Medieval castles in Castile and León

Haza Castle

The defensive system of Haza is set throughout the Middle Ages. Its origin is at an advanced point of the high medieval period to begin a phase of destruction and deterioration in the 16th and 17th centuries, process that has accelerated in the last two centuries. The fortified complex of Haza is integrated by the urban wall, castle and the keep tower.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Haza, 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

Monasterio de Rodilla Castle

The castle of Monasterio de Rodilla was built around 884 AD by Count Diego Porcelos to protect the new territories to be settled. The castle is documented for the first time in 1011. From 1035-1054 the castle was owned by Navarra.
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Monasterio de Rodilla, Spain

Peñaranda de Duero Castle

The castle of Peñaranda de Duero is a well preserved Gothic castle. The castle originally dates from the 10th century but reforms by Counts of Miranda del Castañar in the 15th century changed much of the building. Today the castle stands at the start of a defensive wall that formerly surrounded the town, of which only the crenellated arch of 'Las Monjas' still stands. The castle was an important poi ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Peñaranda de Duero, Spain

Rojas Castle

The castle of the Rojas is located on the top of a hill near the town of Poza de la Sal. At the end of the 9th century Count Diego Rodríguez Porcelos repopulated Poza building the castle for the defense of the new territory. Like other castles of this time it may have been a simple keep surrounded by some walls. In the 14th century Rodriguez de Rojas family rebuilt the current castle. It was occupied in 1808 by Fre ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Poza de la Sal, Spain

Coyanza Castle

This castle held the Coyanza Council in 1050; the old Coyanza was populated and fortified by Fernando II of León in the second half of the 12th century. The current castle was built in the 15th century. It was constructed on the site of older castle that had been erected on the ruins of a fortification dating back to the Iron Age. The castle consists basically of one articulated front with projections, flanked by turret ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Valencia de Don Juan, Spain

Santa Gadea del Cid Castle

The small and picturesque town of Santa Gadea del Cid grew around its castle built in the 11th century and reformed in the 15th century by Pedro López de los Manrique.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Santa Gadea del Cid, Spain

Sotopalacios Castle

Sotopalacios castle, dating from the 14th century, is a rectangular in shape, with square turrets in the corners. It contains palatial rooms around a courtyard. One of the largest and better preserved castles in the province of Burgos, thanks to the restoration works the owner has carried out over the years.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Merindad de Río Ubierna, Spain

Torregalindo Castle Ruins

Torregalindo castle was mentioned first time in 11th centur when Kingdom of Castile populated the area. Today it lies in ruins above the village.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Torregalindo, Spain

Cuéllar Castle

Cuéllar Castle is conserved in good condition, and it has been built in different architectural styles between the 13th and 18th century. Much of the castle in the Gothic and Renaissance styles. The military building was extended and transformed in the 16th century, turning it into the palace of the Duke of Alburquerque. Among its historical owners, stands out Álvaro de Luna and Beltrán de la Cueva, as well as t ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Cuéllar, Spain

Úrbel Castle

El Castillo de Úrbel is located on a steep hill. The current remains date back to the 15th century and were built by the Zúñiga family. Originally castle was built in the 11th century.  
Founded: 15th century | Location: Urbel del Castillo, Spain

Castilnovo Castle

Built in the 12th century in mudejar style, the Castilnovo castle is conserved in good condition. It has a rectangular plan, with six round and square towers. It was rebuilt in the 14th - 16th centuries and again between the 19th and the 20th centuries. The present castle is thought to have been built on a previous structure, probably a small fortress. Trapezoid ground plan, with six round and rectangular turrets of br ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Condado de Castilnovo, Spain

Coca Castle

Magnificent Coca Castle was built in the 15th century by Alonso de Fonseca, a mighty archbishop of Seville, during the reign of King Enrique IV of Castile. It"s made up of two square baileys separated by a passageway. Both show polygonal towers at the corners. The double walls are 2.5 m thick and it"s circled by a deep dry moat. Coca castle is a mixture of western and Moorish military architecture, as can be s ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Coca, Spain

Pedraza Castle

Pedraza Castle dates from the 13th century and it was rebuilt in the 15th century by García Herrera and again in the early 16th century by the Dukes of Frías. Poligonal ground plan, double enclosure, with cues and square turrets, plus an artificial moat excavated in the rock. The castle uses part of the wall and preserves the remains of one front, with Romanesque elements. The tower that serves as the tower of homa ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Pedraza, Spain

Turégano Castle

The Castle of Turégano was founded on the site of a pre-existing Arabian fortress. Its structure is integrated into the adjacent church of San Miguel, completed in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Turégano, Spain

Alcázar de Toro

Although the origins of Alcázar de Toro castle date back to the 10th century, its current construction dates from the 15th century. Witness of important historical events, the Alcazar de Toro is one of the main buildings of the city. After the división of León and Castile in the mid-12th century, Toro remained in the kingdom of León. In 1199 Alfonso 9th married Doña Berenguela and between 1188 and 1195 he started t ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Toro, Spain

Cornatel Castle

The history of Cornatel castle dates back to the 9th century, although it was built on the site of ancient Roman remains. In 1211 Alfonso IX of León donated to the area to Knight Templars who rebuilt the castle. Subsequently it was owned by the Duke of Lemos. The castle is accessed by bordering the western section between the walls and the impressive cliff at the foot of the castle. Inside, exhibitions are held periodi ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Priaranza del Bierzo, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Goseck Circle

The Goseck circle is a Neolithic circle structure. It may be the oldest and best known of the Circular Enclosures associated with the Central European Neolithic. It also may be one of the oldest Solar observatories in the world. It consists of a set of concentric ditches 75 metres across and two palisade rings containing gates in places aligned with sunrise and sunset on the solstice days.

Its construction is dated to c. 4900 BC, and it seems to have remained in use until 4600 BC. This corresponds to the transitional phase between the Neolithic Linear Pottery and Stroke-ornamented ware cultures. It is one of a larger group of so-called Circular Enclosures in the Elbe and Danube region, most of which show similar alignments.

Excavators also found the remains of what may have been ritual fires, animal and human bones, and a headless skeleton near the southeastern gate, that could be interpreted as traces of human sacrifice or specific burial ritual. There is no sign of fire or of other destruction, so why the site was abandoned is unknown. Later villagers built a defensive moat following the ditches of the old enclosure.

The Goseck ring is one of the best preserved and extensively investigated of the many similar structures built at around the same time. Traces of the original configuration reveal that the Goseck ring consisted of four concentric circles, a mound, a ditch, and two wooden palisades. The palisades had three sets of gates facing southeast, southwest, and north. At the winter solstice, observers at the center would have seen the sun rise and set through the southeast and southwest gates.

Archaeologists generally agree that Goseck circle was used for observation of the course of the Sun in the course of the solar year. Together with calendar calculations, it allowed coordinating an easily judged lunar calendar with the more demanding measurements of a solar calendar.