Castles in Nouvelle-Aquitaine

Château de Gramont

Château de Gramont was first mentioned in 1329, belonging to the lords of Gramont. The medieval castle was destroyed in 1523 by the troops of Charles V of Spain and reuilt later with Renaissance additions. The gardens and terraces date from the 17th century. In 1793 , the castle and its outbuildings were confiscated to the Nation and a military hospital was installed there for a few months. The building was empty whe ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Bidache, France

Château d'Urtubie

Château d"Urtubie still belongs to the same family since its construction in 1341. Additions and improvements were carried out in the 16th and 18th centuries and the castle is today a historic monument, furnished and decorated with refinement . The stones of Urtubie tell six centuries of history of the Basque Country . King Louis XI sejourned in the castle in 1463 and Louis XIV raised the domain to the status of vi ...
Founded: 1341 | Location: Urrugne, France

Château de Mauléon

Château de Mauléon was first built in the 11th century. The wooden building was replaced in the 13th century by the strongest castle of area in a strategic location on the road to Spain. Later it was conquered by English army. In 1642 the castle is demolished by order of Louis XIII. In 1648 a partial reconstruction was organized but the castle was finally left abandoned. During the French Revolution it was a pris ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Mauléon-Licharre, France

Château de Blanquefort

Château de Blanquefort is a ruined castle standing on a spur overlooking the Briolance valley. In the ninth century, a first fortification was built. The white stone gave the fort the name 'White Fort', in Latin Blanca Fortis, which evolved into the modern name Blanquefort. During the Plantagenet holding of Aquitaine, the fortifications were expanded into a royal fortress at the end of the thirteenth century b ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Blanquefort, France

Château de Curton

Château de Curton is a castle and a Bordeaux winery producing wines classified as Bordeaux AOC. The castle is situated on the edge of the town of Tizac-Curton, which takes its name from the first Seigneurs (lords) of Curton. The earliest member of the Curton family documented in official texts is Raimond de Curton appearing in the 11th century, appearing as a Lord from the beginning of the 12th century. From the end of ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Daignac, France

Château de la Trave

Arnaud-Bernard de Preyssac built the Château de la Trave in the early 14th century. It was destroyed in 1456 by the order of Charles VII of France.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Préchac, France

Château de Benauge

Château de Benauge is a medieval fortress in the commune of Arbis. It has been a stately home of the viscounts and earls of Benauges and the viscounts of Bezaume since at least the 13th century. It is one of the most impressive medieval castles in Gironde.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Arbis, France

Château de Carles

Château de Carles was originally laid during the course of the Hundred Years’ War and the building took its current appearance in the early 15th century. It was owned by the De Carle family. In the 17th century, Château de Carles became a beacon for thinkers and literary figures, but was sold as property of the nation during the Revolution, following which many of its buildings were demolished and the estate was reduc ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Saillans, France

Château de la Mothe-Gajac

Château de la Mothe-Gajac was first mentioned in 1289, but the current square form castle with corner towers was rebuilt after the Hundred Years" War. 
Founded: 15th century | Location: Saint-Médard-en-Jalles, France

Château d’Eck

Built in the late 11th century, Château d’Eck, is located in the commune of Cadaujac. It is one of the most beautiful medieval châteaux in the Bordeaux area. Flanked by four towers and an outer wall several metres tall, it also features admirable machicolations and loopholes. King William VIII of England established the reputation of its wines. His son, Edward, gave the château to the Church in 1287. The Bishops of B ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Cadaujac, France

Château de Guilleragues

The Château de Guilleragues is a medieval, previously ruined but restored castle in the commune of Saint-Sulpice-de-Guilleragues. This early 14th-century castle, built at the side of a small valley, consists of a long rectangular building, composed of a fortified house flanked by two towers and two watchtowers at either extremity of an annexe of the same height, from 1564. The lower court and the common buildings i ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Saint-Sulpice-de-Guilleragues, France

Château des Tours

The Château des Tours was built in the 14th century. At that time it had three towers: one had a polygonal interior and was the dungeon, and the others were circular flanking an oblong building on the east and west corners of its south face; then, at the same corners on the north face, there are sentry boxes with Corbels. The oldest part is in the south of the present castle and is also a little higher. North of the ori ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Montagne, France

Château de Belzunce

The Château de Belzunce is a ruined castle in the commune of Ayherre. Its construction dates from the 13th, 14th and 16th centuries The castle has a trapezoidal plan flanked by four towers, representing two periods of construction, the Middle Ages and the 16th century. During the 16th century, it was redeveloped and finally ruined. During the French Revolution, it was sold as national property. It appears to have b ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Ayherre, France

Château de Caumale

The Château de Caumale is a castle in Escalans It was completed in the 12th century. The two lower towers date from that time, other were erected in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Escalans, France

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Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.