Medieval castles in Andalusia

Aguzaderas Castle

The Castle of Las Aguzaderas is located just outside the town of El Coronil. This curious castle, which appears to have been built by the Moors, was probably erected to defend a spring which was the water source for the fountain of Las Aguzaderas. This area was an intense war zone between the Moors and the Christians during hundreds of years and that made water a precious resource. There is evidence that this castle was ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: El Coronil, Spain

Niebla Castle

The construction of the Niebla Castle started in 1402, when Don Enrique de Guzmán, the second Duke of Medinasidonia and the fourth of Niebla, pulled down the old Moorish Alcázar to build the one we know today. The result was a magnificent royal palace which preserved the most interesting and luxurious parts built by the Arabs, such as the Muslim Tower of Homage. After the works of restoration made in the last few years ...
Founded: 1402 | Location: Niebla, Spain

Tabernas Castle

Castillo de Tabernas is a ruined castle on the outskirts of the municipality of Tabernas. It was built in the 11th century during the time of Arab domination. It is of Moorish style and is situated on top of a hill. When it was built, it occupied the entire hill, though currently only a part is preserved. During the siege of Almeria, Ferdinand and Isabella ensconced themselves in the castle.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Tabernas, Spain

Estepa Castle

Estepa castle was known in the Islamic period as Hisn Istabba, and was taken by Spanish king Fernando III on 15 August 1241. The city walls that still surround the old town on the San Cristóbal hill were first built in the tenth century by the Moors, renovated by Almohad invaders in the twelfth, and again reconstructed when Estepa fell to the Christian Order of Santiago in the thirteenth century. The keep inside the ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Estepa, Spain

Alcalá de Guadaíra Castle

Alcalá de Guadaíra Castle is the result of almost 4,500 years of human history. The older archaeological findings take us to the Bronze Age (2nd millennium BCE), when a small walled village settled down on the East edge of the Hill. The current castle was built during the times of Muslim domination, in the 11th and 12th centuries, although after the Reconquest by Ferdinand III is when it acquired its definitive layou ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Alcalá de Guadaíra, Spain

San Romualdo Castle

Neither the origins nor the date of construction of San Romualdo Castle is certain, although historians are fairly sure that this castle dates back to medieval times. Built in the Mudéjar style, it was first mentioned in 1268. It is thought to have been used as both convent and fortress. The castle was officially declared as a historic monument by the Spanish authorities in 1931 and is easily located near the town centr ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: San Fernando, Spain

Vélez-Málaga Castle

Velez-Malaga’s Alcazaba, or ‘Fortaleza’ as it’s more commonly known, was built in the 10th century. Originally, it was intended not to defend but to subdue the local population, who had traditionally caused a lot of problems for the Moorish rulers. Built on the tallest hill in the immediate area, it was the perfect site from a military point of view, affording long distance views of oncoming enemies and an easily ...
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Vélez-Málaga, Spain

Medina-Sidonia Castle

Medina-Sidonia Castle was originally a Roman castellum, converted in the Moorish castle in the 11th century. The curren castle appearance dates from the 15th century, built by Enrique de Guzmán, 2nd Duke of Medina Sidonia. In was used by as a headquarters of French Army in the war of early 19th century.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Spain, Spain

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

Melgarejo Castle

Melgarejo Castle was built probably in the 14th century. Part of it collapsed in 2018 and the castle ruins were closed.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Arcos de la Frontera, Spain

Carcabuey Castle

The medieval castle of Carcabuey was the object of incursions by Ibn Hafsun at the end of the Emirate, being dominated and demolished by the emir Add-Allah in 892. Conquered by Fernando III, it was rebuilt according to the design of other fortifications, such as those in Fuengirola or Iznájar. From the mid-13th century, it belonged to the Order of Calatrava, until, in 1333, it was conquered by Muhammad IV of Gran ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Carcabuey, 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

Castle of Sancti Petri

Situated on the little island, the defensive Sancti Petri fortification was once one of a series of forts that protected the inlet, Caño de Sancti Petri. Of irregular shape and in the Moorish style, it dates from the 13th century. During the 1st century, the Phoenicians settled on the island, founding a temple dedicated to Melqart, their god. When the Romans arrived they dedicated the temple to Hercules. The castle" ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: San Fernando, Spain

Aguilar de la Frontera Castle

Castillo de Aguilar is known from at least the 9th century. It is mostly in ruin, a part turned into a cistern for the local aqueduct. In the 9th century Aguilar de la Frontera became the headquarters of the rebel Umar ibn Hafsun, who built extensive fortifications and reinforced the castle. However, in 891, Umar ibn Hafsun lost the town to emir Abdallah ibn Muhammad of Córdoba. Due to its strategic position, it was cont ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Aguilar de la Frontera, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Gisselfeld Castle

Gisselfeld, a former monastery, is Denmark's fifth-largest estate. The three-storeyed Renaissance-style building has stepped gables, loopholes and a projecting tower over the main gate. The grounds include a moat, a well-kept park, lake, waterfall, gardens, greenhouse, and a fountain. The estate measures 3,850 hectares, including Hesede, Edelesminde, Brødebæk and Gødstrupgård, of which 2,400 hectares is forest.

Gisselfeld is first mentioned at the end of the 14th century when the owner was Bo Falk. At that time, there was a small manor situated some 2 km northwest of the site of today's main building. It stood next to an older fort, possibly the now demolished Valgestrup. Today's estate was founded by Peder Oxe til Nielstrup who built the manor from 1547 to 1575. It originally consisted of four interconnected red-brick wings, three storeys high with thick outer walls, a number of loopholes and large stepped gables. A protruding gate tower stands at the centre of the left wing. The fourth wing, now demolished, housed a chapel.

After Peder Oxe's death, his widow Mette Rosenkrantz til Vallø became the owner of the estate. After her death in 1588, her niece Karen Banner inherited Gisselfeld. She married Henrik Lykke til Overgaard whose family ran the estate until Kai Lykke was executed and relieved of all his rights in 1661. After a short period of ownership by the Crown, in 1670 the property was presented to Count Hans Schack as a reward for the part he played in the Swedish wars. In 1688, his son Otto Diderik sold the estate to Adam Levin Knuth whose family maintained ownership until 1699 when Christian V's illegitimate son took it over. As a result of his will, on his death in 1703 the manor should have become a convent but this did not happen until the death of his widow Dorothea Krag in 1754. Since 1755, under the name of Danneskiold-Samsøe his descendants have run the estate as 'Gisselfeld Adelige Jomfrukloster I Sjælland' (Gisselfeld Convent in Zealand for Virgins of Noble Birth). The 11th in line, Hele Danneskiold-Samsøe, has run Gisselfeld since 2010.

Today Gisselfeld houses a hotel, restaurant and provides event services.