Castles of Castile

Castles of the kingdom of Castile

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Note: Some images can be enlarged, clicking over them.

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Agoncillo. (La Rioja)

"Castillo de Aguas Muertas".

Castle built in XVth century, recently restored. In the middle ages, several feudal strifes took place there: in 1334 the last lord of Cameros was executed in the castle.

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*Aguilar de Campoo. (Palencia)

Ruins of a castle built between XII and XIV centuries. Donated by Enrique II to the Manrique family (as part of the donations known as "bienes enriqueños"), it returned later to the Crown, being given by Enrique III to Dª Aldonza de Castila. Nowadays, it belongs to the Town Council of Aguilar de Campoo.

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Almenar. (Soria)

Castle of arab origin, modified in XV century. It belonged to several noble families (Bravo de Sanabria, Saravia, Ríos). The Spanish romantic poet Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer placed here two of his stories. The wife of the poet Antonio Machado was born here.

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Ampudia. (Palencia)

One of the best conserved castles in the province of Palencia. Built at XV century, it was assaulted by the rebels during the War of the Communities (1520-1521). At XVII century it belonged to the Duke of Lerma (Prime Minister of Felipe III), who was also Count of Ampudia. Now, it belongs to the Fontaneda industrial family.

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Arenas de San Pedro. (Avila)

"Castillo del condestable Dávalos" or "Castillo de la Triste Condesa".

Built between 1393 and 1423 by Don Ruy López Dávalos, lord of the town, it belonged to the constable of Castile, D. Alvaro de Luna and, after his death, to his widow, Juana de Pimentel: "la triste condesa" (the Sad Countess), who gave her name to the castle. Now, its tower is being restored.

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Arévalo. (Avila)

Castle made at XIV century with stone and brick, modified at XV and XVI centuries. There, the king Pedro I confined his wife Blanca de Borbón. Afterwards, it was a State Prison.

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Argüeso. (Cantabria)

Placed near the town of Fontibre (in the Northern region of Cantabria), it has two towers,built between XII & XIV centuries, and a central body built later. The mother of the marquis of Santillana (a famous medieval poet) lived here.

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Atienza. (Guadalajara)

Castle of XII century, built on a 200 m. high rock, over a previous arab castle which was conquered by the castilians in 1085 (when Alfonso VI conquered Toledo). In 1162, king Alfonso VIII of Castile, still a child, was sieged by his aunt, Fernando II de León, and escaped while his men celebrated a holyday to distract the Leonese, this holyday is still celebrated in the town.

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Batres. (Madrid)

Built between XV and XVI centuries, it is almost completely conserved. There, was banished the knight Fernán Pérez de Guzmán, where he wrote "Mar de Istorias" and his famous "Generaciones y Semblanzas". Afterwards, the poet Garcilaso de la Vega, brother of the Lord (Pedro Lasso de Guzmán) lived there.

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Belmonte de Campos. (Soria)

Ancient castle, in the border between the kingdoms of Castile and León. Only the Main Tower (XV-XVI centuries) is conserved in the present days. It belonged to D. Juan Manuel de Villena, being adquired in 1.622 by the familiy Manrique, marquises of Belmonte.

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* Berlanga de Duero. (Soria)

Arab castle of X century, reconquered by Fernando I and rebuilt at XV century by Tovar family. Many modifications at XVI century, in order to adapt it to the use of artillery. Close to it, there were a palace and Renaissance garden, both of them destroyed during the Napoleonic invasion.

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Castle of Las Cabañas de Castilla. (Palencia)

Near the town of Osorno la Mayor, this castle was built at XV century by the family Castañeda. It has been restored by his owner, who lives there.

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Caracena. (Soria)

Built in XV century, over a more ancient castle (about XII century). It is placed between two precipices, over the town of the same name.

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Castrourdiales. (Cantabria)

XIII century Gothic castle, at the northern region of Cantabria. Nowadays, it lodges a lighthouse.

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Cifuentes. (Guadalajara)

Built after 1324 by the prince don Juan Manuel, who lived there some time; Fernando de Antequera & king Juan II of Castile also lived in this castle, while the first one was waiting for the decission of the Parliament of Caspe (which made him king of Aragón). It was owned to the Silva family, counts of Cifuentes. In the War of Sucession of Carlos II, the city supported the Archduke Charles, and in the Spanish War of the Independence (Peninsular War), it was occuped two times by the Empecinado's guerrillas.

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Clavijo. (La Rioja)

Castle placed 15 km far from Logroño, in the same place where the king of Asturias Ramiro I defeated the Moorish in 844, helped, following the legend, by St. James.

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* Coca. (Segovia)

Brick-made castle, of "mudéjar" style. Built by the archbishop of Seville don Alonso de Fonseca, during the reigns of John II & Henry IV. It belgons today to the dukes of Alba, and is used by the Autonomous Government of Castilla y León as School of Forest Science.

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*Cuéllar.. (Segovia)

Built at XV century by D. Beltrán de la Cueva, favourit of the king Henry IV, and first duke of Alburquerque. It was finished by his descendants at XVI century, being still propierty of the Dukes of Alburquerque, it lodges the Archive of their House, as well as a Public Secondary School and cultural celebrations.

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Encinas de Esgueva (Valladolid)

Built at XIV century, it belonged to the Aguilar family, who were counts of Encinas and lords of the castle. Now, it belongs to the spanish Ministry of Agriculture, who used it as a cereals storage.

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Frías (Burgos)

The actual castle is a mixture of buildings of XII, XIII, XV & XVI centuries. Probably the most impresionant rock castle at northern Castile, it was adquired by the Crown in 1202. In 1446 king Juan II left it to Pedro Fernández de Velasco, comstable of Castile & Duke of Frías.

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Fuensaldaña. (Valladolid)

Built at XV century by Vivero family (Lords of the town). Currently is the building of the Autonomous Parliament (Cortes) of the region of Castile & Leon.

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Fuente el Sol (Valladolid)

Built at XV century, by D. Alvaro de Bracamonte.

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Fuentes de Valdepero. (Palencia) "Castillo de los Sarmiento".

Built at XV century, this castle is being rebuilt now. It belongs to the Province Council of Palencia, which has planned to lodge there its Historical Archive.

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Gormaz. (Soria)

Arab castle (started at 956, under the Caliph Al-Hakam II), it is the biggest and oldest castle of Western Europe: it has a perimeter of 1 km and 400 m between its two sides. It presents many reforms, because it was conquered several times during the "Reconquista" (978-981 by the count García Fernández, 983 by Almanzor, and 1059, by Fernando I.

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*Iscar. (Valladolid)

There is first reference on a castle in Iscar, from 939, when it was destroyed by troops of Caliph Abd-el-Rhaman III. The town was repopulated in 1089, by count Martín Alfonso. later, it belonged to the Zúñiga family, being the castle reformed in 15th century, by Pedro de Zúñiga. Nowadays, it is being restored, and it is planned to lodge a museum.

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La Adrada. (Avila)

Ruins of a XIV century castle, built in the same place o f the romance between Alfonso VI & Zaida, the daughter-in-law of Al-Mutamid of Seville. On a strategic position, between Old Castile & Toledo, it was cause of several strifes between the counts of Villena and the Pimentel & Mendoza families.

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* Manzanares el Real (Madrid).

Built, at the end of XV century by the first duke of el Infantado, don Diego Hurtado de Mendoza , over a previous castle, which had been built by another Diego Hurtado de Mendoza (1365-1404), this one Admiral of Castile.

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*Medina del Campo. (Valladolid)

"Castillo de la Mota" .

Built in 1440 by king Juan II of Castilla, in mudéjar style, was designed by Fernando Carreño and Alonso Niño, and built by Abdalla & Alí de Lerma. It was a royal residential palace (queen Isabel I lived there her last years), then it became prison of the Kingdom. Now completely restored, it belongs to the Regional Administration ("Junta de Castilla y León"). Apart from being a museum, it can provide facilities for courses and workshops, including housing.

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Medina de Pomar. (Burgos)

Castle of "Las Torres" or "Alcázar de Medina de Pomar".

Built between 1370and 1380 by D. Pedro Fernández de Velasco, lord of the city by gift of the king Enrique IV. It is conserved completed and restored.

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Mironcillo. (Avila)

Castle of "Aunqueospese" or "del risco"

Castle started in 1490 by Pedro Dávila, captain of the Duke of Alba, over a land propierty of the Community of Ávila. The construction was stopped, after the complain of the city council, being finished by the son of Pedro Dávila, esteban, in 1504.

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* Molina de Aragón. (Guadalajara)

It was built at XII century over an ancient Arabic castle.

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*Mombeltrán. (Avila)

"Castillo de los duques de Alburquerque".

Built about 1470 by D. Beltrán de la Cueva, favourit of the king Enrique IV and first Duke of Alburquerque. The interior of the castle was reformed at XVIII century. It still belongs to the Dukes of Albuquerque.

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Monteagudo de las Vicarías. (Soria)

Castle built at 15th century, near the frontier between Castile and Aragón, probably being part of the frontier defensive system of Castile. It is placed on a side of a walled town. It has been recently restored.

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Montealegre. (Valladolid)

Castle built at the end of XIII century or beginnig of XIV century by Alfonso de Menezes, as new main fortress of the family (being Villalba de los Alcores the prvious one). Nowadays, it belongs to the Ministry of Agriculture.

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Monzón de Campos. (Palencia)

Castle of XIV or XV centuries, probably built by the Rojas family, ancient lords of the place. It has been restored by the provincial Council of Palencia, and lodges a hotel and a restaurant.

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* Narros de Saldueña (Avila).

"Castillo del duque de Montellano".

Mudéjar castle, built on 15th century, by the family Valderrábano. It is still used as residence by its owners.

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Las Navas del Marqués. (Avila)

Castillo-Palacio de Magalia

Built during the first half of XVI century, by the first Marquis of Las Navas, Don Pedro Dávila y Zúñiga, and over a previous castle. Nowadays, it belongs to the Spanish Ministry of Culture and is used to lodge courses and cultural events.

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Olmillos de Sasamón. (Burgos)

"Castillo de los Cartagena"

Built about 1440 by D. Pedro de Cartagena, a nobleman of Jew origin (the original name of the Cartagena family was Leví). Now, it lodges a museum, and a future hostal of the "Camino de Santiago".

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Osma. (Soria)

Remains of an ancient castle, from X-XI centuries, and placed over a long hill between Ucero & Avión rivers. Near the ancient Roman city of Uxama. Following the legend, on October 6th, 1469, the future king Ferdinand the Catholic tried to enter the castle, disguised as a trademan (he was coming to Castile to marry Isabella). The guradian of the castle shot him an arrow that, fortunately, didn't hurt him.

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Pedraza de la Sierra. (Segovia)

Built between XIV & XVI centuries. It belonged to the families Herrera & Velasco (dukes of Frías). The sons of king Francis I of France were hostages here. Now, it belongs to the descendants of the painter Zuloaga, who use it as residence and museum.

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* Peñafiel. (Valladolid)

Built in the XV century by Pedro Girón, Master of the Order of Calatrava, over the ruins of a previous castle. Tpday, it lodges a Museum of Wine: the region around Peñafiel is the place of origin of the wines of "Ribera del Duero". The castle is famous too because it was the place where the Prince Don Juan Manuel (one of the top figures of Spanish Medieval Literature) wrote his books.

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Peñaranda de Duero. (Burgos)

Built at XV century, by the first Count of Miranda de Castañar, Don Diego de Zúñiga y Avellaneda, with the same plant as the castle of Peñafiel.

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Pioz.. (Guadalajara)

Moslem castle. Only the outern walls are conserved.

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Portillo. (Valladolid)

Built between XIV and XV century, it was a royal prison, some of its prisoners being the count of Benavente, Suero de Quiñones & Enrique Enríquez, king Juan II of Castile and his comstable Alvaro de Luna. In the present days, it belongs to the University of Valladolid.

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Poza de la Sal. (Burgos).

Castle built in 14th century by the family Rojas. It was part of the defensive system of the salt mines of the place.

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Riba de Santiuste.. (Guadalajara)

XII-XIII centuries castle, it belonged to the bishops of Sigüenza.

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* San Esteban de Gormaz. (Soria)

Ruins of an arab castle, near the more famous castle of Gormaz (see above). it was a veryimportant fortress during the Middle Age, because it defended the bridge over the Duero river, which was one of the entrance ways to Castile. At this castle, the daughters of El Cid refugeed after being abandoned by the sons of the Count of Carrion.

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San Martín de Valdeiglesias. (Madrid)

"Castillo de la Coracera".

XV century castle, it belonged to D. Alvaro de Luna, favourite of Juan II of Castile. It has been restored by its owners, recovering the Homage Tower.

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* Segovia."El alcázar".

There is a first document about a castle in Segovia, in 1122. It was residence of kings like Ferdinand III, Alphonso X, Henry IV, Philip II .... The present building was built by the kings of Trastámara dinasty, at XV century. It was destroyed by fire in 1862, and rebuilt in 1882. Currently it belongs to the Spanish Ministry of Defence, lodging a Museum of Artillery, the Military Historical Archive .... The city of Segovia has been declared World Heritage Site.

More information here

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* Sigüenza. (Guadalajara).

"Castle/Palace of the bishops".

Castle built at 12th century, after the Christian conquest of the city. It presents many modifications. The frontal area (photograf), dates from 14th century, and was built by the bishop D. Simón Girón de Cisneros. Today, it lodges a hotel of the National Net of "Paradores"

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Simancas. (Valladolid)

Built at XV century by the Admirals of Castile (Enríquez family). Later, it was a royal propiety, and it was (and is actually) used like General Archive of the State Files.

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Sotopalacios. (Burgos)

"Palacio del Cid".

One of the biggest and best conserved castles at the province of Burgos (origin of Castile). built between XIV & XV centuries, near the ancient lands of "El Cid".

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Tiedra. (Valladolid)

There is first reference on a castle of Tiedra, of the times of El Cid (he was charged by Sancho II with and interview with Princess Urraca, in this castle), but the present castle is a construction of XIII century, built by Pedro Álvarez de Asturias. It was used by the rebel Don Tello Téllez de Meneses, during the minority of Alfonso XI. Tiedra belonged to León, until it was given to Castile as compensation for the divorce of Alfonso IX & Dª Berenguela. It is on sale.

* Torija. (Guadalajara)

Templar castle, whose actual structure dates from XV century. It was conquered by the Marquis of Santillana and the bishop of Toledo, in 1452. During several centuries belonged to the Mendoza family, who controled the Royal Road. During the Peninsular War, it was blown by the guerrillas of el Empecinado. Recently restored, it lodges the museum of "Viaje a la Alcarria", the novel of C.J.Cela, where personal souvenirs of this Nobel Prize are shown.

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Torrelobatón. (Valladolid)

"Castillo de los Comuneros".

Built about 1420-1426, by Alfonso Enríquez, (future Admiral of Castile). During the War of the Communities (1519-1521), it was assaulted by the rebel troops of Juan de Padilla, who used it as Headquarters of his army. After the war, it was rebuilt (1538).

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Ucero (Soria)

Built at XIV century, in one of the most exciting landscapes of the province of Soria: over the town of Ucero, the river of the same name and the Canyon of the Lobos River (Natural Park). A secret passage connects the castle and the river.

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* Urueña. (Valladolid)

Built, like the walls, between XIII & XIV centuries. Urueña was part of the "Infantazgo de Valladolid", a land disputed by Castile & León, being the main fortifications built by Alfonso VIII of Castile. After the union of both kingdoms, the fortifications lost importance, recovering it by a while during the civil wars of the reign of Pedro I El Cruel.

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Villafranca del Condado. (Segovia)

"Castillo de Castilnovo".

Castle of mudéjar style, built at XIV-XVI centuries. It belonged to the comstable Alvaro de Luna, the Stúñiga family and the dukes of Frías, lodging royal characters like the princes Ferdinand & Leonor (future kings of Aragón), Henry IV, the Catholic kings and the sons of the king of France (Francis I) as hostages, after the battle of Pavía. Restored in XIX-XX centuries, it belongs to the Spanish-Mexican Cultural Association.

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Villafuerte de Esgueva. (Valladolid)

One of the best example of the "School of Valladolid", being built on 15th century by Garci Franco de Toledo, a nobleman of Jewish origin, and Lord of Vellosillo. Today, it belongs to the Spanish Society of Friends of Castles, who are restoring it.

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Villaviciosa. (Ávila)

Built between XV & XVI centuries by Nuño González del Águila y Guzmán, it is conserved complete & restored, lodging a hotel.

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Villaviciosa de Odón. (Madrid)

Built after 1496, by the Marquises of Moya, Andrés Cabrera & Beatriz Fernández de Bobadilla. Destroyed by the Communard rebels in 1520, it was rebuilt by D. Diego Fernández de Cabrera y Bobadilla. In the presents days, it lodges the Historical Archive of the Spanish Air Force.

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Vozmediano. (Soria)

Castle of an ancient origin, most of its contruction dates from XII-XIV centuries. The castle occupies a strategic position on the Moncayo mountain, a region highly disputed by Castile, Aragon & Navarre, from its reconquest by Alfonso I of Aragón (12th century) until the deffinitive fixing of the border in 1437.

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