Arcos de Jalón Castle, dating from the 14th century, stands on the site of an old Arab fortress. It was besieged in the 14th century by the supporters of the Castilian King Pedro I, who fought against the rebel D. Fernán Gómez de Albornoz, supporter of his bastard brother Enrique de Trastamara.
This castle has a rectangular floor plan although it is quite irregular due to the fact that it adapts to the rugged land of a high and narrow hill that divides the town into two parts. A robust keep is attached to the castle walls which are made of thick stonework, horizontal brick rows and ashlar with stonecutter’s marks on the corners. There is only one entrance which is located high up and two loophole windows.
Inside there are remains of the structures that divided the tower, which once was taller, into different floors, and all throughout the perimeter, you can see where the foundation walls began and some towers that reinforced the structure.
This fortress is so unique due to the double-lined brick walls, a technique that mainly had a structural purpose, but has also given the castle beautiful reddish lines between the stonework. This construction method has a clear Mudejar origin which was most likely influenced by the amount of Muslims in the village and in the area of Aragon.References:
The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.
In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.
The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.
A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.