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:
Hluboká Castle (Schloss Frauenberg) is considered one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic. In the second half of the 13th century, a Gothic castle was built at the site. During its history, the castle was rebuilt several times. It was first expanded during the Renaissance period, then rebuilt into a Baroque castle at the order of Adam Franz von Schwarzenberg in the beginning of the 18th century. It reached its current appearance during the 19th century, when Johann Adolf II von Schwarzenberg ordered the reconstruction of the castle in the romantic style of England's Windsor Castle.
The Schwarzenbergs lived in Hluboká until the end of 1939, when the last owner (Adolph Schwarzenberg) emigrated overseas to escape from the Nazis. The Schwarzenbergs lost all of their Czech property through a special legislative Act, the Lex Schwarzenberg, in 1947.
The original royal castle of Přemysl Otakar II from the second half of the 13th century was rebuilt at the end of the 16th century by the Lords of Hradec. It received its present appearance under Count Jan Adam of Schwarzenberg. According to the English Windsor example, architects Franz Beer and F. Deworetzky built a Romantic Neo-Gothic chateau, surrounded by a 1.9 square kilometres English park here in the years 1841 to 1871. In 1940, the castle was seized from the last owner, Adolph Schwarzenberg by the Gestapo and confiscated by the government of Czechoslovakia after the end of World War II. The castle is open to public. There is a winter garden and riding-hall where the Southern Bohemian gallery exhibitions have been housed since 1956.