Pedraza Castle

Pedraza, Spain

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 homage uses a different bonding that the rest of the castle. It used to be owned by the Herrera and the Velasco (Dukes of Frías) families. The sons of the king of France, Frans I, were kept hostage in this castle in the 16th century.


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Calle Mayor 22, Pedraza, Spain
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Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Spain


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Donny M (5 months ago)
Amazing location. captivating town, Amazing Castle
Duncan Parsons (6 months ago)
The Castle is open Wednesday to Sunday, 7€ per person. We did not visit as it was closed but would not have bothered anyway. We first visited Pedraza 26 years ago and returned for this, our fourth visit, for the town, not the Castle. It is little changed. The Plaza Major has a lovely bar and prices reflecting Pedraza's popularity with the Madrilenos and its tourist appeal. It has several restuarants and bars. The back streets are well worth a wander. There is a fine artist, Rafael Sanchez Munoz, located in the town with some lovely works to admire and buy, some reasonably priced. The former jail can be visited.... again, at a price....but perhaps understandably, given that it is deemed one of the best preserved medieval prisons in Spain.There is a one way system into the town along narrow streets so what might appear a potential concern is not, though anything larger than a car will be a tight fit. Enjoy the storks if you are there in May. We watched one feeding it's young, its nest perched on a tall tower. They also nest on parts of the castle.Visit the Casa del Aquila Imperial, an information centre with much to offer and excellent and informative displays. Don't miss it out when visiting. It is on the outskirts of the town.
John Bristol (13 months ago)
Beautifully set out on the crest of a low hill on the edge of Pedraza village. Imposing facade with a false? moat on one side. Well preserved and interesting to visit, together with the village itself. Closed on Mondays.
Antina Hekkenberg (4 years ago)
Nice castle. Only tours in Spanish.
ChiChi W (4 years ago)
The castle was closed so we couldn't enter to visit but the views around here are quite pretty.
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The Château de Foix dominates the town of Foix. An important tourist site, it is known as a centre of the Cathars. Built on an older 7th-century fortification, the castle is known from 987. In 1002, it was mentioned in the will of Roger I, Count of Carcassonne, who bequeathed the fortress to his youngest child, Bernard. In effect, the family ruling over the region were installed here which allowed them to control access to the upper Ariège valley and to keep surveillance from this strategic point over the lower land, protected behind impregnable walls.

In 1034, the castle became capital of the County of Foix and played a decisive role in medieval military history. During the two following centuries, the castle was home to Counts with shining personalities who became the soul of the Occitan resistance during the crusade against the Albigensians. The county became a privileged refuge for persecuted Cathars.

The castle, often besieged (notably by Simon de Montfort in 1211 and 1212), resisted assault and was only taken once, in 1486, thanks to treachery during the war between two branches of the Foix family.

From the 14th century, the Counts of Foix spent less and less time in the uncomfortable castle, preferring the Governors' Palace. From 1479, the Counts of Foix became Kings of Navarre and the last of them, made Henri IV of France, annexed his Pyrrenean lands to France.

As seat of the Governor of the Foix region from the 15th century, the castle continued to ensure the defence of the area, notably during the Wars of Religion. Alone of all the castles in the region, it was exempted from the destruction orders of Richelieu (1632-1638).

Until the Revolution, the fortress remained a garrison. Its life was brightened with grand receptions for its governors, including the Count of Tréville, captain of musketeers under Louis XIII and Marshal Philippe Henri de Ségur, one of Louis XVI's ministers. The Round Tower, built in the 15th century, is the most recent, the two square towers having been built before the 11th century. They served as a political and civil prison for four centuries until 1862.

Since 1930, the castle has housed the collections of the Ariège départemental museum. Sections on prehistory, Gallo-Roman and mediaeval archaeology tell the history of Ariège from ancient times. Currently, the museum is rearranging exhibits to concentrate on the history of the castle site so as to recreate the life of Foix at the time of the Counts.