Medieval castles in Castile and León

Torrelobatón Castle

Torrelobatón Castle is one of the most important and best-preserved fortresses in Valladolid. In the historical epic film El Cid with Charlton Heston the castle played the role of Vivar, hometown of El Cid. The castle was begun in 1406, when Don Alfonso Enríquez, 1st Admiral of Castile, obtained licence from John II to erect a fortress in Torrelobatón; the only fortification there was a modest stone enclosure surround ...
Founded: 1406 | Location: Torrelobatón, Spain

Trigueros Castle

The history of Trigueros Castle isn"t very well known. It is not built on a strategic position because, although located on a small hill in the village, it is dominated by other higher hills. So, the castle was probably more a fortified residence than a military strength. Also the name of the village church, an older building on a higher hill; Santa Maria del Castillo, seems to indicate that the most suitable place o ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Trigueros del Valle, Spain

Urueña Castle

The Urueña castle was built around the year 1060 by the Castilian monarch Fernando I el Magno (the Great). It is built on the remains of a Roman fort. Overlooking the Tierra de Campos it has always been a strategically important place. Urueña was on the border between the two kingdoms Castilla and León. After many battles the kingdom of Castilla reconquered the castle in the year 1281. The Queen Doña Urraca lived in ...
Founded: 1060 | Location: Urueña, Spain

Villafuerte Castle

Villafuerte Castle was erected in the 15th century, forming pat of the defensive line drawn alongside of the river. Its first lord was García Franco, a Jew who later on converted to Christianity. It might have been built in order to control his properties. Its layout is of the so-called 'tower castle'; an almost square, small enclosure with round towers (with a 3-meter diameter) at 3 corners and the keep at th ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Villafuerte, Spain

Villagarcía de Campos Castle

Villagarcía de Campos Castle was first time mentioned in 1336. In 1810 the castle was ravaged by the French Army during the War of Independence.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Villagarcía de Campos, Spain

Villavellid Castle

Villavellid Castle is located on a little hill next to the village. By its diposition and characteristics it can be dated to the 15th century and it was probably the residence of a nobleman. Its constructor isn"t known although in 1452 a Don Francisco de Almazán, Marquess of Alcañices, was mentioned as the Lord of the village and the owner of a 'strong house'. Its plan is a square with wide walls of ashl ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Villavellid, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Lübeck Cathedral

Lübeck Cathedral is a large brick-built Lutheran cathedral in Lübeck, Germany and part of the Lübeck UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1173 Henry the Lion founded the cathedral to serve the Diocese of Lübeck, after the transfer in 1160 of the bishop's seat from Oldenburg in Holstein under bishop Gerold. The then Romanesque cathedral was completed around 1230, but between 1266 and 1335 it was converted into a Gothic-style building with side-aisles raised to the same height as the main aisle.

On the night of Palm Sunday (28–29 March) 1942 a Royal Air Force bombing raid destroyed a fifth of the town centre. Several bombs fell in the area around the church, causing the eastern vault of the quire to collapse and destroying the altar which dated from 1696. A fire from the neighbouring cathedral museum spread to the truss of the cathedral, and around noon on Palm Sunday the towers collapsed. An Arp Schnitger organ was lost in the flames. Nevertheless, a relatively large portion of the internal fittings was saved, including the cross and almost all of the medieval polyptychs. In 1946 a further collapse, of the gable of the north transept, destroyed the vestibule almost completely.

Reconstruction of the cathedral took several decades, as greater priority was given to the rebuilding of the Marienkirche. Work was completed only in 1982.

The cathedral is unique in that at 105 m, it is shorter than the tallest church in the city. This is the consequence of a power struggle between the church and the guilds.

The 17 m crucifix is the work of the Lübeck artist Bernt Notke. It was commissioned by the bishop of Lübeck, Albert II. Krummendiek, and erected in 1477. The carvings which decorate the rood screen are also by Notke.

Since the war, the famous altar of Hans Memling has been in the medieval collection of the St. Annen Museum, but notable polyptychs remain in the cathedral.

In the funeral chapels of the southern aisle are Baroque-era memorials by the Flemish sculptor Thomas Quellinus.