that do not leave people indifferent. Learning and having fun are both possible, at the same time, in the Wine Museum of Salvaterra de Miño.
The Marquis of Villena, Don Juan Pacheco, ordered it built in Mudejar Gothic style in 1456. He was trusted man of King Henry IV of Castile, and the most powerful lord in the kingdom at the time.
The star-shaped layout of the castle is one-of-a-kind, and its palatial interior decorated with luxurious Mudejar roofs in the halls and galleries, as well as the "medieval bestiary" sculpted in stone, are nonpareil in Spain. All this undeniably makes for one of the most emblematic castles in our country.
The castle has been perfectly preserved thanks to the efforts of its owners over the centuries, completed with the latest restoration. On this occasion, the Ducal House of Peñaranda and Montijo, descendants of the Marquis of Villena and owners of the Castle, have been supported by public institutions.
The Castle of Belmonte reopened its doors to the public in July 2010, offering the visitor a cultural tour throughout the history of this emblematic monument, all the way from the 15th century to the present. The cultural tour provides an audio guide in 4 languages (Spanish, English, French and Italian), an audio-visual room with a large-screen 12-minute projection as an introduction to the tour, and light and sound technology that make visitors travel to a different time.
Moreover, since August 2018, the largest historic-thematic park with real-scale siege machines in the world, Trebuchet Park, has been located at the foot of the fortress.
Throughout the tour, visitors can observe 40 siege machines in four different thematic areas: the Christian world, the Muslim world, the Eastern world and the Renaissance. Regarding the timeline, the artefacts in the first three spaces are from the 5th and 14th centuries, and the Renaissance area set in the 15th–16th century.
All of the machines have been tested and they work just as they did at the time, reconstructed with the same period materials. Historically rigorous, they used available documentation (miniatures, engravings, period texts, iconographic depictions and archaeological remains)
The Castle sits at the top of a strategic hill at an altitude of 780 metres. It is located in de region of l’Alcoià, in the interior part of the province of Alicante.
Its strategic location and proximity to hydrological resources and farmland areas contributed to the occupation of that hill since Bronze Age (second millennium B.C.), during Iberian and Roman periods (V B.C. – IV B.C. centuries).
Many centuries afterward, at the beginning of XI century, in the middle of Muslim control, it was planned the construction of the ‘hisn’ (castle), dependent on the Tania of Denia. This castle consists of a military area at the superior part of the hill, from which it is conserved the tank of the Parade ground. In the Castle we can find the parade ground that contains several walls with defensive towers and diverse structures in different states of preservation, caused by different historical moments: ‘Taifal’ (XI century), ‘Almohade’ (XII century – 1244), Medieval Christian age (1244-1299, XIV and XV centuries) and Modern Christian age (XVI century).
The palace has three floors and was built in the XIV century by D. Ramón de Vilanova; in the present days it is a museum and is decorated with medieval furniture. In the southern part of the fortification, we find a circular tower, which is popularly well-known as ‘Grossa’ (fat), built in 1529, the name was given due to the thickness of its walls. It contains 2 different floors with a crenelated terrace, its entrance is formed by an ashlar half pointed arch door.
The Castle of Almodóvar was built in the Arab period in the year 740. It received the name Almudawwar, which means the round, in honor of the shape of the land where it is settled.
It belonged to the Caliphate of Córdoba during the years of Abderramán III. When Al-Andalus was divided into different kingdoms independent of each other, known as the kingdoms of Taifas, the Castle belonged first to Seville’s kingdom and later to Carmona’s one and finally to Toledo’s kingdom.
In 1240, four years after the reconquest of Córdoba, the Castle was acquired by Fernando II “The Saint”, who rebuilt it and enlarged part of it.
During the reign of Peter I “El Cruel” or “El Justo”, the bastion reached one of its most splendid times, serving as a dwelling, prison and treasure chamber, thus establishing itself as a military function.
Among other personalities, the dungeons of the Castle of Almodóvar were occupied by D. Fadrique and Mrs. Juana de Lara.
It is in 1900, when its owner, D. Rafael Desmaissières and Farina, XII Count of Torralva, dedicates -for 36 years- his fortune and part of his life to rebuild the fortress.
The most distinctive element of the town is the “Alconchel Castle", also called today as “Miraflores Castle” because it is located on the hill of the same name. Nestled on top of the hill of the same name, dominates with its imposing presence all the territories of the environment. Of Arab origin, and rebuilt in the 12th century by the monarch Alfonso Enríquez, was later consolidated by the Templars, becoming one of the most important bastions of this order.
Originally it was composed of triple enclosure, reinforced the intermediate with cubes pointed towards the south. It is presided by a powerful homage tower, completing the whole a good yard of weapons, cisterns, dungeons, chapel and other dependencies of which are preserved different remains. Today it is inside the centre of interpretation of the fortifications of the Great Lake of Alqueva, it already has a unique space for conventions, congresses and exhibitions and prepares for the lodging.
From the historical point of view, it should be remembered that a Muslim enclave existed here, of which no trace remains. In the first place it was occupied by the Portuguese, late in the 12th century, in the time of Alfonso I, in 1166. It passed into Castilian hands a hundred years later, in 1264, and was given to the Templars first and to that of Alcántara later. The fortress is full of History of the struggles between the Kingdoms of Spain and Portugal.
Most of the bulk of the fortress is built with stones, with ashlars in the corners of the keep and masonry. The wood is used in a few places such as in ranguas bars, floors of the tower and possibly in the rake of the current entrance door and in the mechinales of the upper part of the north side of the tower.
The castle has not escaped the local heritage either and there are some local traditions that revolve around it. Despite being many of them exaggerated data, they turn out to be curious and worthy of being traced documentary.
Thus, in Alconchel it is often stated that a tunnel leads from the fortress to the parish church and another to the nearby Ermita de la Esperanza, indeed some castles have had mines or passageways that served as an escape in situations of siege, but in In this case at hand, it has not been possible to attest to the presence of said tunnels in any way. Of course, what is proven is that the presence of mines in castles was a serious detriment to it since in the same way that it could serve to escape, it could also serve to enter by enemies, with which the presence of them is almost ruled out.
At the beginning of the 11th century there is evidence of a farmhouse called Itaba in what is now Teba. A settlement without fortification that was within the jurisdiction of Takurunna (Ronda). The fortress as such began to be built in the 13th century, as a consequence of the Castilian push.
More than a dozen towers flank the perimeter walls that surround and adapt to the mountain. All but two are quadrangular in plan. One has a circular floor plan and the other is a whitewashed tower that protects the outside of the main door, which has eight sides. At the top of the military enclosure, the fortress stands, a construction of great architectural magnitude, with powerful walls, the remains of rooms, a central courtyard and the great tower that presides over the entire complex.
The fortress of Teba was originally an Almohad construction. However, its strategic importance during the border war and later as the seat of the County of Theba meant that it was constantly being renovated and extended. However, after the use of the fortress by the Napoleonic troops, the castle served as a stone quarry for the constructions of the new Villa of Teba.
The main part of the Castle of the Star was, without a doubt, the fortress and the homage tower. A palace of which only the skeleton remains because of the Napoleonic garrisons that destroyed it. The tower, however, conserves a good part of its original structure and, although the ashlars carved into the doors, windows and corners were plundered, it is still the best example of the Middle Ages in the Guadalteba region and the province of Malaga.
The great fortress of La Estrella kept the military garrisons inside and numerous families who lived protected within its walls. Those responsible lived, however, in the Alcazar (a castle within a castle). Its thick walls, its small doors and its numerous windows favoured the defence and the exercise of coercion (the surveillance and control of their own and of the territory). Inside, there were kitchens, workshops, warehouses, cisterns and inside the large tower, with four floors (eight rooms) and a large terrace, the dwelling of the warden or lord of the fortress.
The Castle-Palace of Valderrobres is a Gothic work built between the 14th and 15th centuries by the archbishop of Zaragoza, feudal lord of the area, who used the castle as a temporary residence. It was built with the parish church during the same period and both buildings were united by a passage that allowed getting to the tribune built over a lateral chapel inside the church.
The set of buildings preside the town. We can get to the castle area through two different doors. The first one is located next to the church, and the other one is under the passage which communicates both buildings. Crossing those doors, we first arrive to the parade ground, which was originally surrounded by a wall.
The castle is an irregular polygonal ground plant building and It was built surrounding a rocky hill. The builders used the mountain rocks as a quarry and gained that way new space in each floor up to the last where still today you can see the top of the hill.
On the ground floor we can find the stables with the servant’s rooms. The main floor features the kitchen, the pantries, a necessary one, the great hall of the chimneys, the library and the private rooms of the archbishop. On the upper floors are the oil stores, galleries and granaries and finally the round passage flanked by battlements, merlons and towers.
The fortress began to be built in the middle of the 9th century during the splendour period of the caliphate of Cordoba, its construction being completed in the middle of 13th century by the knights of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, over 350 years of uninterrupted construction and since then three different castles can be visited in a single building.
The order made it the capital of an extensive priory. The cession of the castle and its alfóz was made in 1183 by Alfonso VIII to the knights, although the fortress had been already reconquered by Alfonso VI, exactly one hundred year before, being the place of constant war, it was lost going from Christians to Muslims repeatedly so that finally moving to the kingdom of Castile.
The enlargements and reforms of the castle continued throughout the centuries to adapt gradually to the uses and customs of each era, providing it with a archive, chapel, chapterhouse, water cisterns, powerful defenses (it was necessary to break 7 doors to access to the central core of the strength and the average thickness of its walls is 4.5 meters and the height of its towers of 30 meters, which together with its strategic position, gave it an impregnable aspect).
Its last extension was made in the XVII century with the intention of housing a new hermitage. The fortress remained inhabited until the beginning of the 19th century. In the year 1813 the building was blown up by Napoleon's troops and left in ruins. In 1837 Mendizábal expropriate the castle to be finally acquired by the City Council in 1962.
It is currently in the rehabilitation phase having recovered 50% of the castle. Today it is possible to visit two of three water cisterns, gallery, archives shed, hermitage, chapterhouse, albarrana tower, terraces, garden, barbican and the steps of the round, being used for theatrical performances and cultural events.
The castle was built in the 15th century by the 1st Duke of the Infantado, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza. The works were carried on by his son Íñigo López de Mendoza, who brought the architect Juan Guas into the project. Guas was one of the highest representatives of the late gothic style in Castile and the architect of the Catholic Monarchs.
The Dukes of the Infantado were the son and grandson of the Marquis of Santillana, the author of the renowned Serranillas genre of poetry. This building is the architectural hallmark of a society that bridged two eras, that of medieval chivalry (defensive elements such as the outer wall or the angled entry) and the renaissance humanist era, with its great drawing rooms, decorated façades and vantage points more often found in palaces.
Even though there was already a castle in the town, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza decided to build a new one from the materials of the old to create a building in keeping with the relevant position the ducal house was acquiring. The entire building is enhanced with the robust defensive outer wall and the wall walk. The castle has undergone successive refurbishments such as the one completed in 2007 involving various building works to create an interpretation centre and to refurbish the interior rooms, with a décor that sought to match the historical era of the collection of tapestries that bedeck the monument.
Furthermore, in recent times the castle’s landscaping has been reconditioned and a space created featuring different aspects of life as it was in the late 15th century.
El Castillo de la Piedra Bermeja is located south of Brihuega. This circumstance, in principle atypical, is explained through chronology because it was the rest of Brihuega that was built from the Castle, hence it is not integrated into a more central place in the municipality.
Entering through the door that exists next to the church of Santa María, the central core of the castle consists of a central space, the highest, in which today there are constructions that must have belonged to the halls of the palace. In front, a wide open space, remains of other buildings, serves as a cemetery. Attached to this primitive building nucleus, there is a set of buildings to the north, consisting of a long nave covered with a barrel vault, and which today is called and used as a chapel of the Vera Cruz, which is entered through a simple door from the brown of Santa Maria. From the upper level you can access what was the chapel of the castle, and that is today the most unique artistic piece that is preserved in it. It is a space of square dimensions, polygonal plan, with five sides, and that constitutes an elegant space of initial Gothic architecture, work of the first years of the XIII century, has its covers formed by pointed arches, ogival, and in the apse it They open three slender and pointed windows, showing plant decoration brackets, and keys in the vaults.
Inside the Palace of Arms is the church of Santa María de la Peña, superb Gothic transition work, built in the 13th century and later improved, as well as the ruins of the former Franciscan convent of the sewer reform.
We can therefore find inside:
- Noble Room restored in 2017 by the architect Juan de Dios de la Hoz.
- Gothic-Mudejar chapel considered a jewel of the transitional Romanesque.
- Integrated municipal cemetery.
The Castle of Cullera is a construction of the tenth century (caliphate period), built over the remains of another Ibero- Roman edification. By the time of the reconquest, the King Jaime I decided to reform it and expand the fortress.
The complex consists of 5 towers, the fortress and two fortified enclosures, as well as "Alt de Fort" , a strongpoint built at XIX century during the Second Carlist War. Also in XIX century, ,the Sanctuary of the Virgin of the Castle, was built next to the Castle. It is a beautiful construction of neo- romantic origin.
The stroll between its walls is a return to the past. Walking around its hallways and emblematic rooms letting your imagination run wild, putting yourself in the shoes of everyone who lived and fought between the walls of this sturdy fortress more than 10 centuries ago, it is an experience that nobody should miss. During the visit we can enjoy the museum, the Virgin chapel and, of course, the weapons room.
It stands on a Celtiberian fort, and was built from the eleventh century attached to an angle of the wall. Its construction continued until the seventeenth century, so it has a mixture of architectural styles, but predominantly Gothic and Renaissance.
Some of the most famous architects of the time were involved in its construction: Hanequin of Brussels, Juan Guas or Juan de Álava, creator of the parade ground.
It is irregular in shape and covers a surface area of 1,025m2. Its parade ground stands out, as well as the 20m high keep, which connects with the eastern bay that housed one of the most valuable armouries in Spain. It is surrounded by an outdoor barbican, and connects with the castle's ancient hunting forest through a rammed earth wall. This forest is now a municipal park.
It was owned by royals such as Álvaro de Luna or Beltrán de la Cueva, and its most illustrious guests include the kings of Castile, such as Sancho IV, or his wife Doña María de Molina, who made up the courts of the kingdom in 1297, or Juan I and his wife Doña Leonor, who died in the castle. Also noteworthy are the painter Parcerisa, José de Espronceda, General Hugo and the Duke of Wellington.
In 1997 the Castillo Habitado (Inhabited Castle) was created, the first guided tour featuring a historical re-enactment in Spain. In addition to being a space for tourists, it is also a Secondary School, and headquarters of the Foundation of the House of Albuquerque, which stores one of the most important royal archives in the country
The origin of the current location of the town of Baena must be located in an Arab hisn (castle) named Bayyana that already appears in the sources in connection with the Muladi rebellion of Umar ibn Hafsun in the second half of the 9th century. After the loss of the military function of the fortress, it became the palace of the Dukes of Sessa, lords of the town, undergoing important reforms throughout the 15th and 16th centuries.
The building has undergone various reforms throughout history, among which the adequacy of the parade ground as a drinking water reservoir for the municipality in the 20th century should be highlighted. Recently, and thanks to the determined commitment of the Baena City Council and the financial support of the Government of Spain, through the Cultural 1%, an important recovery and value project has been carried out to make it accessible: they have recovered several towers among which stands out the Torre del Homenaje called de las Arqueras or de las Cinco Esquinas , several canvases on the wall and the so‐called Puerta del Campo, located on the eastern flank.
The archaeological tasks that were carried out in support of the restoration and which consisted of paramental analyzes and the opening of boreholes allowed documenting a series of structures (walls and towers) made of Almohad‐era rammed earth that were later embedded and lined by walls. Of masonry throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, masking the original fortress, although it should not have changed much in what refers to its original plan. It is worth nothing the presence of an imposing underground enclosure, like an alijbe, from the late medieval period and with a square floor plan, built on two discharge arches.
The current access is through the door located in the Plaza de Palacio from which you reach a hall at the southern end of which is the Torre del Homenaje staircase, which has several floors and a terrace that constitutes a unique viewpoint of the city and its surroundings. At the opposite end of this door is the Puerta del Campo, which would be the original entrance to the castle that has been recovered along with the attached tower called Los Cascabeles.
Among the existing towers it is worth highlighting the Tower of Secrets located in the southeast corner of the castle. In the central area of the fortress, in what would be the parade ground, the town's water tanks are located, built between the years 1927 and 1959, notably altering the appearance of the building, but which have been recovered for tourist use‐ cultural.
The Castle of Valencia de Don Juan is a fortress located on the site of four previous fortifications. It has been a place of human settlement since the Final Bronze Age, 3,000 years ago.
The current fortress is a clear reference of the Gothic-military architecture and was built almost entirely in the fifteenth century, specifically between 1465 and 1470 by Don Juan de Acuña y Portugal, III Count and II Duke of Valencia de Don Juan, with his wife Teresa Enriquez, settling the structures of the new castle on other previous ones made of mudwall.
During the War of the Castilian Succession it was besieged in 1475, an act in which Juan de Acuña died and Portugal precipitated from one of the castle windows. Abandoned in the mid-sixteenth century, its collapse began in the seventeenth century, disappearing its forgings, vaults and roofs, as well as the Mudejar plasterwork that decorated the interior of its walls.
The building is constructed in stone masonry, mudwall and brick and preserves from its original structures a large part of the wall and the barbican, which runs along the north and east sides of the fortress, as well as the imposing keep tower, which has become the identity sign of Valencia de Don Juan
Since 1998 and for 75 years, the property has been transferred to the public management and since then, different interventions have been carried out to reduce the effects of its ruin. The intervention inside the tower keep was carried out in 2004, as well as the reconstruction of one of the edges that had collapsed in 1979. A new respectful and fully reversible building was built inside the tower. It is made of iron, wood and glass and it houses the museum, which is of an archaeological nature and provides a tour about the history of Valencia de Don Juan.
The origins of Riudabella go back to prehistoric times, as evidenced by the existence of different sites in the area. The beginning of the building is located in the Iberian period, since in this location an Iberian defensive tower was found. Later in this same building there are different references to the settlement of a considerable Roman villa.
Towards century XII, after the Saracen occupation, Ramón Berenguer IV reconquests these territories and fields for the monks of the Cisternian orden who founded the Monastery of Santa Maria de Poblet, and were in charge to develop different farms dedicated to the agricultural operation and the care of its surroundings.
Between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries, Riudabella becomes an important "farmhouse" where they build on the existing elements, a fortified farmhouse with different rooms dedicated to accommodation, prayer and agricultural work by monks such as the cultivation of the vineyard and the elaboration of wine, honey and saffron. That explains the existence in the premises of an important "Celler" or winery of the time.
In the fifteenth century the abbot Delgado made several buildings and a chapel. Throughout the sixteenth-eighteenth centuries the monks made improvements.
During the period of the confiscation of Mendizábal, Pedro Gil i Babot, father of the great grandfather of the current owner, bought the farmhouse. The restoration was made during 1860 and it was when the buildings were rebuilt with a neo-medieval style, turning Riudabella into a castle.
It started as an agricultural farm and summer residence of the family, for private use, but over the years, the new concerns of society as well as economic changes in general, have made the family rethink and decide to open our home to the public,to be able to preserve it and face the costly maintenance that this type of buildings imply.
In that sense, it seemed more appropriate to open a topic "rural tourism" because of the unique environment in which the Castell de Riudabella is located. We started in 1992 with an apartment for 6 people in a wing of the castle and little by little we were adapting the adjoining facilities to provide pool and garden service.
Then we opened another apartament for 2 people.
With this idea, we continue working at this time. Our dream, would be to turn the Castell de Riudabella into a landmark of historical tourism, with a maximum of 20 people staying in apartments for 2/4 pax. located in different places outside the main building (garages, stables, huts ...) and keep the main building it to give special meals, hold events and meetings.
We also offer our guests the opportunity of a private guided tour of the castle with an explanation of its history and that of our family.
We have also adapted some rooms in the old barn, to offer them to celebrate weddings, events, business meetings... and thus expand the offer.
Our last great milestone will be to recover the old romantic garden and include it in our tourist offer and enjoy a privileged environment
The castle of Peracense is located on the top of a rocky, very steep cliff of reddish sandstone, known as rodeno. The use of this stone for the construction of the fort makes it possible to obtain a totally integrated set in the landscape.
The defensive system of Peracense is made up of three precincts, which take advantage of the topography of the terrain to form an impregnable enclave.
The upper enclosure houses the core of the fortress, this being the place where the main residence is located, which was occupied by the warden and his family. In addition, this enclosure housed the armory and one of the dungeons, and to ensure the water supply was enabled a collection and storage system, with the presence of two tanks.
In the fourteenth century, the intermediate enclosure was built, with an irregular layout, following the shape of the rocks, with the function of protecting the weakest points of the upper enclosure. Inside, most of the spaces occupied by the garrison attached to the castle, such as bedrooms, kitchens or the chapel, would be located.
But the castle continued growing, in its eagerness to protect itself of the Castilian incursions, reason why the inferior enclosure was constructed. It is the most powerful walled structure of the entire fortification, a wall of up to 3 m. of thickness and a plant in L, reinforced with three turrets, and equipped with numerous loopholes. It was designed to shelter the villagers and their flocks in the large existing esplanade.
The space, which currently occupies the fortified area, has been inhabited since the Bronze Age to the present, possibly due to the mining wealth of the area.
While being amazed by the Templar Castle is very easy, getting to know it is not that simple. With its 8,000 m2 of surface, it is considered one of the most important castles in the northwest of Spain and it is the main emblematic feature of the city of Ponferrada.
Its military architecture answers to centuries of history, where different inhabitants have left their imprint through subsequent constructions, reforms, abandonments and restorations. Having being declared National Monument in 1924 and Cultural Heritage Site (BIC, for its Spanish initials), it is not until the end of the 20th century when a great effort is made to restore the walls and rooms of the Castle.
The result is a multipurpose monument, where different exhibitions, musicals and recreational, didactic and religious activities take place. It has always had a privileged location in every respect. Geographically, it is an obligatory stopping point between the Plateau and Galicia, and a must for the pilgrims on their way to Santiago.
Tactically, its location on a hill on the banks of the Sil River has allowed the protection and defence of its territory and of the Way of Saint James. Locally, it is a reference landmark in the old town. Around it, we find important monumental buildings: the church of San Andrés, “las Cuadras” (Tourist Information Office), “Casa de los Escudos” (Coats of Arms House) (Radio Museum), the Basilica of Our Lady of the Encina, the convent of la Purísima Concepción, the old prison (Museum of El Bierzo), the Tower clock and street, the Town Hall and the old main square of las Eras.
The Templar Castle, the Way of Saint James and the city of Ponferrada have a closely linked past and future, since their stories are intertwined and it is not possible to get to know one without explaining the relationship with the others.
The Castle of San Pedro, popularly known as the Citadel of Jaca, is the best preserved pentagonal fortification of S. XVI in Europe. Ordered by King Philip II, the first stone was laid in 1592, following the plans of the military engineer Tiburcio Spanoqui, born in Siena (Tuscany), but under the service of the King of Spain. This fortification was raised to defend and control the main route of penetration from France thrugh the central Pyrenees, in order to prevent attacks by French Huguenots, who were the Protestants fighting in that in country against the Catholic power. We are in the strategic pass of the river Aragon, easily accessible most of the year. For this reason, while the Citadel was being built, the castle of Canfranc and the towers of Espelunca (Aragon valley) and Santa Elena (Tena valley) were being erected and strengthened. Jaca would be the central point of the defense and logistical supply of the Pyrenean valleys of Ansó, Echo, Aragon and Tena.
The Citadel of Jaca was built to be adapted to the effective use of artillery, both defensively and offensively. Its perfectly regular plan is formed by straight lines and by angles that allow to line the weapons for a better defense. These angles are also designed to hinder the enemy’s attack. Gunpowder and the rapid evolution of artillery changed the construction of defenses. From the minds of military engineers and mathematicians like Sangallo, Vitelli, Francesco de Marchi, Niccolo Tartaglia, Pedro Luis Escrivá and, of course, Spanoqui came out geometric forms seeking defensive perfection and the pentagonal shape was the best option. Thus the citadel rose with five bastions, its main feature.
A fortification of these formidable characteristics responded to the need to firmly defend a strategic territory. At the same time, this type of fortress needed a plain from which to obtain resources and with which to defend. Jaca was the ideal location because it is located on a plain in the Aragon Valley: from this strategic position you could obtain resources, control the passes and provide great resistance.
The Citadel is an outstanding example of he Spanish military heritage because of the excellent condition of its main elements. Since the castle has been always occupied and used as barracks, and since the military have assumed the commitment of their care and permanent improvement, the fortress preserves today its original structure and facilities. In this sense, in 1985 it was awarded the Europa Nostra prize by the European Commission. Thus, in the castle have been preserved the five bastions and ten casemates, the barracks, the moat, the drawbridge, the cover parapet walk, etc. The glacis now offers a large space with soft slope of lawn for recreational uses.
The Castle of Santiago was built by Don Enrique Pérez de Guzmán, the II Duke of Medinasidonia, VII lord of Sanlúcar at the end of 15th century. It is one of the best documentated castles in the country and the biggest in terms of Surface in the province of Cádiz.
The duke started the construction of the fortress, after increasing his fortune and making his dynasty one of the main ones in the kingdom of Castile. It is believed the castle was finished by 1477, when the Queen Isabella, sovereign of Castile, saw the sea for the first time.
It was from here that Christopher Columbus started on his 3rd voyage, Magellan gathered all the necessary things for his travel around the world and from the watchover Elcano was named the commander in charge to finish the adventure after the death of Magellan.
Alburquerque’s castle is one of the few fortresses that survived the artillery. It’s a castle characterised by its authenticity, it’s one of the few defensive constructions that keeps its military identity.
It’s built with spare and blocks of stone, in the finest parts. The enclosure consists of four defensive areas that are staged throughout the hillside which is the entrance of the village. The first enclosure is composed for a barrier with bastions that separate the village from the fortress, this construction was made when the square occupied by the Portuguese between 1705 and 1716.
The second defensive element is constituted by the access ramp or list roads, as well as, the four entrance doors that drive us to the patio, where the assailant is easily collapsible from the wall of the superior enclosure. In the second door there is the shield of D. Beltrán de la Cueva.
Highlights of the patio: The late Romanesque church know as Santa María del Castillo, the dining room, the canteen, the soldiery’s bedrooms and the well. All of this dominated by the impressive watchtower of the Homenaje’s tower, build by D. Álvaro de Luna. By one of its sides it is the door to the second enclosure, known as “Plaza Alta” where it stands out the Cinco Picos’stower with pentagonal shape and the drawbridge with more than ten metres that joins this tower with the Homenaje’s tower.
Homenaje’s tower is as tall as a five story building and it’s build with sections of masory and granite’s corners. The whole tower is crenelated, and offer machicolations in the centre of the faces. Other important rooms in this patio are: The house of the Governor, the well and the canteen. But one of the reasons why this fortress was built it’s for control the oldest frontier in Europe and the only political one. From its walls we can see the frontier squares of Ouguela, Marvão or Elvas.
The amazing ducal palace at Lerma, now a Parador, is located in the upper part of the city. The hotel features a central courtyard surrounded by lovely columned galleries. The elegant majesty of this palace from the era of the Hapsburgs and its lovely interiors, with beautifully designed lighting and décor, will make your stay an unforgettable experience.
The Plaza Mayor (Main Square) is opposite the main façade of the palace. At night, the lights of the Parador make it look even more magnificent and stately. The medieval quarter, Arch, Cárcel Bridge, San Blas Convent, Santo Domingo Monastery, Pasadizo del Duque (Duke's Passage) and former collegiate church of San Pedro are just some of the treasures you won't want to miss.
The area around Lerma is well worth a visit. 22 kilometers away is Covarrubias, a lovely village where San Cosme y San Damián Collegiate Church and Doña Sancha and Doña Urraca squares invite travelers to enjoy a leisurely visit, imagining that time has stood still in the Middle Ages and that little has changed since the year 987, when Count Fernán González founded the town.
About half an hour away by car is another treasure: the Monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos, a Romanesque jewel which has become a place of spiritual and artistic pilgrimage. It is also not far to beautiful Aranda de Duero, city of wine, monuments, history and culinary expertise.
Live the History
The Palace of Lerma is the main building of one of the most important urban projects of its epoch. Beside it there are several convents, a large square and the enormous terraced gardens over the River Arlanza made this city an artifi cial and ephemeral court of the Spanish Baroque period.
The grand, new palace planned by the Duke, the royal favourite of King Felipe III, took advantage of the ancient medieval castle of Lerma and entrusted the building to Francisco de Mora, the king’s architect. It was built in successive phases: in the fi rst in 1602 the castle was adapted and, subsequently, in a second phase (1613-16) a new annexed building was built beside the north façade. In a fi nal phase (1616-18), both houses were joined, to give it its current aspect, with the fi rst house-castle fi tted inside. This complexity is scarcely visible in the fi nal result of a building with a rectangular design and the typical layout of the Castilian palaces of the XVII century: a large central patio surrounded by arched galleries where a wide stone stairway starts. In the exterior, the contrast between the stone and the slate roof gives it an air similar to the Escorial enhanced by the four corner towers spire. The only outstanding part of the simple two fl oor façade with lintel like hollows is the main door fi nished o by a by a curved pediment and, over this a wide balcony fl anked by two ducal coats of arms. The architectural sobriety concealed a rich and sumptuous interior which housed the splendid collection of the Duke of Lerma, one of the most important of in Europe in the XVII century.
The Duke of Lerma, the Royal Favourite
For twenty years, he was the most powerful man in Spain. The Royal Favourite since 1599, he transferred the Court to Valladolid for fi ve years (1601-1606) in order to weaken the power of his enemies in Madrid, converting Lerma into a strategic point due to its proximity to the new Court. When he fell into disgrace in 1618, his town and palace were condemned to oblivion. The Duke of Lerma has passed into history as an example of the concentration of power, corruption and nepotism in a century which witnessed a very serious economic and political crisis. He began the policy of royal favouritism which was none other than the abandonment of the functions of the monarch in the hands of a strong man who, as in this case, had all the resources of power at his disposal. Before dying, King Felipe II was afraid of the infl uence which Lerma might infl uence over his son, the young and fi ckle Felipe III, and he cast him out of the Court. This was in vain as, after the death of the king, Gómez de Sandoval returned to Madrid and began to exercise absolute power for twenty years, dominating the new monarch and accumulating one of the largest fortunes of his time through favours and scandals. He approved the signing of a Peace Treaty with the Netherlands for twelve years and the expulsion of the Moriscos (Muslim converts to Christianity). Both of these occurred in 1609, and are considered to be the two most important events of his time as Royal Favourite.
The Virgin on the Throne.
A carving is exhibited in the Parador and is considered to be one of the most valuable pieces of the artistic collection of Paradores due to its antiquity (XIV century) and its large size. It is a fi gure of Our Lady made in a single, polychromatic gilded plaster piece in the Flemish style. Its transitional style is evident in the contrast between stateliness of its frontal pose as compared to the naturalism of its expression. The angels who hold the crown are posterior, probably from the XVIII century.
The Castilian city that is home to the Parador de Almagro has been declared an Area of Artistic-Historical Importance. According to tradition, the city was originally an Arab castle known as Almagrib. The name refers to the characteristic clay of the region, which has a red ochre (almagre) color. You will find it in the Plaza Mayor (Main Square) and other buildings in the historic district. Our Parador is just five minutes from the Plaza Mayor. The building is a former monastery dating from the 16th century. It is very comfortable and peaceful, with a swimming pool, interior courtyards, bright galleries and beautiful woodwork. We offer an ideal location to spend the night and enjoy the unforgettable experience of exploring every corner of Almagro, with sunny afternoons at the terrace cafés in its squares, and one-of-a-kind sunsets amid the bounty left to us by nature in nearby spots such as Las Tablas de Daimiel National Park.
You won't want to miss the Corral de Comedias in Almagro, the only open-air theater to remain intact and in operation since the early 17th century. It still serves as a theater, with a busy schedule of performances, as you will see when you visit the city. This historic/artistic site also hosts the prestigious International Classical Theater Festival.
The Corral de Comedias is one jewel in Almagro's crown, but it has many more! You can follow its Route of Castles, which will take you from Old Calatrava Castle to the Alarcos-Calatrava Archeological Park and New Calatrava Castle.
Less than one hour from the Parador, the lovely natural areas of La Mancha offer unique spaces such as Cabañeros National Park, Lagunas de Ruidera Nature Reserve and Tablas de Daimiel National Park, a festival of nature's beauty, an oasis in the middle of the plains of La Mancha, the perfect panorama to gaze upon. An experience you are sure to love.
Located in the center of the town, it is an ancient Islamic fortress from the 11th century. Next to it is the XIV century Torre del Homenaje, at the entrance door of which are the stone shields of the Order of Santiago and the Figueroa family.
It served as the residence of the commanders of the Order of Santiago during the 13th to 16th centuries. In medieval times, the population extended at the foot of the fortress, in the neighborhood of Hell, comprising the council square, and the parish church, all that urban complex was surrounded by a wall.
In the second half of the 14th century it was renovated to reinforce its outer defensive elements and the keep.
In the early years of the 16th century, Commander Rodrigo Manrique adapted the fortress to more courteous ways of life, endowing it with a colonnaded parade ground with a wooden roof and a double gallery. Its capitals are in the Gothic style and all its interior corridors have been preserved. A beautiful Gothic-style window located in the center of the fortress presided over the main castle hall. The entire fortress was crenellated and roofed, the roofs being one of the most typical architectural elements of this characteristic monument of all the castles of Santiago located in the Sierra del Segura region.
Currently the Castle of Yeste is renovated and rehabilitated. Inside we can find an Interpretation Center "Tierra de Frontera", created by the Romeros de San Bartolomé Association, directed by Luis Llopis. It is made up of several medieval rooms: a projection room, a room for the Santiago commission, an urban planning room, a weapons room, a nature and repopulation room, and a Muslim room.
And in its old dungeons, now rehabilitated, there is an ethnological museum, which contains tools donated by the residents of Yeste in each of its sections, such as agriculture, livestock, beekeeping. Others like the house and traditional utensils show the customs and traditions of the town of Yeste.
The Parador de Benavente stands at one of the most important confluences of communications routes in Spain, a crossroads between the northern and southern parts of the peninsula, and where various pilgrimage routes to Santiago pause to take a breather. The hotel is located on the site of an old castle, of which Caracol Tower has been preserved. You will be fascinated by the beauty of the tower's exterior and the spectacular Mudejar coffered ceiling inside. In the other rooms, tapestries, wrought iron lamps, woodwork and Castilian brick will make you feel almost as if you were on a film set. Our function rooms are fully equipped to handle your social events, and the lovely gardens that surround the Parador are ideal for a stroll.
Situated at one of the most important confluences of communications routes in Spain; its enviable location in the northwestern part of the peninsula has made it an important crossroads throughout history. It lies on various pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela: the Vía de la Plata (Silver Route), Camino de Oriente (Eastern Asturias Route), Valladolid Route, Tera Valley Route and Asturias Route.
The venue for the legislative assembly in 1176, the Parador de Turismo de Benavente is located on the site of the former castle/palace of the counts of Benavente. Construction of the building began in the 12th century and it was subsequently expanded by successive occupants in the 13th, 14th and 15thcenturies.
The hotel is connected to the Renaissance-style Caracol Tower, the only part of the former structure to be preserved. It is also next to La Mota Gardens, Benavente's most important green space, with excellent views of the Tera and Órbigo river valleys.
The tower features a magnificent Mudejar coffered ceiling and a period bar.
The homage tower in Monforte de Lemos is part of the historical-artistic-monumental complex of San Vicente del Pino together with the Benedictine Monastery of San Vicente del Pino and the Condal Palace. This monumental complex is located on the top of San Vicente`s hill, located in the center of the village of Monforte.
This castle dates from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and is the highlest medieval tower in Galicia with just over 30 meters. It is characterized by having an almost square plant and having walls that can reach up to 3,5 meters thick in some points.
Inside the tower you can see all Kinds of furniture such as chests, cabinets, tables and chairs with the coat of arms of the old families of Lemos. The castle has four floors. The upper floor is finished by a set of successful machicolations and battlements. The basement was a storage place for food and water, as well as an emergency exit in the event of a siege.
The construction history of the building comprises two phases. The oldest, from the XII-XIV centuries, comprises the East face, a part of the South and a North corner. The other part, built between 1470 and 1485 after being destroyed between 1467 and 1469 because of the Great Irmandiña War, covers the West face and a part of the South and the North.
To conclude, note that Monforte´s Homage Tower had three functions in antiquity. The first and most important was to serve as a defense, the second to serve as residence for the Counts of Lemos and the third to honor and pay homage to the Counts themselves.
Double fortress located in the Sierra del Castell, on Xàtiva, due to the strategic location of the city, it has been the scene and testimony of numerous conflicts. Divided into Castell Menor and Castell Major, the first is said about Iberian and Roman remains.
The successive cultures that have populated these lands were amplified and fortified. He already had prominence in the campaigns of Hannibal, and in the period of Al-Andalus. It was later important, at the time of the Kingdom of Valencia, in the wars against Castile, in the German cities and in the succession, as well as in the presidency of the condemned.
From the castle down the walls that embraced the Xàtiva altomedieval. We are facing one of the jewels of the city, of imposing architecture, declared the Good of Cultural Interest.
Despite its Iberian and Roman roots, most of the preserved walls and towers are of Islamic or Gothic origin. Once in Xàtiva it is essential to take a tour of this fortress, as you can see some splendid views of the town and its surroundings.
The fortress was also used as a state prison for the former Crown of Aragon. Illustrious prisoners passed through its dungeons.
The most remarkable is Jaume d'Urgell, who rebelled unsuccessfully after being dismissed as a candidate for the Crown of Aragon in the Compromise of Caspe, in 1412. The legend says that, after spending so much time in this gloomy cell, on leaving broad daylight died, after going blind.
The Marqués de los Velez Castle (Castillo del Marqués de los Vélez) is the most important monument in Cuevas del Almanzora, it is located in Plaza de la Libertad’s square. It was built as a fortress, expanding the existing Roman Tower by order of Don Pedro Fajardo y Chacón.
It’s a large walled enclosure with a single access gate, above which the Coats of Arms of Fajardo family is placed. Once inside the building, we find a paved courtyard and an amphitheatre overlooking the three buildings housed in this fortress:
The Homage Tower (Torre del Homenaje) is believed to be from the Roman Period. It’s 16 m wide x 19 m high and is divided into five floors joined by a spiral staircase. It was used as a prison during the 18th century, as testified by the fantasies and desires printed on its walls by the prisoners.
The Marquis Palace (Palacio del Marqués) is a two- storey ashlar building surrounded by four cylindrical bastions. There are several rooms surrounding a central courtyard inside the building. Currently it houses the Museum of Contemporary Art “Antonio Manuel Campoy”, one of the best art galleries in Andalusia.
The Tercia House (Casa de la Tercia), with a neoclassical style, was built in the 18th century as a barn and it was also the place where people paid the tithe tax to the Marquis. Nowadays, it houses the Historical Archive, the municipal library, the Archaeological Museum, and the exhibition room Tercia I. Next to this building is Tercia II, a glassed-in hall containing many jars partially buried in the ground as well as the permanent exhibition dedicated to Goya’s etchings (The Goya Hall).
Infante Don Juan Manuel Palace was the first fortress of Belmonte ordered to be built by Don
Juan Manuel in the year 1323 on a previous Visigoth building. It was the birthplace in 1419 of
Don Juan Pacheco, first Villena, Marquis who ordered the construction of the current
The second Villena Marquis Don Diego Lopez Pacheco, turned it into a monastery for that
reason in 1499, he moved Santa Catalina de Sena nuns from Villa de la Alberca to Belmonte,
staying in the palace until 1960.
Among the walls of this building plenty of history is now our hotel, restaurant and spa,
with the most current facilities for your getaways
The history, tradition and culture of the place blend with the modernity, quality and comfort
of our hotel, a haven of tranquility where you will enjoy an unforgettable stay.
Discover the facilities of Infante Don Juan Manuel Palace Hotel and Spa and go back in time
from its facilities, completely rehabilitated while preserving the essence and inspiration of the
original architecture and history.
The Hotel has single, double, triple and family rooms (with capacity for up to five people). The Hotel has spacious suites for special events such as weddings. The rooms are large and have all the necessary amenities to enjoy a unique and relaxed
In addition, our walls have lots of history, in many rooms you can see remains of the original
building, rehabilitated forming the historic building mixed with modern elements, make a very
cozy and comfortable mix.
Also the views from the rooms are towards the Belmonte Castle on the one hand, and the
Collegiate on the other. A view with a history that is hard to forget.
We have 39 rooms equipped with private bathroom, shower, hairdryer, safe, heating and air
conditioning, as well as TV and WIFI. They are also equipped with piped music to complete the
An extra addition that our accommodation has is the SPA. On it you can enjoy a thermal circuit,
as well as a sauna and Turkish bath. Without forgetting an extensive menu of aesthetic
treatments and massages to relax.
Also available for the summer season, an outdoor pool with solarium, where you can enjoy anice swim with the tranquility that the environment gives.
Accommodation in different types of regime.
Prices 70 – 225 €
The accommodation can be completed with different breakfast, lunch and dinner.
You can also choose a spa session, massages and different aesthetic treatments.
Do you dream of turning back time and spending the night in a castle high above a lovely town filled with history and tradition? Make your dream come true at the Parador de Alcañiz. Unique landscapes, architectural heritage, tradition, adventure sports, hunting, cuisine, and more. It all starts here.
This castle/monastery dates from the 12th-13th centuries. The keep, belfry, sacristy and a section converted into an Aragonese palace have all been preserved. Contemplating its Gothic wall paintings, Plateresque sepulcher and baroque façade or strolling through the peaceful garden offer many pleasures for your senses.
The Teruel town of Alcañiz conceals secrets beyond your wildest imagination. You will be astonished by the beauty of its medieval underground passageways, the Fountain of 72 Spouts and the Gothic Lonja (market). It is also a place for fun. The MotorLand Aragón track offers a place for sports like autocross, karting and motocross, as well as competitions such as the MotoGP Grand Prix of Aragón.
Another appealing option? Grab your bicycle and head to the Val de Zafán greenway, less than an hour from town. You will find a secluded route that travels along old train tracks which have been adapted for cycling tourism and horseback riding, crossing the Matarraña, a river of spectacular ravines and magical waterfalls. If history is your thing, the province of Teruel offers more than 70 cave painting sites. You can also view examples of this form of artistic expression in Alcañiz.
Don't leave without introducing your palate to the exquisite local cured ham, black truffles, olive oil from the Bajo Aragón region, saffron from Jiloca and traditional sweets. Close your eyes, breathe deep, relax and enjoy, because this is a one-of-a-kind experience.
How would you like to travel back in time to the Middle Ages? At the Parador de Cardona, you will feel as if that is just what you've done. The hotel is a beautiful medieval castle with centuries of history, standing high atop a promontory and watching over the charming town of Cardona. On this 9th-century fortified site, you can also visit Minyona Tower and a lovely church, both dating from the 11th century. We have taken great care with the décor to ensure that the castle retains all of its charm and so that the fosses, towers, walls and gothic elements can be seen in all their glory. Panoramic views of the town and the lands along the Cardoner River are visible from anywhere you look out, a gift to which you will awaken each morning.
Cardona has retained all the charm of a medieval town. It is filled with incomparably beautiful spots and narrow side streets that you will want to explore every inch of. Here you can pay a visit to Montaña de Sal Cultural Park, an old salt mine with spectacular interior galleries, where you can tour the museum and see the old shaft machinery. The different folds and veins of the salt deposit and the wide variety of minerals contribute to the spectacular nature of this site, making it unique in the world. You will love it.
The Parador de Cardona is the ideal setting-off point for hiking or bicycle trails, including Los Molinos de la Sal (The Salt Mills), which runs past three old stone mills beside the Cardener River. Other nature trails you can enjoy include the Vía Salaria (Salt Road), the Camino de los Monjes (Monks' Trail) and the Camino de la Frontera (Border Trail), which will guide you along the paths that once ran around the territories on the former border with Muslim Al-Andalus.
At the Parador de Cardona, we offer you a one-of-a-kind experience: you will be reunited with tranquility, nature and history and enjoy all the delights of Catalan cuisine. If you visit us, you are sure to return.
In the historic town center of the capital of Zamora, a beautiful palace awaits. Built on the site of an old Muslim citadel, today it houses a Parador. The hotel provides the opportunity to discover all the beauty of the natural, historical and artistic riches of this region. The medieval feel of the interior, which you will note in the armor, fine tapestries and canopy beds, blends with the Renaissance style of the courtyard, glass enclosed wooden gallery and coats of arms. The hotel also offers two conference rooms, a refreshing swimming pool and excellent traditional cuisine.
Because of its strategic geographic location, Zamora serves as a crossroads on theVia Delapidata, a beautiful, peaceful place where a nice walk is a pleasant way to explore the city's wealth of cultural and historical heritage. The cathedral with its ribbed cupola, Las Dueñas Convent, the delicate modernist style and urban Romanesque of many of the city's buildings, Zamora Castle and the Baltasar Lobo Museum are just some of the historic and artistic sights that are sure to fascinate you.
Come enjoy the monuments, cuisine and glow of this city on the banks of the Douro River while lodging at a unique hotel.
Know the environment
Zamora is a municipality and city located in the northwestern part of the central Iberian Peninsula. It is the capital of the province of the same name. The city's old quarter is considered an area of artistic and historical importance. The core of the city is elongated and largely surrounded by walls, extending along the northern banks of the Douro River. These characteristics have led Zamora to be known as the "well enclosed."
Highlights include its many Romanesque buildings. Considered "the Romanesque City," it has 23 religious buildings and 14 churches in the old quarter, making Zamora the city with the largest number of the finest Romanesque religious structures in Europe. Its major historical landmarks include the cathedral, castle, city walls, a bridge, two palaces and nine stately homes, as well as a number of modernist buildings.
More than two thousand years of history make up the cultural and historical heritage of Tortosa, a city which has been declared an area of artistic and historical importance. Located on the Ebro River, near the mouth where the delta begins, Tortosa enjoys a Mediterranean climate and charm. The Parador is situated in the spectacular Zuda Castle, overlooking the city from high above, offering a combination of monumental beauty and the attractions of the various natural areas that surround it. At this inviting hotel, you can enjoy the seasonal swimming pool, a cozy dining room with Gothic windows, comfortable guest rooms and magnificent views of the banks of the Ebro along the river's final stretches.
In Tortosa, you will discover a city with a special charm. Beautiful Santa María Cathedral, the Jewish quarter, the open-air sculpture museum of sculptor Santiago de Santiago, and Mirabel Castle are just some of the lovely sights it has to offer. A wonderful way to explore Tortosa is by following a walking or bicycle route around the walls and fortifications, beginning at the Parador and visiting the fortified complex known as the Avanzadas de San Juan, Inmaculada Square, the wall-walk and Célio Tower.
Its streets, artistic and cultural heritage, the scenery offered by the Ebro Plain, and the people, cuisine and festivals make this city unique. If you come to Tortosa during the second half of July, you will experience the Renaissance Festival, when thousands of locals dress in period costume and there are daily performances in the streets, transporting Tortosa five hundred years back in time.
The Royal Palace of Olite is one of the most important historical-artistic complexes of Navarre. Currently, it is divided into three parts: Old Palace (current Parador), ruins of the Chapel of San Jorge, and New Palace, which is the visitable part of the monument.
The building that is visited today was built between 1402 and 1424, and comprises a complex set of rooms, gardens and pits surrounded by high walls and topped by numerous towers that give a spectacular silhouette. The promoter of this work was Carlos III "el Noble" (King of Navarre between 1387 and 1425).
As its nickname indicates, this good king of the French dynasty (Evreux) is known more for his love for culture and the luxurious life of the palace, than for his military campaigns, and to attest to that he left us this impressive legacy in Palace form, which in its day was one of the most luxurious in Europe.
The decoration has already disappeared but we have the words of a German traveler who visited the palace in the fifteenth century: ... "I am sure there is no King who has a palace or a more beautiful castle, of so many golden rooms ... Vilo then I am well; you could not say or even imagine how magnificent and sumptuous the palace is. "
Carlos III "el Noble" married Leonor de Trastámara in 1375, and together they had eight children, among them Doña Blanca (Queen of Navarra between 1425 and 1441), mother of the Prince of Viana. This family enjoyed the relaxed life of the court of Olite until the s. XVI.
In 1512, with the conquest of Navarre by the Crown of Castile, began the deterioration of our Palace, since it was only used as a sporadic residence of viceroys, governors and hidalgos.
In 1813, during the War of Independence, the Palace was set on fire by General Navarro Espoz y Mina to prevent the French troops from becoming strong in it. All the interior decoration and part of the structure burned, leaving the Palace semi-demolished and empty.
In 1923, the Provincial Council of Navarra called a competition to develop a restoration project. The works began in 1937 and lasted approximately 30 years.
The Palace is formed by a set of courtyards, rooms, pits and gardens, topped by numerous and picturesque towers that can also be accessed.
The Fortress of La Mota, in the province of Jaén surprises by being a natural watchtower in a sea of olive trees that houses the site of the city of Alcalá la Real until the 16th century. Currently the best preserved medieval urban group in Andalusia.
Its strategic location between the Alhambra of Granada and the Mosque of Cordoba houses the Interpretation Center Life in the Border, which reveals the importance in the history of Al-Andalus.
Qal'at Banu Said or Benzayde was his name from 713 to 1341, at which time Alfonso XI took it definitively and granted him the title of Royal, becoming a key, guard and defender of the Kingdoms of Castile against the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada, for 150 years.
Testimony of this definitive conquest is the Hidden City, a network of underground galleries, which had a major importance in the taking of the fortified city in the 14th century.
The Monumental Ensemble of the Fortaleza de la Mota retains its original urban layout and numerous vestiges of the medieval life system. Crossing its doors you will discover the elements of a fortified medieval city, such as the walls, towers and adarves, that together with the Alcazaba and the Military District of the city were part of the defensive system. Or its wineries, nevero, neighborhoods like El Bahondillo and palaces that have been here testimonies of another time so that you can contemplate them and transport you to a time of fusion of cultures and creeds. An audiovisual innovator in the Greater Abbey Church will thrill you and tell you his fascinating story.
With more than 13 centuries of history, the Parador de Alarcón will transport you back to the Middle Ages with its historic features, especially the castle keep and its elegant red and orange textiles. Perched high atop the craggy Pico de los Hidalgos in a meander of the Júcar River, almost as if it were an eagle's nest, the Parador overlooks one of Spain's loveliest villages. Small and charming, Alarcón has been declared an Area of Artistic-Historical Importance due to its beauty and harmony. Encircled by a wall, it is located next to the reservoir of the same name. You will love the wetlands, dotted with small sandy beaches along the banks, pine woods, coves and giant rocks. You can also go sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and rowing.
The waters of the Júcar River are ideal for fishing. The river slows as it passes Alarcón, flowing through many delightful spots, and encircling and protecting the town's former fortress. Santa María Church is a must-see and features one of the best preserved Renaissance altarpieces. Castañeda Palace, the Alarcón Mural Painting Center for Contemporary Art, Don Juan Manuel Square and Santo Domingo de Silos Church are other sights you will want to visit.
Hiking through the Alarcón Gorge will take you to many beautiful locations. There are two wonderful options: a long-distance footpath following the route of the Júcar River, and a short-distance footpath that skirts Alarcón, offering lovely views.
180 km from Madrid and 170 km from Valencia, this is an ideal spot to spend a weekend and get away from it all. All you have to do is get out of the city and relax, Alarcón and our Parador will take care of the rest.
The Parador de Ciudad Rodrigo is located between the energetic cultural life of Salamanca and the wonderful charm of Portugal's Aldeias Históricas (Historical Villages). The hotel, once the castle of Henry II of Trastámara, overlooks the town from atop a high precipice like an eagle's nest. The elegant keep stands above the Águeda River plain, offering wonderful views of the countryside of the Campo Charro region. You will not fail to admire the stone arcades in the dining room, or the traditional Salamanca cuisine, including delicious charcuterie, tasty roasted meats and the best Ibérico ham. It is excellent! And if you imagine your wedding day in a medieval setting, or you would simply like to have a different kind of celebration, this is the ideal spot, because we offer unique theme weddings.
Immerse yourself in history. Ciudad Rodrigo has been declared an Area of Artistic-Historical Importance. It offers wonderful Roman and medieval architecture. The entire city is walled, inviting you to enjoy a lovely walk along the 2-kilometer perimeter. Wander the streets filled with palaces and stately homes, and discover the Plaza Mayor (Main Square) with its 16th-century Town Hall, the imposing cathedral, and more.
This beautiful and historic city is just over 80 kilometers from Salamanca (45 minutes by highway), and 25 kilometers from the Portuguese border. Ciudad Rodrigo is the heart of the area and from here you can visit such unique places as La Alberca and other villages in the Sierra de Francia mountains, with maze-like streets, stone houses with wooden balconies, lovely squares and fountains. You will feel as if time has stood still. There is also Almeida, in Portugal, a walled site and former defensive fortification on the border between the two countries.
Arribes del Duero Nature Reserve is another paradise that awaits you on the border between Zamora and Portugal. With a Mediterranean microclimate and exotic North African flora, it is the last refuge of species such as the juniper and hackberry tree. It also guards treasures like the Pozo de los Humos, an incredible 40-meter waterfall.
Visiting the scenic overlooks and taking a boat ride along the gentle waters of the Douro River, spotting the many birds that nest there, offer a one-of-a-kind experience.
There is a town that guards itself from the dangers that come by sea, and protects the medieval treasure that is its old quarter with the remnants of thick, high walls. It is the same seaside village you can find outside the walls, with colorful, eye-catching houses, lively taverns and beautiful views of the sea. That town is Hondarribia, and the Parador de Turismo is just the hotel you were looking for to enjoy it. Also known as the Castle of Charles V, its construction dates to the 10th century. Here you will feel as if you are in an authentic medieval fortress. Highlights include the immense bare stone walls that frame the courtyard, surrounded by green creepers and crowned by spaces adorned with arches, wrought iron and coffered ceilings. The views of the coast of France and the sea from some of the guest rooms and the terrace complete the indescribable beauty of this place..
Hondarribia sets the standard for tourism on the Bay of Biscay coast. The city offers any number of leisure options: beaches, mountains, hiking and adventure sports will allow you to enjoy it with all of your senses. If you are a golf lover, you will be pleased to know that you can play at either of the two courses in town: Justiz Golf and Real Club de Golf.
Walking along the cobbled streets of the walled area of Hondarribia is one of the pleasures you won't want to miss. A stroll along Paseo Ramón Iribarren, one of the busiest streets in the city, will take you to the new marina, as well as the beach and docked fishing boats, which enhance the beauty of each sunset with their constantly shifting silhouettes.
The Parador de Monterrei is located atop what many historians consider the largest acropolis in Galicia. Defensive site, pilgrim hospital...over the centuries, this location has been put to a number of different uses. And now you can stay here and experience the essence of Paradores for yourself.
The guest rooms of this enchanting hotel offer the best view in the area. The Parador's architectural layout makes it possible for guests to stay in the former Palacio de los Condes (Palace of the Counts - 7 rooms) or the Casa Rectoral (Parsonage - 5 guest rooms), both situated within the walled site. The Parador is located in Monterreal fortress, 2 km from Verín on the Madrid–Benavente–Vigo road, National Highway 525.This historic hotel is a travel destination in itself. The site houses the Castle, Palace of the Counts and Parsonage, accommodation areas, 13th-century Santa María de Gracia Church and the Watchtower, of which part of the walls have been preserved.
Know the environment
Verín is a lovely town in the southeast of the province of Ourense, on the banks of the Támega River. In addition to the medieval fortress of Monterrei (opposite the Parador), other areas of interest include La Merced Square, the spring at Cabreiroá, San Lázaro Chapel, Viriato Square, the avenue along the Támega River, La Alameda Gardens, El Rey Square and the Main Square.
The town was originally a Roman villa. During the medieval period, the villa lost its dominance and Monterrey became the focal point of the territory, with life in the district revolving around its counts and lords. It was a peaceful farming town in the Middle Ages, although often caught up in the military conflicts of the successive rulers of Monterrey, as well as border disputes between Spain and Portugal.
The Parador de Sigüenza is an imposing medieval castle situated in an Arab fortress built atop a Roman settlement. These are the perfect accommodations, inviting you to enjoy an ancient city, where the stones speak of history, tradition and legend. The hotel's traditional Castilian furnishings are displayed with fine taste in the spacious, welcoming guest rooms. Some feature canopy beds that will make you feel as if you are lodging in a real palace. Within the thick stone walls there is a cobbled courtyard, a stately dining room and function rooms which are ideal for meetings and celebrations.
In Sigüenza you will enjoy a real journey back in time as you visit the cathedral, with its famous sepulcro del Doncel (tomb of the youth), chapels and cemetery. You can stroll through historic neighborhoods, medieval Travesaña and the baroque neighborhood of San Roque. There are a number of typical small Castilian villages located throughout this large municipality, where traditional customs interact with rural architecture and nature, and where ancient taverns coexist with sophisticated restaurants.
You can also enjoy the city's natural surroundings. The Río Dulce Nature Reserve, the Pinar de Sigüenza (Pine Wood of Sigüenza), large Mediterranean forests, holm oak and oak woods, valleys carpeted in green, home to the griffon vulture, peregrine falcon and eagle owl, all offer up a one-of-a-kind splendor any time of year. Surely you won’t miss a chance to visit?
The Parador de Jarandilla de la Vera has watched the centuries pass from its location in the heart of the fertile region of La Vera and the Tiétar River, amidst river gorges, natural pools, woods of chestnuts and oaks, and natural landscapes that affirm the wealth of its historic and monumental surroundings. This castle/palace once hosted Emperor Charles V for a period of several months. The hotel's noteworthy exterior features include the fortified towers, parade ground and excellent swimming pool, surrounded by olive and orange trees. Inside, the atmosphere is tranquil and private, making it the ideal choice for a very special stay. And in the restaurant, migas extremeñas (Extremadura-style fried breadcrumbs), patatas revolconas (paprika mashed potatoes with bacon), tomato soup, fried suckling pig, braised kid goat and repápalos (deep-fried breadcrumb balls) with milk and cinnamon, will entice your palate.
Jarandilla is one of those charming towns that only grow more beautiful with time. Examples of non-ecclesiastical architecture include the house of Don Luis de Quijada and a number of medieval bridges. There are also many religious buildings, including San Francisco Monastery and Ntra. Sra. de la Torre Church.
And you are sure to love the festival known as Los Escobazos, which is held on December 7 each year. At the high point of the festivities, the Virgin's standard is carried through Jarandilla by a rider on horseback accompanied by a number of other riders, and the entire town takes to the streets with burning brooms.
If you are a nature lover, you will enjoy visiting wonderful nearby spots such as the Jaranda Gorge and neighboring towns such as Garganta la Olla. You can hikethrough gorgeous sections of Extremadura, where the peace and tranquility of nature reign supreme.
he town's Parador is located within stone walls that conceal medieval treasures, in a section of the majestic Palace-Castle of Olite, which has been declared a national monument. The hotel common areas and some of the guest rooms are located inside the palace, where the interior offers amazing stained glass windows, arcades and other characteristic medieval features. The palace is the most important example of Gothic non-ecclesiastical architecture in Navarre, and one of the most outstanding in Europe. Within these ancient stone walls, you will find yourself immersed in an oasis of peace and tranquility.
A walk through the narrow side streets of Olite will take you from the shelter of large fine stone houses bearing coats of arms to an exploration of the Roman walled area. You will also enjoy visiting Oliva Monastery, where Cistercian monks dressed in white tunics stroll and pray in the monastery cloister.
The Mediterranean climate makes the area an ideal paradise for grapevines and fine wine. You can visit local wineries and sample exquisite vintages. In addition, every August the town holds its Medieval Festival, where kings and princesses, magicians and minstrels, falconers and archers all gather, taking the city back in time to the Middle Ages.
Live the History
One of the most beautiful Civil-Gothic complexes in Europe is in Olite. There was the Palace of the Kings of Navarre whose oldest part has been fitted out as a Parador. Its capricious and anarchic profile full of nooks, towers, battlements, galleries and gardens are simply an evocation of the Middle
The Parador corresponds to the oldest part of all the palace complex, the so-called Palacio Viejo or Palacio de los Teobaldos. This area has been inhabited since the time of the Romans, whose archaeological remains appear in some of the towers. The Roman “praesidium” was the nucleus of the
palace until, in the Middle Ages, Carlos III of Navarre extended it and transformed it into one of the most beautiful palaces in Europe, attaching it to what was called the New Palace (Palacio Nuevo). The old medieval palace was structured around an interior patio surrounded by auxiliary dependencies, with the fi rst fl oor reserved for the royal rooms. When the Kingdom of Navarre was incorporated into the peninsular union in 1512, both the old and new palaces lost their condition of royal and their decadence began. During the War of Independence, it was practically burned down and, at the beginning of the XX
century, only the two eastern towers and the exterior walls were conserved. The reform work to adapt it to a Parador of Tourism began in 1966. The patio was rebuilt starting only from the foundations and, thanks to the documentation, it was possible to reconstruct the Gothic windows of the façade. The final result was a small Parador with a surface area of 800 metres and 14 bedrooms and common areas. Owing to its insuficient size, a differentiated annex was created for the bedrooms joined by a loggia in a style similar to the Palace complex.
Carlos de Viana, an unfortunated Prince.
Although Prince Carlos was born in Peñafi el in 1421, he was brought up in the Royal Palace of Olite where his grandfather, King Carlos III of Navarre, considered him to be his successor and created the title of Prince of Viana for him and educated him as a future king. However, his destiny was very different. Although he was the legitimate heir to the throne of Navarre as the son of Queen Blanca, his permanent disputes with his father, who never wanted to recognise him as king, decided his future. Moreover, after becoming a widower on the death of his wife, Queen Blanca, he married again this time to a Castilian, who always endeavoured that the rights of her son, the future king Ferdinand of Aragon,
should prevail over those of her stepson Carlos. The indecisive and excessively prudent character of Carlos and the political tensions of the epoch precipitated his end. His premature death and his sad destiny transformed him into a romantic personage which the XIX century magnifi ed in art and literature.
The Towers of the Old Palace
Olite is famous for its capricious and irregular profi le. The Palace alone, which is today the Parador, has three di erent towers. In the north east corner, the tower of the prison, with its battlements and ancient guard armoury; in the south east corner, the Tower of San Jorge, also with its battlements
and where Sancho el Fuerte built a small chapel. The highest tower is in the main façade, the Tower of the Storks (Torre de las Cigueñas), an ancient watchtower, with a square layout and crowned by a small circular tower.
The Parador de Chinchón is located in a former Augustinian monastery. It offers large windows, beautiful common areas and guest rooms decorated with exquisite taste, with the perfect combination of colors and careful attention to every detail. The lovely courtyard filled with loquat trees and well-kept gardens will allow you to enjoy this beautiful and peaceful location. We also offer delicious dishes such as Madrid-style chickpea stew, garlic soup and roast lamb. Chinchón is an especially charming village located south of Madrid. Highlights include the Plaza Mayor (Main Square), with more than 230 wooden balconies on the surrounding houses. We recommend viewing it at night: the illumination makes it a distinctive sight.
Ancestral homes, gorgeous courtyards and galleries supported by lovely columns make Chinchón a uniquely beautiful town. In the center you will find sights such as the Torre del Reloj (Clock Tower), Nuestra Señora de la Asunción Church, the convent of the Sisters of St. Clare and the baroque Casa de la Cadena building.
You can take a relaxing walk around one of the nearby small oases: Laguna de San Juan, Laguna de San Galindo or Laguna de Casasola. On the south side of the last of these pools stand the ruins of Casasola Castle, overlooking the landscape from a hill. It is well worth the climb to feel the gentle caress of the breeze and experience the silence.
In the historic city of Trujillo, birthplace of discoverers, you will find this lovely Parador, occupying the former convent of Santa Clara and preserving the peaceful and calm atmosphere of the convent buildings. Inside there are two lovely cloisters, one with Renaissance arches and columns. The second gives the complex a touch of brightness that makes the atmosphere even more beautiful. This is an ideal hotel for relaxation and leisure, as well as work. The rooms are peaceful and the Parador offers beautiful, elegant function rooms, along with a seasonal swimming pool.
In Trujillo, all roads lead to the Plaza Mayor (Main Square), the heart of the city, surrounded by very beautiful and important buildings. In the middle of the square stands the bronze statue of Francisco Pizarro astride his horse. Together with San Martín de Tours Church, the Palacio de la Conquista (Palace of the Conquest) and the Casa de las Cadenas (House of the Chains), it will leave you with the memory of a truly beautiful square. Trujillo Castle is another lovely spot. It is visible from any point in the city and houses a sanctuary dedicated to the patron saint, the Virgin of Victory.
Trujillo is blessed with all the charm of a historic city and the beauty and serenity provided by the passing of time. This is a place you will love discovering.
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