Medieval castles in Andalusia

Cortegana Castle

The Cortegana Castle is situated on top of a hill. From this elevated position there are beautiful views of the Cortegana town and also of the Natural Park. The Cortegana Castle is the best preserved medieval fortress in the region. The exact foundation date is unknown. Possibly the first castle was erected in the andalusí period, although its present appearance should be put in relation with the military sponsored bt t ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Cortegana, Spain

Álora Castle

Álora"s castle was first built by the Phoenicians and subsequently expanded under Roman rule. In the 5th century the castle was destroyed by the Visigoths. The present Álora Castle was built in the 9th century by the Moorish state of Córdoba during a campaign against the Mozarabic rebel leader Umar ibn Hafsun. Later modifications in the 10th century added two enclosures. The inner enclosure was square and used as ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Álora, Spain

Ardales Castle

Castillo de la Peña was originally a prehistorical settlement, an Iberian fortified village and, very probably, the location of a Roman temple. The current fortification is located here because Omar ben Harfsun conquered the Peña, where originally a representative of the Cordoba state was settled (al-Tayubi) in the year 883 AD. Omar, the leader of the Mozarabic riot in the mountain ranges of Malaga, fortified the Sajra ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Ardales, Spain

Orce Castle

Alcazaba de las Siete Torres ('the castle of seven towers') was built at the beginning of the 11th century, coinciding with the dismemberment of the Caliphate of Córdoba.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Orce, Spain

Castle of Los Zúñiga

Castle of Los Zúñiga was built in the 15th century by D. Pedro de Zuñiga. Its objective was to defend the passage of Barca del Río Piedras. Its structure is rectangular in shape and consists of a wall circuit with seven square towers at the corners and on the front and side canvases. The most important towers are the bell tower and the homage tower. In addition to these towers, there was a second outer low wall, alre ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Cartaya, Spain

Águila Castle

The archaeological remains found near the Águila Castle seem to confirm the presence of a pre-islamic population, maybe from the Roman Age. Apparently in 914 the inhabitants of the fort looked like emirales troops burned the city of Algeciras ships that supported the revolt on Ibn Umar Hafsun, in any case the construction of the castle had to be early to be this hard hit area by Berber rebellions and Mozarabic. The c ...
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Gaucín, Spain

Loja Castle

The Islamic heritage of Loja is still evident in the quarter of the Alcazaba, a Moorish fortress of which most of the walls and towers remain. It was built in the 9th century AD to the site of possible Roman remains.
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Loja, Spain

Bobastro Castle Ruins

Bobastro is the ruins of an old castle in the Province of Málaga. The castle was of Roman origin, but rebuilt by Umar ibn Hafsun during his rebellion against the Caliphate of Cordoba in the 9th century. There had been a structure at the site since Roman times. In 880 AD, Umar ibn Hafsun settled in the ruins of the old castle of Bobastro near Ardales, in which he incited the muwallads and mozarabs to join his cause again ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Ardales, Spain

Lanjarón Castle

The Castle of  Lanjarón, locally known as the Moorish Castle, is a small medieval fortress located a quarter mile from the village. It is dominating on a rocky outcrop, the valley of the Lanjarón River, next to the Salado canyon. It is formed by two enclosures with some small sections of the outer wall. Signs of a tower are preserved; a bastion square, masonry at its bottom and above a adobe. At the south of the comple ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Lanjarón, Spain

Moclín Castle

Moclín Castle was built in the mid-13th century to help defend the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada. It is also known as the Hins Al-Muqlin, (literally the fortress of the two pupils). It was built to mark the frontier between the kingdoms of Granada and Castile. The Castillo de Moclín was continuously besieged during the Hispano-Moorish settlement, falling into the hands of the Catholic Kings in 1486.  The castle is divided ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Moclín, Spain

Moguer Castle

Castillo de Moguer was renovated and enlarged in the 14th century. The oldest record document of castle dates from 1362, but it probably existed already in the Moorish age. The castle was built of mud-based mortar gravel, clay and lime. It is of an imperfect square plan 44 by 45 metres in size, with four towers at the corners. A moat surrounded the castle, as evidenced by written records, but is not currently visible. Ac ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Moguer, Spain

Gérgal Castle

Gérgal Castle was built somewhere during the Late Middle Ages during Muslim rule. By 1492 it had fallen into the hands of the Catholic Monarchs; Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They donated the castle to Alonso de Cárdenas, Grand Master of the Order of Santiago, for outstanding services during the Granada War. During the 16th century it played an important defensive role against the inland ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Gérgal, Spain

Cártama Castle

The Cartama Castle is located in the Monte de la Virgen (Mount of the Virgin), where the Hermitage of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios is also located and where it is possible to be enjoyed some impressive panoramic views. Cártama Castle was built by the Moors in the early Middle Ages. During the Mozarabic revolt of Omar ibn Hafsun, between 881 and 914 AD, Cártama stayed loyal to the Caliphate of Córdoba and the castle ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Cártama, Spain

Hins-Canit Castle

An Arabic Hins-Canit Castle construction begun in the 9th century and completed in the 16th century. This great fortress was one of the most important during the Humar Bem Hafsum uprising and the Christian and Granada wars. Its name can be traced back to the Arabic Hins Cannit or Qanit, which, depending on the author consulted, either means “Canit Castle” or is a reference to the canes that can still be found close t ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Cañete la Real, Spain

Zalia Castle

The Zalia Castle is easily accessed by the road up from La Viñuela Dam address Ventas de Zafarraya-Granada. Although hardly can be seen today due to their state of total ruin, Zalia Castle had an irregural plant of approximately 120m x 150 m. You can still see some towers and remains of the wall between the gorse and scrubland existing around. Zalia Castle had a double walled, both being very irregular. Account outsi ...
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Alcaucín, Spain

Bentomiz Castle

Bentomiz Castle is an ancient Moorish fortress built on a hill near the village of Arenas in the province of Málaga. It sits at a height of 711 metres, and lies to the northeast of Vélez-Málaga. The castle site is thought to have been occupied by the Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans, although it is not clear which parts of the ruins date to which period. Roman baths have been found there. The Arabs built on the existing ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Arenas, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

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Château de Chaumont

The Château de Chaumont was founded in the 10th century by Odo I, Count of Blois. The purpose was to protect his lands from attacks from his feudal rivals, Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou. On his behalf the Norman Gelduin received it, improved it and held it as his own. His great-niece Denise de Fougère, having married Sulpice d'Amboise, passed the château into the Amboise family for five centuries.

Pierre d'Amboise unsuccessfully rebelled against King Louis XI and his property was confiscated, and the castle was dismantled on royal order in 1465. It was later rebuilt by Charles I d'Amboise from 1465–1475 and then finished by his son, Charles II d'Amboise de Chaumont from 1498–1510, with help from his uncle, Cardinal Georges d'Amboise; some Renaissance features were to be seen in buildings that retained their overall medieval appearance. The château was acquired by Catherine de Medici in 1550. There she entertained numerous astrologers, among them Nostradamus. When her husband, Henry II, died in 1559 she forced his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, to exchange Château de Chaumont for Château de Chenonceau which Henry had given to de Poitiers. Diane de Poitiers only lived at Chaumont for a short while.

Later Chaumont has changed hands several times. Paul de Beauvilliers bought the château in 1699, modernized some of its interiors and decorated it with sufficient grandeur to house the duc d'Anjou on his way to become king of Spain in 1700. Monsieur Bertin demolished the north wing to open the house towards the river view in the modern fashion.

In 1750, Jacques-Donatien Le Ray purchased the castle as a country home where he established a glassmaking and pottery factory. He was considered the French "Father of the American Revolution" because he loved America. However, in 1789, the new French Revolutionary Government seized Le Ray's assets, including his beloved Château de Chaumont.

The castle has been classified as a Monument historique since 1840 by the French Ministry of Culture. The Château de Chaumont is currently a museum and every year hosts a Garden Festival from April to October where contemporary garden designers display their work in an English-style garden.