Alameda Castle is one of the scarce remains of military architecture from 15th century and one of few castles that have survived over the time and now arises once more after a restoration process and being converted into a museum.
The origin of the castle dates back to the late fourteenth century or the beginnings of the fifteenth century, and is linked to the Zapata family, who were holders of the seigniory which included the villages of Barajas and La Alameda. Its site has great archaeological value as it is a proven location of human settlements since Prehistoric times.
Refurbished during the sixteenth century, when it was transformed into a Renaissance palace, the fortification is one of the few remains of military architecture of that era preserved in the city.
As has happened with other historical buildings, after falling into disuse in the eighteenth century, the castle was used as a source of building materials for the population in the area, which contributed to its great deterioration, particularly noticeable during the nineteenth century. Years later, the enclave resumed its military function, being used as a small stronghold in the Spanish Civil War, when a rifle cache was also built in the area.
The Castle of Barajas ensemble is structured around two premises that include the main body of the building and the space surrounding the barbican. Of a rectangular design and rounded corners, the castle surface barely exceeds 200 square meters. The walls are made of limestone masonry and include the remains of two towers. One of them, the keep tower, has a quadrangular design and lies on the northeastern angle of the castle, while the second one, of a cylindrical layout, lies on the southeastern side. Inside, the castle structure was designed around a courtyard with ancillary rooms, complemented by the said keep tower.
The barbican remains may be found some four meters away around the castle, but only sections of wall fillings half a meter high have been preserved. The ensemble was completed with a moat surrounding the small stronghold; however, only the eastern and western flanks have reached our times.
Next to the castle itself and the prehistoric remains, the historic ensemble is completed by the Guard House, a rifle cache from the Civil War and the pantheon that the Fernán Núñez family built around 1898 and which is still in use.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.