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:
The Petersberg Citadel is one of the largest extant early-modern citadels in Europe and covers the whole north-western part of the Erfurt city centre. It was built after 1665 on Petersberg hill and was in military use until 1963. It dates from a time when Erfurt was ruled by the Electors of Mainz and is a unique example of the European style of fortress construction. Beneath the citadel is an underground maze of passageways that can be visited on guided tours organised by Erfurt Tourist Office.
The citadel was originally built on the site of a medieval Benedictine Monastery and the earliest parts of the complex date from the 12th century. Erfurt has also been ruled by Sweden, Prussia, Napoleon, the German Empire, the Nazis, and post-World War II Soviet occupying forces, and it was part of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). All of these regimes used Petersberg Citadel and had an influence on its development. The baroque fortress was in military use until 1963. Since German reunification in 1990, the citadel has undergone significant restoration and it is now open to the public as a historic site.