Medieval castles in Galicia

Sandiás Castle

Probably built in the first half of the 12th century (although some legends say it was built in the 9th century), Sandiás Castle was located over a castrum (Celtic settlement). It participated in the Portugal secession wars (12th century). In 1386 it was assaulted by the duke of Lancaster, pretender to the Castile crown. In the 15th century it was demolished by a popular riot, and rebuilt later. It was a meeting point fo ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Sandiás, Spain

Castroverde Castle

Castroverde Castle was probably built in the 14th century. Today the 20m high tower exists.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Castroverde, Spain

Maside Castle

Maside Castle was built in the 12th century and restored in the 19th century. The well-preserved castle cannot be visited.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Pantón, Spain

Pazo de Tovar Castle

The tower of Pazo de Tovar was erected in the late 13th century. D. Antonio de Tovar constructed the residential castle around in the early 1500s. Today it hosts exhibitions.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Santo Adrao de Lourenzá, Spain

Mens Castle

Torres de Mens was built in the 15th century by the Moscoso family. The castle consists of an L-shaped domestic building surrounded by a circular enclosure, and it is protected by 3 square towers. Entrance to the inner yard is made through a pointed arch gate in one of the towers. Torres de Mens Castle is a private property, and only its exterior can be visited.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Mens, Spain

Tebra Castle

Tebra Castle is sited in the Tomiño valley. The river Tebra, tributary of the Miño, flows through this valley. Alonso Gómez Churruchao was the owner in 1345, but Pedro Álvarez de Soutomaior took possession of the Castle in 1468. Between 1481 and 1486, Don Fernando de Acuña, on behalf of the Catholic Monarchs, (Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile), destroyed the castle and later it belonged to Alvaro Suar ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Tomiño, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kirkjubøargarður

Kirkjubøargarður ('Yard of Kirkjubøur', also known as King"s Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses of the world. The farm itself has always been the largest in the Faroe Islands. The old farmhouse dates back to the 11th century. It was the episcopal residence and seminary of the Diocese of the Faroe Islands, from about 1100. Sverre I of Norway (1151–1202), grew up here and went to the priest school. The legend says, that the wood for the block houses came as driftwood from Norway and was accurately bundled and numbered, just for being set up. Note, that there is no forest in the Faroes and wood is a very valuable material. Many such wood legends are thus to be found in Faroese history.

The oldest part is a so-called roykstova (reek parlour, or smoke room). Perhaps it was moved one day, because it does not fit to its foundation. Another ancient room is the loftstovan (loft room). It is supposed that Bishop Erlendur wrote the 'Sheep Letter' here in 1298. This is the earliest document of the Faroes we know today. It is the statute concerning sheep breeding on the Faroes. Today the room is the farm"s library. The stórastovan (large room) is from a much later date, being built in 1772.

Though the farmhouse is a museum, the 17th generation of the Patursson Family, which has occupied it since 1550, is still living here. Shortly after the Reformation in the Faroe Islands in 1538, all the real estate of the Catholic Church was seized by the King of Denmark. This was about half of the land in the Faroes, and since then called King"s Land (kongsjørð). The largest piece of King"s Land was the farm in Kirkjubøur due to the above-mentioned Episcopal residence. This land is today owned by the Faroese government, and the Paturssons are tenants from generation to generation. It is always the oldest son, who becomes King"s Farmer, and in contrast to the privately owned land, the King"s Land is never divided between the sons.

The farm holds sheep, cattle and some horses. It is possible to get a coffee here and buy fresh mutton and beef directly from the farmer. In the winter season there is also hare hunting for the locals. Groups can rent the roykstovan for festivities and will be served original Faroese cuisine.

Other famous buildings directly by the farmhouse are the Magnus Cathedral and the Saint Olav"s Church, which also date back to the mediaeval period. All three together represent the Faroe Island"s most interesting historical site.