Castles and fortifications in Spain

Simancas Castle

The site of the Simancas castle was at one time a Moorish fortress. In the 15th century the House of Enríquez constructed a new fortification on top of the existing ruins, restored the Moorish walls, and added a chapel. The new castle was seized by the Spanish Crown during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs and turned into a prison. In 1540 the Archivo General de Simancas was established in the castle, the first official ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Simancas, Spain

Chipiona Castle

Chipiona was re-conquested by King Fernando III who built the castle in 1295. Today the castle is a monastery which is open to visitors. It houses the 'Cadiz and the New World' museum.
Founded: 1295 | Location: Chipiona, Spain

Miranda de Ebro Castle

The castle of Miranda de Ebro is located on Picota hill and offers great views of the city and the mountains that surround it. The origins of the castle date from 1358, when Tello of Castille asked the bishopric of Calahorra for the land to construct a castle at the top of the hill of La Picota, a place that was at that time occupied by the church of Santa Maria. Nevertheless, the construction did not begin until 1449 ...
Founded: 1449 | Location: Miranda de Ebro, Spain

Ampudia Castle

First built in the 13th century, but thoroughly altered in the 15th century, Ampudia Castle has a square plan with a gothic central courtyard and 4 towers on each corner. Half of the castle complex is surrounded by a barbican defended by cylindrical towers. It belonged to different owners such as Juan Alfonso de Alburquerque, Sancho de Rojas and Pedro Garcia Herrera (Marsical of Castille) among others. In 1521 it was a ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Ampudia, Spain

Chinchón Castle

Chinchón Castle was preceded by an earlier castle built at the end of the 15th century which was destroyed by commoners in 1521 after a long siege. Chinchón Castle was built on the ruins of this earlier castle in the late 16th century by the third Earl of Chinchón, Don Diego Fernandez de Cabrera. Chinchón Castle was built as a Renaissance castle with broad rectangular windows as aspects of a palatial building. Its th ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Chinchón, Spain

Marquis de los Vélez Castle

Marquis de los Vélez Castle lies in the center of the town of Cuevas del Almanzora. The first fortification at this site was probably an Arab defensive watchtower, dating back to the late 13th or early 14th century. The castle was built in the first half of the 16th century by Don Pedro Fajardo y Chacón, 1st Marquess of Los Vélez. Shortly before he also built Vélez-Blanco Castle, in which he resided, and around the ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Cuevas del Almanzora, Spain

Vélez-Blanco Castle

According to an inscription in the courtyard, the Vélez-Blanco Castle was built between 1506 and 1515 after Fajardo received the lordship of the town from Ferdinand II and Isabella, took up residence there and was given the title of Marqués (1507) by Ferdinand, who was then regent. The heraldry of the principal areas of the castle, including the coat of arms of his second wife, Mencía de la Cueva, belongs to this perio ...
Founded: 1506 | Location: Vélez-Blanco, Spain

Béjar Castle

The Ducal Palace of Béjar was built after 1203 by Alfonso VIII. Although these already very reduced in the XIXth century, they still conserve some square and round towers and part of their perimeter bordering the oblong hill on which the old part is based. Béjar was a royal place, but with Enrique III, in 1396, it passed to the lordship of Diego López de Zúñiga or Estúñiga, whose successors will hold the title of ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Béjar, Spain

Íllora Castle

In the center of the village Íllora, at the top of a rock, there are the ruins of the old castle, although there are hardly any remains of the walls. This castle dates from the Caliphate period (9th-10th centuries) and is structured in three areas: the villa, the citadel and the suburb. Associated to that castle, there are a series of optical towers, among which the Tower of Brácana stands out.
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Íllora, Spain

Castillo de los Duques de Alba

Castle of the Dukes of Alba was founded in the 12th century when King Ferdinand II of León ordered to build a simple watchtower. In the 13th century, King Sancho IV of Castile converted the primitive tower into a castle. It was devastated by the battles of the time of King Henry IV of Castile but later rebuilt and converted it into a private palace. In its interior you can visit several rooms, such as the on ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Alba de Tormes, Spain

Gormaz Castle

Gormaz was the largest fortress in Europe after its expansion in 956 AD. It is without a doubt the greatest example of military architecture, not only in Soria but in the entire Spanish territory. The original castle was built shortly after 756 AD by emir Abd ar-Rahman I of Córdoba, as part of a state ('dawla') policy to control rich landowners and peasants, as well as to try to govern and protect the Centra ...
Founded: c. 756 AD | Location: Soria, Spain

Baena Castle

The first documents of Baena Castle date at the beginning of the 9th century (890), during the reign of Emir Ahdullah, whose Governor in Regio since 889 had been Omar Ben Hafsum who rebelled and took Baena in 891. In 1228, the governor of Fernando III in Baeza attacked the castle, belonging then to Seville. Subsequently the castle was attacked by Mohamed, the king of Granada, 1297. In July 1320 a peace treaty was signed ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Baena, Spain

Sant Antoni Castle

The Sant Antoni Castle is located in the Spanish village of Fornells, in the municipality of Es Mercadal. It was built in the 17th century in the local harbour and due to this building, the town was born. Only some ruins are left from the structure, as it was dismantled by the Spanish after the British domination, just like St. Philip"s Castle. Not far from there, there is the Fornells Tower, a defensive tower ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Es Mercadal, Spain

Jimena de la Frontera Castle

Jimena de la Frontera castle was originally built by the Grenadian Moors of the Umayyad Caliphate ruling over the area of Hispania Baetica (modern Andalusia) in the 8th Century. It served as one of many castles guarding both the approach to the fortifications around Gibraltar and the Bay of Algeciras where the strategic and important Moorish stronghold and fortress of Algeciras was located. The fortress was likely built ...
Founded: 8th century AD | Location: Jimena de la Frontera, Spain

Aguilar de Campoo Castle

The walls and the castle of the Manrique family in Aguilar de Campoo were built in the 15th century on a previous structure.The castle was erected on top of a Celt-Iberian vernacular structure and became an important fortress in the 12th century.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Aguilar de Campoo, Spain

Cabra Castle

The Castle of Cabra was raised, within the walled enclosure  in the North West of the present town, on a spot high enough to overlook the whole town. It is said that it had a central square surrounded by a strong wall with eighteen towers where eight or ten thousand men could march. At present, most of what remains, it is enclosed within the constructions of the present School of the Escolapias. Among the constructions ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Cabra, Spain

Adrada Castle

Adrada Castle is built with granite masonry combined with brick, obeying the wish of don Álvaro de Luna. It was built in the 14th century on a Gothic church, and in the 16th century the keep tower was arisen and built a great cube for the gunner. After that, the castle was transformed into arcaded Renaissance palace, according to the Spanish use.
Founded: 14th century | Location: La Adrada, Spain

Arévalo Castle

Arévalo castle was built in the 14th century and reformed during the 15th and 16th centuries. It has a pentagonal ground plan and a large Tower of Homage. Inside there is a Cereal Museum. King Pedro I, the Cruel, locked his wife Blanca de Borbón in the castle. Juan II and Enrique IV possessed it, the latter handed it to don Álvaro de Zúñiga; between 1476 and 1480, Zúñiga and the Catholic Monarchs negotiated a comp ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Arévalo, Spain

Grajal de Campos Castle

Begun in the 16th century by Hernando de Vega over remains of a 10th century castle, the Grajal de Campos Castle was finished by his son Juan de Vega y Acuna, count of Grajal. Designed to withstand the use of artillery the castle has sloped walls and its overall height is lower than those of earlier castles, making it difficult and hard to target by cannon fire. The Grajal de Campos Castle has a square plan with f ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Grajal de Campos, Spain

Alaro Castle

Alaro castle is perched on top a rocky mountain above the town in the west of Mallorca. A popular walk from the town (or further up the hill if you prefer to drive) takes you to a ruined castle and hilltop chapel offering spectacular views of the Tramuntana mountains and over towards Palma and all the way to the sea. A castle has stood on this site since Moorish times; it was so impregnable that the Arab commander was ab ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Alaró, Spain

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Ängsö Castle

Ängsö Castle was first named as "Engsev" in a royal charter by king Canute I of Sweden (r. 1167-1196), in which he stated that he had inherited the property after his father Eric IX of Sweden. Until 1272, it was owned by the Riseberga Abbey, and then taken over by Gregers Birgersson.

From 1475 until 1710, it was owned by the Sparre family. The current castle was built as a fortress by riksråd Bengt Fadersson Sparre in the 1480s. In 1522, Ängsö Castle was taken after a siege by king Gustav Vasa, since its owner, Fadersson's son Knut Bengtsson, sided with Christian II of Denmark. However, in 1538 it was given by the king to Bengtsson's daughter Hillevi Knutsdotter, who was married to Arvid Trolle.

In 1710, the castle was taken over by Carl Piper and Christina Piper. Ängsö Castle was owned by the Piper family from 1710 until 1971, and is now owned by the Westmanna foundation. The castle building itself was made into a museum in 1959 and was made a listed building in 1965. It is currently opened to visitors during the summers.

The castle is a cubical building in four stores made by stone and bricks. The lower parts is preserved from the middle ages. It was redecorated and expanded in the 1630s. The 4th storey as well as the roof is from the expansion of Carl Hårleman from 1740-41. It gained its current appearance in the 1740s.