Casimir III the Great erected a castle in Ko³o – most likely prior to the founding of the city – as part of an overall enterprise of strengthening the boundaries of the realm. Ko³o castle was mainly intended to protect central Wielkopolska from attacks by the Teutonic Knights. The fortified city played a vital strategic role for some 200 years.
It was established as a 55 m x 40 m rectangle, made of brick with stone foundations, with its longer side arranged on a north-east, south-west axis and enclosed by high crenellated walls.
The castle slowly fell into decay from around the mid-16th century. This was mainly brought about by changes to the defence system after the invention of firearms and artillery.
The entire length of south-west line of walls to a height of 4 m (supported by abutments), fragments of the walls of the short sides of the foundation, and the tower are all that remain of the onetime castle. The north-west section of walls, on the Warta side, have collapsed due to the foundations having been eroded by the flooding of the river.References:
The castle of La Iruela, small but astonishing, is located on the top of a steep crag in Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park. From the castle, impressive views of the surrounding area and of the town can be enjoyed.
The keep dates from the Christian era. It has a square base and small dimensions and is located at the highest part of the crag.
There are some other enclosures within the tower that create a small alcázar which is difficult to access.
In a lower area of the castle, protected with defensive remains of rammed earth and irregular masonry, is an old Muslim farmstead.
After a recent restoration, an open-air theater has been built on La Iruela castle enclosure. This theater is a tribute to the Greek and Classic Eras and holds various artistic and cultural shows throughout the year.
The first traces of human activity in La Iruela area are dated from the Copper Age. An intense occupation continued until the Bronze Age.
Originally, La Iruela (like Cazorla) was a modest farmstead. From the 11th century, a wall and a small fortress were built on the hill to protect the farmers.
Around 1231, don Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada, Archbishop of Toledo, conquered La Iruela and made it part of the Adelantamiento de Cazorla. Over the Muslim fortress, the current fortress was built.
Once the military use of the fortress ended, it was used as cemetery.