Visit castles and palaces of Spain.
Here you can find all the castles and palaces where you can enjoy 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.
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 Hospital de San Juan Bautista, better known as Hospital Tavera, was built in the 16th century with a double function: a charitable one for being a hospital “for those afflicted by different illnesses” and a sepulchral one, for being a mausoleum for its founder, Cardinal Juan Pardo Tavera, Archbishop of Toledo, Inquisitor General, Governor of Castilla and Governor of the Kingdom in the absence of the Emperor.
Its palatial appearance is due to its first architect Alonso de Covarrubias, Senior Master of the Main Cathedral and Royal Architect who in order to come up with a new concept for a hospital modelled it on the large Roman private double patio house described by Vitruvio.
Its construction, started in 1540, the architectural and urban renewal program that the humanist circles in the Court of Emperor Charles V designed in order to match the image of Toledo with its status as Imperial capital city. This was depicted years later by El Greco in his famous "View of Toledo" in which this Hospital is reversely situated in the foreground, floating on a cloud, this way the painter helped in the furnishing of the building.
The outlandish sum of half a million ducats that had already been spent in 1599, according to the Hospital administrator, Pedro Salazar de Mendoza, when there was still much of the church to build makes it one of the most splendid constructions of the period, perhaps only comparable, according to the art historian, Fernando Marias, to the monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial.
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.
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.
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.
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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 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.
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The Orgaz Tower-Palace is temporarily closed due to the emergency situation caused by Covid-19.
The monument comprises a wall, tower and palace:
The wall: it is highly likely that there were defences in this location from the 11th century though the original wall does not seem to be older than the 13th or early 14th century.
The tower was built in the late 14th or early 15th century. It is made of well-carved ashlar sandstone. It has a rectangular floor plan measuring 17.3 m (N-S) by 13.4 m (E-W). The maximum height of the tower is 25 m and its lower walls are 2 m thick. It is crowned by a crenellated overhang supported by triple-curved modillions. All faces have large arrow slits and double windows. Arrow slits measuring approximately 1.25 m high with lobed arches are unique to towers in Álava.
The palace dates from the late 15th or early 16th century. The palace and its main access point are situated to the West of the tower. It has a rectangular floor plan measuring 27.3 m x 12.6 m and was built in ashlar sandstone.
The main entrance to the palace is finished with an ogee arch supported by Gothic pillars which rest on high bases and culminate in pinnacles. The arch has two coats of arms. The one to the right displays the weapons of the Hurtado de Mendoza family and the one to the left pertains to the Guzmán and Toledo families. The entire monument is framed with Arab style ornaments.
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 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)
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The fortified castle of Chinchilla de Montearagon was built in the 15th century by Juan Pacheco, Marquis of Villena, on the site of an existing Arab fortification, the walls of which can still be seen.
Keeping watch from its elevated position, the castle’s majestic tower, the so called “Torre del Homenaje” (Tower of Tribute), is where Cesar Borgia was imprisoned in 1504.
Evidence of the construction by Juan Pacheco can be found in the coat of arms on the walls and in a topographical survey from 1576 which states: “This tower, fortifications and moat were made by the Marquis of Villena”.
Archaeological remains from all the civilizations that have existed in the Peninsula, such as Iberians, Romans, Visigoths, have been discovered in the vicinity of the castle.
The Muslims were very important for the development of Chinchilla and they named it Ghenghalet, a name that appears in the records of that time.
Chinchilla was re-conquered from the Muslims in 1242, led by the Commander of Ucles, Pelayo Pérez Correa, with an army formed by Christians from the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon.
In the 14th century Chinchilla became part of the Señorío de Villena under the mandate of Don Juan Manuel. It was a very prosperous century for the city and its territory, a century in which important buildings appear such as the convent of San Juan of the Dominican order, begun at the end of the 13th century, the Church of El Salvador and that of Santa María in the current Plaza de La Mancha.
The 15th century stands out for the appointment of Chinchilla as a city in 1422 by King Juan II, and for the beginning of the construction of the current castle in 1448 by Juan Pacheco, who turned the former Arab castle into the magnificent fortress that we can see today.
Centuries later, in 1812, the castle suffered undoubtedly some of its greatest damage when, during the Independence War, as the French troops were withdrawing from the country, they besieged the castle and demolished the great tower located inside the walls, also causing major damage to the interiors.
Shortly before 1900, the city council ceded the castle to penitentiary institutions, allowing the construction of a prison within the castle walls. This led to the ultimate destruction of the interior of the fortress built by Juan Pacheco, as all remaining structures were removed to build the prison.
In 1973, the town council regained ownership of the castle and demolished the prison, which had been abandoned since 1946 and was in poor condition, leaving the parts of the castle which are visible today.
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.
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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.
This palace better known as Casa de Pilatos, is a harmonious combination of the Gothic-Mudejar Late Middle Ages tradition and Italian Renaissance innovations which was first introduced in Seville by the Enríquez de Ribera family, Adelantados Mayores of Andalusia , main representatives of the crown in Baja Andalucia and former owners of this Palace.
Located in the historic centre of Seville, the core zones of the building began to be built at the end of the 15th century and eventually halls, patios and gardens were added turning it into the largest private residential complex in the city, an ideal setting for the development of a new lifestyle and elite society in a city which had undergone a transformation into the richest imperial overseas metropolis ever known.
Throughout the Spanish Golden Age, this palace acted as a sieve for new artistic tastes from Italy. Sevillians first knew them thanks to the marble pieces brought from Genova five hundred years ago by the I Marquis of Tarifa from his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, which eventually gave its name to the palace. Then, later on, new artistic trends were revealed to the city’s citizens in the extraordinary sculptures and paintings collected and still seen within, brought by two of the descendants of the Marquis, the I and III Duke of Alcalá, while acting as viceroys of Naples.
Due to its spatial organization, architectural quality and richness in decoration, this building became the canonical model of Andalusian civil architecture and the pattern of Sevillian palaces.
The Castle of the Almedina of Baena is temporarily closed due to the emergency situation caused by Covid-19.
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.
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 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 Infante Don Luis de Borbón Palace is temporarily closed due to the emergency situation caused by Covid-19.
The Infante Don Luis de Borbón Palace was a project executed by the Thomas brothers, but commissioned to the architect Ventura Rodríguez, which remained unfinished after the death of the Infante Don Luis de Borbón. Only the right wing of the palace and a part of the main facade could be built. It has a monumental portico of Roman inspiration, soberly decorated in the English neoclassical style.
The Infante Don Luis de Borbón Palace has been declared an asset of cultural interest (according to its Spanish acronym, BIC) in 2012. The Palace has 3 floors, which can be accessed from the portico and a large entrance hall that houses a large imperial-style staircase located in a double height space covered by a vault and delimited by arches and balconies around it.
The years that the Infante Don Luis de Borbón lived in this palace were years of cultural splendor. The Infante's life revolved around art, and he is considered one of the most important Spanish patrons, as well as a great collector. He obtained one of the most important and best equipped science libraries, especially in botany and zoology, with his extensive art collection and a Natural History Cabinet, which made it possible for Arenas to be at the forefront of his time.
Among the great figures who spent time in this palace were the composer Luigi Boccherini and the painter Francisco de Goya, who spent three summers in Arenas de San Pedro painting family pictures.
The Infante Don Luis de Borbón died in Arenas de San Pedro on August 7, 1785, which marked the end of the Infante's court in the town, the abandonment of his palace, and its almost total dismantling. Between 1785 and 1796, the palace was used as a barracks and years later it was occupied by Napoleon's troops, serving as a fortress, until it became a Catholic seminary in the 19th century.
In 1989 the City Council of Arenas de San Pedro acquired the Infante Don Luis de Borbón Palace, and began the work of revaluation and rehabilitation of the building and its gardens. The palace was not only configured as a cultural container, but was also provided with structural and aesthetic improvements, which makes it today one of the most representative emblems of this town, and a cultural and tourist reference for foreigners and outsiders.
Since 2018 the palace has been home to the Gredos Painting Awards Museum. It also hosts events with many years of importance: such as the Luigi Boccherini Festival, the “Palace Days”, Exhibitions, Festivals and Concerts. Undoubtedly, all the events obey to a calendar that tries to remember the golden years of the Court of Infante Don Luis de Borbón.
The Castle of The Monclova is temporarily closed due to the emergency situation caused by Covid-19.
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.
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 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.
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 Condestable Dávalos Castle is temporarily closed due to the emergency situation caused by Covid-19.
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.
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.
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 castle-palace is rectangular in shape, adapting to the shapes of the hill on which it is built, dominating the town.
The bulk of the fortification is in the Gothic style with two construction phases differentiated in a somewhat diffuse way. A first raised under the patronage of Exímeno de Luna, bishop of Zaragoza and a second by Pedro López de Luna in the mid-fourteenth century.
All this part is built in ashlar stone. In addition, additions and reforms have been incorporated throughout its history, highlighting those carried out during the archbishoprics of Hernando de Aragón (16th century) and Agustín Lezo y Palomeque (18th century) in addition to the fortification work of the Carlist War. Regarding its artistic quality, we must highlight the purely Gothic chapel built by Pedro López de Luna and divided into several sections by some beautiful pointed arches.
It has, among other elements, a pulpit decorated with Gothic paintings and reliefs, a Mudejar paneling and a magnificently restored Mudejar floor. In that same room we can see five purely Gothic windows, four of them pointed. All have trilobed and quadruple-lobed decoration and are made of sandstone.
We must also highlight the Mudejar turret made of brick and a bread oven. The oldest part of the building and discovered after carrying out archaeological excavations is a tower and section of wall of Islamic origin. We find several heraldic elements from different times that have allowed us to date different construction phases. Regarding its origin we can say that there is evidence of being inhabited already in Roman times and of being a hisn in Islamic times.
It played a fundamental role in the conflict of the Aragonese unions at the end of the 13th century where it was taken by the Alagóns. From the fourteenth century it was the palace and refuge of the archbishops of Zaragoza where they spent long periods of time. It served as a hospital in the plague epidemic of the mid-seventeenth century and was besieged by Cabrera's troops in the Carlist Wars. In the last Civil War it served as a prison and was bombed by both the Italian army and the Luftwaffe in March 1938.
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.
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.
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The Castle of Santiago is temporarily closed due to the emergency situation caused by Covid-19.
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.
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.
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Bastion of the Villa de Potes and the entire Liébana Region, in the Cantabrian mountains, the Torre del Infantado is a medieval building that stands at the confluence of the Deva and Quiviesa rivers.
Open to the public after its inauguration on March 19, 2011 after a long restoration process, the Torre del Infantado welcomes thousands of visitors in its 1800 m2, distributed over 6 floors, whose rooms are arranged around a central courtyard; in theese the visitor can learn about the life and work of Beato de Liébana, abbot from Liébana, the first Cantabrian and, therefore, Spanish writer.
Noble woods, corten steel and large glazed spaces take over the interior spaces and provide light with a masterful medieval recreation that is combined with state-of-the-art luminaires.
This regal property that treasures so much history has its access through a long staircase and through a door with a pointed arch. Having belonged to the Dukes of Infantado, it has also been used as a prison and later the Town Hall.
Today it permanently houses the exhibition "Beato de Liébana and his blessed" the most complete facsimile collection in the world of the codices called "Beatos".
The visit ends with the magnificent and exultant view from the battlements towards the town of Potes, the Monte de la Viorna, the site of the Santo Toribio monastery and the Picos de Europa at the horizon.
Likewise, the Tower houses temporary exhibitions in its basement.
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.
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.
The Fortress of Garcimuñoz Castle is temporarily closed due to the emergency situation caused by Covid-19.
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.
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 Palace of Viana is a stately home dating from the 15th century and located in the central neighbourhood of Santa Marina. It continued expanding until the middle of the 20th century. In the process, it would become a valuable example of a manor of the Cordovan nobility.
It was connected to the Cordovan aristocracy. From its beginnings until the 19th century, it belonged to the Marquisate of Villaseca and from then until 1980 to the Marquisate of Viana. It currently belongs to the Fundación Cajasur which keeps it open to the public as a museum.
Viana offers its visitors the possibility to visit a worldly noble house and to discover the evolution of architectural styles, decorative arts and environments related to the aristocracy. It invites you to be transported to other periods, to get to know the evolution of the ways of life, through its tastes and the important role these elites played throughout history. All of this is reflected in the magnificent artistic collections of the palace: leather, gold leather, paintings, armour, tiles, upholstery, furniture… The visit is completed with one of its main attractions: its twelve courtyards and a garden. The courtyard in Viana, a vestige of Roman and Muslim tradition, offers a wide representation of its history: from the neighbourhood courtyard of medieval origin, an example of popular architecture, to the Renaissance courtyards that are symbolic of power and pedigree
With the erection of this chapel in 1536, an urban transformation of the city of Úbeda began, which, in a very short time, scarcely fifty years, produced one of the most outstanding and prodigious collections of Renaissance architecture in Spain. It was created under the patronage of the Secretary and Chief Adviser to Emperor Charles V, Francisco de los Cobos, and his relatives, with the purpose of creating an urban setting to match their dizzying heights of social ascension.
This monumental square, today known as the Plaza Vázquez de Molina, is presided over by a large church, la Sacra Capilla del Salvador the centerpiece, together with the neighbouring Baeza´s monumental ensemble, of Unesco´s World Heritage Site. This is Diego de Siloé’s masterpiece. Its architectural layout makes an ideal resemblance of the Holy Sepulcher built in Jerusalem where a basilica and a funerary chapel are constructed in the same space.
The funerary chapel was constructed for the aforementioned Francisco de los Cobos and his family. Siloé’s project was executed by Andrés de Vandelvira, and the Sacristy may be entirely due to him.
The result is a Church at the very heights of the best Italian Renaissance architecture and partakes in the humanist ambition of fusing classical heritage with that of the Christian world, an ambition that is also present in its rich iconographic programme.
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.
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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 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.
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.
In Lopera we find one of the best examples of a castle built by the Military Order of Calatrava in the province of Jaén.
Located right in the center of the town, the castle, with an irregular pentagon floor plan, has two enclosures: an external one formed by wall lines and protected by five towers and, an internal one, in which two imposing towers called San Miguel and Santa María, respectively stand, and which are linked together by two canvases. The first was used to control access to the fortress. The tower of Santa María, for its part, was La Torre del Homenaje (The Keep).
Declared an asset of cultural interest in 1991, this fortress preserves the original walled perimeter, although over the years, it also served as a residence and even as a winery in the mid-20th century, which significantly altered the original physionomy of the fortress.
Thanks to the restoration work carried out, the castle of Lopera has recovered its original appearance and, in addition, the logical deterioration caused by the passage of time in a fortress that is considered by some researchers as one of the jewels of defensive architecture has been avoided. That is why, when the visitor crosses the main door, located in front of the current town hall and which gives access to the enclosure, the image they see is very similar to the one that any neighbor would see back in the 13th century.
Today, the castle, together with La Casa de la Tercia (The House of the Third), is the most significant monument in Lopera and one of the most important on La Ruta de los Castillos (The Route of the Castles) and Las Batallas de Jaén (The Battles of Jaén).
And finally, like any good castle, this one also has its legend that was born back in the 15th century and that tells the story of our treasure that to this day has not yet been recovered. Do you want to know more? The Castle of Lopera encloses in its old walls multiple episodes that occurred with the passing of the centuries.
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.
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).
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.
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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.
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 Cerro de San Cristóbal in Estepa can be seen from many points of the territory, which is why it has been a favorite place for continuous settlement since the 10th century B.C. It has been used as a strategic control point and as well as a strategic enclave for defense.
The monumental complex of the Alcázar and the remains of the Arab fortress of the old Istabba date from the 10th century. This fortification was developed during the 12th and 13th centuries, with a bending entrance, and the construction of polygonal towers, such as the Ochavada Tower, which is now used as a Visitor Reception Center and a Tourist Information Point.
After the Christian conquest by Fernando III, El Santo, in 1241, the occupied territory was named Estepa. Some years later, in 1267, it was the monarch Alfonso X, The Wise, who gave this territory to the Order of Santiago. The Order remained in charge of this territory for almost 300 years. The Torre de Homenaje was built at the end of the 14th century by the master of military (Don Lorenzo Suárez de Figueroa) Commemorating his memory, fig leaves (figuera - Figueroa) can be seen on both sides of the entrance and on the Gothic decoration of the interior of the chamber.
Considered as the architectural emblem of the Cerro de San Cristóbal, it is usually possible to have access to the interior of the central chamber of this tower through the "assault tower" (rebuilt during the last restoration of the monumental complex).
It complies to all current safety regulations. The central chamber of the Tower conserves the typical decorative elements of the Gothic style. Ribs and corbels that run along the dome that covers it. The video "Medieval Steppe", is available for users who do this visit and helps to understand the historical facts concerning the walled enclosure.
At the end of the 1990s, due to sliding and detachment of a fragment of the Arab wall, remains of vertical walls or ramparts from the Tartessian period appeared under the foundations, dating of the orientalizing type.
After carrying out the appropriate archaeological surveys, two grids were discovered to study the remains that were found. A Site Interpretation Center has been set up around these remains. The visitor can see the architectural remains from the Chalcolithic period in the lowest stratum, and above them, the excavated and preserved Tartessian constructions. In this space, there is a projection of graphic and audiovisual explanations, as to the origin of our civilization, focused on the Tartessian period, this is used to situate historically the site and, therefore, the monumental complex.
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.
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.
A short distance from Santiago de Compostela, on the Pontevedra border of the Ulla river valley, is Galicia’s most visited manor house, the palacio de Oca, also widely known as "The Generalife of the North" or the "Galician Versailles”. Comparing the stone and plant architecture of this monument with that of those abovementioned, widely known, allows us to highlight the uniqueness and importance of the most stately and best preserved of the Galician pazos (stately homes). Although built far from the Court, this comparison (despite been hyperbolic) reminds us aptly that its design evokes that of the Barroco court gardens.
According to the words used in 1945 by historian and academic Javier Sánchez Cantón in an effort to protect these gardens, the most outstanding aspect of this ensemble is the inextricable link between water, stone and vegetation which make this monument a masterpiece of architecture, engineering and gardening.
The early fort home was built by order of Álvaro de Oca in the middle of the 15th century and was lost shortly afterwards to the Miter of Compostela in the fights between the Galician nobility and the archbishop of Santiago. In 1564, it passed to King Felipe II who sold it to María de Neyra and thus it was passed down from generation to generation until the XVIII Duchess of Medinaceli who in 1978 donated it to the Casa Ducal de Medinaceli Foundation after its formation
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 60.000 visitors in 2019.
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.
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