Gormaz Castle

Soria, Spain

Gormaz was the largest fortress in Europe after its expansion in 956 AD. It is without a doubt the greatest example of military architecture, not only in Soria but in the entire Spanish territory. The original castle was built shortly after 756 AD by emir Abd ar-Rahman I of Córdoba, as part of a state ('dawla') policy to control rich landowners and peasants, as well as to try to govern and protect the Central Marches in the Douro Valley against the Christians to the North. In 965, Caliph al-Hakem II rebuilt and expanded the castle, as attested by an inscription over one of the gates.

The castle is more than 390 metres long though only 10-40 metres wide, has 28 towers, a main gate with a monumental horseshoe arch with remains of painted red and white voussoirs, two posterns, one of which with a small horseshoe arch, three mihrabs corresponding to a 'musalla' or open air collective oratory, use of 'spoliae' of the Roman period, and the remains of a water pool near the monumental gate mentioned before. It was repaired in the 14th century, from which time date the remains of two gates on the southern side.

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Camino al Castillo, Soria, Spain
See all sites in Soria

Details

Founded: c. 756 AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in Spain

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

ken_kramer Kramer (2 years ago)
If you are into historical sites, then it's definitely worth your time ! This is the largest fortress in Western Europe, with 1,2 km of walls, countless towers , stunning 360 views of the Douro region ! Not many people visit it because of the isolated location, the closest town is Burgo de Osma , approx 15kms. You need to have a personal transport to reach it .
Amy Christensen (3 years ago)
This is an easy castle the tour. It is free and there’s nobody around as a guardian so you can tour it on your own. It’s a huge castle with magnificent views.
Helio Roque (4 years ago)
You go there for the view! The castle, or better tthee Fort size also impressive and one realises how imponent it must have looked in its prime! But the views around the castle are wonderful! Well worth the visit!
Helen Rickard (4 years ago)
Fabulous views and peace. Loved it.
The ZooKeeper (4 years ago)
The original castle was built shortly after 756 AD by emir Abd ar-Rahman I of Córdoba, as part of a state ("dawla") policy to control rich landowners and peasants, as well as to try to govern and protect the Central Marches in the Douro Valley against the Christians to the North. In 965, Caliph al-Hakem II rebuilt and expanded the castle, as attested by an inscription over one of the gates.
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