Medieval castles in Basque Country

Castle of Charles V

The Castle of Charles V is located in the strategic area of Hondarribia, at its highest point. It still conserves the structure of a medieval fortress and its defensive appearance. It was built in the 10th century by King Sancho Abarca of Navarre, although it was subsequently reformed by Emperor Charles V. The building served as both a castle and a palace, both connected by an interior courtyard. The castle had a square f ...
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Hondarribia, Spain

Tower of Varona

The Tower of Varona (Torre de los Varona) is a tower located in Villanañe, Valdegovia. The origin of this tower dates back to the end of the 14th or start of the 15th century. The surname Varona dates back to the 7th century and came into being with Doña María Ruiz Pérez. From then until the present day, the tower has been inhabited by her direct descendants. The whole building has been restored by the Provincial Cou ...
Founded: c. 1400 | Location: Valdegovía, Spain

Tower of Mendoza

The Tower of Mendoza is strategically located between the roads of Old Castile and the Ebro river. The Mendoza"s entered to the service of the kingdom of Castile during the reign of Alfonso XI (1312-1350). Álava is one of the Basque territories incorporated into the Castilian monarchy with jurisdictions. Before the Mendoza"s went to Castile, Álava was a battlefield, in which the lordly families resolved th ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

Muñatones Castle

Muñatones Castle was the culmination of a long construction process lasting from the 14th to the 15th centuries, amid the ferocious factional wars that ravaged Enkarterri. It is without adoubt one of the finest examples of the region’s architectural heritage and has been designated a landmark. Mighty nobleman Don Lope García de Salazar was born in the castle, where he wrote the first history book on the Biscayan ...
Founded: 1339 | Location: Muskiz, Spain

Tower of Guevara

The Tower-palace of Guevara was built in the late 13th or early 14th century by local Guevara noble family. Today one of four original towers exists.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Barrundia, Spain

Castillo de Lanos

Castillo de Lanos was probably built in the 12th century. Little is known about its origins, but Sancho IV of Castile conquered it.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Ocio, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Caerleon Roman Amphitheatre

Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.

Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.

Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.