The Archbishop's Palace of Alcalá de Henares is now home to the Diocese of Alcalá de Henares. It is located in the Plaza del Palacio and this form part of the monumental set declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The building set dates from 1209. Two thirds were destroyed as a result of a devastating fire in 1939, during the Spanish Civil War. Is preserved is what is left intact after the 1939 fire, the damaged parts were not restored.
In this building came to reside different Castilian monarchs, were held synods and councils, and in here were born the youngest daughter of the Catholic Monarchs and future queen of England, Catherine of Aragon, and the German Emperor Ferdinand, son of Joanna 'the Mad'. In addition, it is famous for being the place where was performed the first meeting between the Catholic Monarchs and Christopher Columbus.
Currently the palace has 16 towers, highlighting the 'Tower of Tenorio'. Entering through the parade courtyard, appears the Renaissance main facade of the building. It is divided into two bodies, being the low of ashlar, with two floors of Plateresque windows that joins an upper gallery of gemanates arches. On the central window is a Baroque coat of terracotta, which replaced the imperial of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. The blazon is of the Cardinal-Infante Luis Antonio of Bourbon, son of Philip V, first Bourbon replacing the Habsburg dynasty. This courtyard is closed at south by a cast iron grille, made in Belgium in the 19th century.
In the east wing, where was the 'Hall of Councils', was done in the 19th century a major restoration in its exterior and interior by Juan José Urquijo y Manuel Laredo, following the Neo-Mudéjar style. In 1997 was opened the restored neo-Gothic chapel that replaces the missing Hall of Councils. In the lower floor has made a modern auditorium, replacing the 'Hall of the Queen Isabella'.References:
Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.
Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.
Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.
The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.
During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.
The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.
From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.
The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.
Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.