Medieval castles in Castile and León

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

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

Corullón Castle

Corullón Castle dates from 15th century. Its tower was copied to build a similar one in Tuscany (Italy). Today, the tower and the surrounding ruins are still preserved. The best place which has been preserved is the Tower of Homage. On its entry point, two armorial bearings mark both houses, Osorio´s House and Valcarce´s House. It is a squared tower with three storeys, separated by imposts, battlements, modillions, me ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Corullón, 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

Serón de Nágima Castle

The Raya or frontier between the kingdoms of Castile and Aragón was fortified with a system of castles and walled-cities that were useful during the several conflicts that took place in the late Middle Ages. The Serón de Nágima castle defended the communication road between the axis of the Jalón river valley, which flows into the Ebro, and Duero valley. Its uniqueness stems from the fact that it is one of the few for ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Serón de Nágima, Spain

Cabrejas del Pinar Castle

The walled medieval town of Cabrejas del Pinar was the leader of its Community of Burgs and Land and there are some traces left of the walled enclosure and fortress that protected the locals. The castle was built in stone on top of a high rock possibly between the 13th and 14th century. Some of the walls, doors and the keep are still visible which helps understand how the fortress’ layout once was. The quadrangular kee ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Cabrejas del Pinar, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Trinity Sergius Lavra

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. It is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, was founded in 1337 by the monk Sergius of Radonezh. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.

Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established. The whole complex was erected according to the architectural concept of the main church, the Trinity Cathedral (1422), where the relics of St. Sergius may be seen.

In 1476 Pskovian masters built a brick belfry east of the cathedral dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The church combines unique features of early Muscovite and Pskovian architecture. A remarkable feature of this church is a bell tower under its dome without internal interconnection between the belfry and the cathedral itself.

The Cathedral of the Assumption, echoing the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin, was erected between 1559 and 1585. The frescoes of the Assumption Cathedral were painted in 1684. At the north-western corner of the Cathedral, on the site of the western porch, in 1780 a vault containing burials of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family was built.

In the 16th century the monastery was surrounded by 6 meters high and 3,5 meters thick defensive walls, which proved their worth during the 16-month siege by  Polish-Lithuanian invaders during the Time of Trouble. They were later strengthened and expanded.

After the Upheaval of the 17th century a large-scale building programme was launched. At this time new buildings were erected in the north-western part of the monastery, including infirmaries topped with a tented church dedicated to Saints Zosima and Sawatiy of Solovki (1635-1637). Few such churches are still preserved, so this tented church with a unique tiled roof is an important contribution to the Lavra.

In the late 17th century a number of new buildings in Naryshkin (Moscow) Baroque style were added to the monastery.

Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style. At this time one of the tallest Russian belfries (88 meters high) was built.

In the late 18th century, when many church lands were secularized, the chaotic planning of the settlements and suburbs around the monastery was replaced by a regular layout of the streets and quarters. The town of Sergiev Posad was surrounded by traditional ramparts and walls. In the vicinity of the monastery a number of buildings belonging to it were erected: a stable yard, hotels, a hospice, a poorhouse, as well as guest and merchant houses. Major highways leading to the monastery were straightened and marked by establishing entry squares, the overall urban development being oriented towards the centrepiece - the Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra.

In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.