Castles and fortifications in Spain

Buitrago del Lozoya Castle

The town of Buitrago del Lozoya is completely surrounded by an ancient wall originally built by the Moorish people. Within these walls lies the ruins of the Buitrago de Lozoya castle. The style of the castle is a unique mix of Mudéjar (moorish) and Gothic designs – tall, solid square towers combined with the typical pentagonal shaped often used by the ancient Arabs. It was built in the 15th century. It has a rectan ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Buitrago del Lozoya, Spain

Pedraza Castle

Pedraza Castle dates from the 13th century and it was rebuilt in the 15th century by García Herrera and again in the early 16th century by the Dukes of Frías. Poligonal ground plan, double enclosure, with cues and square turrets, plus an artificial moat excavated in the rock. The castle uses part of the wall and preserves the remains of one front, with Romanesque elements. The tower that serves as the tower of homa ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Pedraza, Spain

Alcázar del Rey Don Pedro

This Alcazar or Moorish fortress is situated to the west of the walled town on the highest point of Carmona. Peter I had it restored in the 13th century, and it became one of his favourite palaces. The Catholic Monarchs erected the circular tower and embellished the royal quarters. It was seriously affected by the 1755 earthquake and, since then, it has been progressively falling into ruin. The ruins of this Alcazar sur ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Carmona, Spain

Torre de la Malmuerta

The Torre de la Malmuerta is a gate tower in Córdoba. It was built in 1406–1408, by order of King Henry III of Castile, over a pre-existing Almohad structure, to defend the gates of Rincón and Colodro. Later it was also used as a prison for nobles. Having an octagonal plan, the tower has an annexed arch. The names, meaning 'Tower of the Wrongly Dead Woman', refers to a woman who, according to a legend, wa ...
Founded: 1406-1408 | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Peñafiel Castle

Construction works for Peñafiel Castle commenced in the 10th century, although the contemporary structure underwent major interventions during the 14th and 15th centuries. This medieval fortress was declared a National Monument in 1917 and currently stands as a veritable emblem of wine tourism in Ribera del Duero. Peñafiel and its castle were key defensive locations along river Duero, both for Christians and Muslims ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Peñafiel, Spain

Santiago Castle

Castle of Santiago was built in the second half of the 15th century by the 2nd Duke of Medina Sidonia. It was not designed for military or surveillance purposes. Therefore, it can be considered as a demonstration of power of the Duchy. Throughout its history, it has functioned as a ducal fortress and barracks. After almost a century of neglect and suffering serious damage from a fire, it was completely remodelled.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain

Alcalá de los Gazules Castle

All that remains of the 12th-century Moorish castle in Alcalá de los Gazules is the Homage Tower. The castle served as a defensive structure until 1810 when it was ransacked by the occupying French army. The castle has been restored and the interior of the tower can be visited from Thursday to Sunday 11.30 to 14.00.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Alcalá de los Gazules, Spain

Coyanza Castle

This castle held the Coyanza Council in 1050; the old Coyanza was populated and fortified by Fernando II of León in the second half of the 12th century. The current castle was built in the 15th century. It was constructed on the site of older castle that had been erected on the ruins of a fortification dating back to the Iron Age. The castle consists basically of one articulated front with projections, flanked by turret ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Valencia de Don Juan, Spain

Miranda del Castañar Castle‎

Miranda del Castañar Castle‎, or at least the tower of homage, was probably built by Pedro de Zúñiga. By means of a small enclosure that serves as a gate, the tower is attached to another D-shaped tower and other remains that might belong to a previous fortress. The round loopholes are the usual 15th-century artillery loopholes. Miranda was founded around 1215.The well preserved wall probably dates from that time. P ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Miranda del Castañar, Spain

Zuheros Castle

Zuheros Castle is a small fortress, nestled in rock, occupies a privileged position. Founded by the Arabs in the ninth century, the current appearance was probably built in the 11th or 12th century when the area was ruled by the Zirid dynasty. It now houses the remains of a Renaissance-style palace.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Zuheros, Spain

Monturque Castle

When Monturque Castle was exactly built is unknown. Archaeological findings suggests it was built during the reign of the Ummayad Caliphate (661–750 AD) on Roman remains. The Castle was conquered by Ferninand III in 1240, and for a long time thereafter its ownership passed intermittently between the Crown and Nobility. One early record of this is from 1273, when half of the Monturque tower was awarded by Martin Sanchez ...
Founded: 8th century AD | Location: Monturque, Spain

Turégano Castle

The Castle of Turégano was founded on the site of a pre-existing Arabian fortress. Its structure is integrated into the adjacent church of San Miguel, completed in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Turégano, Spain

Alcazaba of Guadix

Alcazaba of Guadix was built in the 11th century during the Moorish Nasrid reign. It was conquered by the Spanish Christian army in 1489. The Seminary, founded in 1595, one of the oldest in Spain. The Seminary is built around two courtyards. From its towers one can enjoy a fabulous view of the valley and Sierra nevada.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Guadix, Spain

Real Fuerte de la Concepción

The fortress of Real Fuerte de la Concepción (Royal Fortress of the Conception) is a star fortress built in the Vaubanesque style. In 1640, following the death of Philip II, the conflict known as the Portuguese Restoration War began. The Spanish King began to make plans to recover the throne of Portugal and part of these plans was the strengthening of fortifications along the border along with the construction of ...
Founded: 1663 | Location: Aldea del Obispo, Spain

Castillo de San Felipe

Castillo de San Felipe was built in 1771 during the reign of Carlos III of Spain for the defense of the littoral. It was disarmed by the French army during the Spanish Independence War. Halfway into the 19th century it was occupied by the special forces in charge of the surveillance of the littoral. During the 20th century was abandoned and repaired between 1990-1991.
Founded: 1771 | Location: Nijar, Spain

Cerro San Cristobal

From the Alcazaba, descend in a northward direction through the Barranco de la Hoya, a line of wall that reaches San Cristobal Hill was built during the time of King Jairán (1012-1028) in the eleventh century. Here are the remnants of the neighbourhood amurallamiento musalla, which descends from the hill via the main street Antonio Vico. On the hill, known in Muslim times as Monte Laham, there are seven towers, three s ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Almería, Spain

Zahara de los Atunes Castle

The Castle of Zahara de los Atunes and Palace of Jadraza is a medieval castle on Spain's coast. In 1294, King Sancho IV of Castile granted a licence to Don Alonso Pérez de Guzmán to build traps for tuna fishing in reward for his heroic defense of Tarifa. Guzman fisheries in Zahara de los Atunes and Conil de la Frontera were for centuries the most productive in Europe provoking the development of important auxiliary bui ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Zahara de los Atunes, Spain

Castle of Don Álvaro de Luna

The construction of Don Álvaro de Luna castle was commissioned by the High Constable Ruy López Dávalos between the end of the 14th century and the beginning of the 15th century.There is very little left in the interior of the castle. The fires originating from the different wars have left, over time, only the walls of the building. In other periods it was used as a prison and cemetery, and today it is the municipal aud ...
Founded: c. 1300 | Location: Arenas de San Pedro, Spain

Mansilla de las Mulas Walls

The walls of Mansilla de las Mulas, the greatest example of medieval fortification in the province of León date back to the 12th century, the period, in which Fernando II repopulated the town. Every forty metres there were watchtowers that connected the walls, now disappeared. Remains of the fortification include large fragments of the wall and several battlement towers.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Mansilla de las Mulas, Spain

Villafranca del Bierzo Castle

The Villafranca del Bierzo Castle was built in 1515 over the remains of a previous fortification. Its first owner was Don Pedro Alvarez de Toledo (second marques of Villafranca) and since 1850 by Don Joaquin Caro y Alvarez. More of a fortified-palance than a castle, it was ransacked in 1809 by the English and in 1815 and 1819 by the French during the Independence War. This building is located in a town of great import ...
Founded: 1515 | Location: Villafranca del Bierzo, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Aarhus Old Town

The Old Town in Aarhus, Denmark (Den Gamle By), is an open-air town museum consisting of 75 historical buildings collected from 20 townships in all parts of the country. In 1914 the museum opened as the world's first open-air museum of its kind, concentrating on town culture rather than village culture, and to this day it remains one of just a few top rated Danish museums outside Copenhagen.

The museum buildings are organized into a small town of chiefly half-timbered structures originally erected between 1550 and the late 19th century in various parts of the country and later moved to Aarhus during the 20th century. In all there are some 27 rooms, chambers or kitchens, 34 workshops, 10 groceries or shops, 5 historical gardens, a post office, a customs office, a school and a theatre.

The town itself is the main attraction but most buildings are open for visitors; rooms are either decorated in the original historical style or organized into larger exhibits of which there are 5 regular with varying themes. There are several groceries, diners and workshops spread throughout the town with museum staff working in the roles of town figures i.e. merchant, blacksmith etc. adding to the illusion of a 'living' town.