Medinaceli Castle

Medinaceli, Spain

Medinaceli Castle was built in the 9th century and rebuilt in the 15th century. There aren’t many remains left of this castle which was of great importance during the Middle Ages. According to legends, inside the castle, which is now completely restored, there was an Arabic citadel where Al-Mansur was buried after being defeated and killed in the Battle of Calatañazor in 1002, although, there aren’t any remains of this citadel.

The strategic situation of Medinaceli, in the middle of the Jalón River valley, the natural passageway between Aragon and the Castilian Plateau, turned it into a key battleground between Muslims and Christians. Legend has it that Al-Mansur, the “Invincible” died here and was buried “in the depths of hell”. El Cid took over the city, which was under Muslim domain, and was lucky enough that there was an exceptional chronicler that immortalised him in art form. According to Menéndez Vidal, one of the minstrels of Cantar del Mío Cid was from Medinaceli or from this region.



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Founded: 15th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Spain


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User Reviews

Javier Rodríguez (2 years ago)
We could only see it from the outside, as it was closed at the time we went. They are the remains of a 9th century castle. From the little that could be seen of the interior, I believe that there were tombs and that therefore it functions as the town's cemetery. The landscape from outside is wonderful.
Juan Salas (2 years ago)
Although there are remains of other previous constructions on the site, it is possible that it is of Arab origin. This castle was built by order of Abd-al-Rahman III in the 10th century to stop the Christian advance. The Arabs made Medinaceli the headquarters of their raids along the Duero. Its leader, Almanzor, wounded in the battle of Calatatañazor, died on the way to Medinaceli in 1002, and tradition indicates that he is buried there. It is very well preserved and restored and inside it houses the town's cemetery.
Tau 19 (2 years ago)
Me ha llamado la atención que dentro esté el cementerio. La reconstrucción está genial. Muy recomendable la visita a Medinaceli porque el pueblo es precioso y sus habitantes son súper amables
Eduardo Labrador (2 years ago)
The castle, although sober, is beautiful from the outside with its mixture of Christian and Muslim towers, in a fantastic setting. Note that the Interior cannot be visited as it is the municipal cemetery.
J L Rodríguez (2 years ago)
Remains of the consolidated castle from the 9th century. Just the outside. The interior is used as a village cemetery, which cannot be visited. It is believed that Almanzor died here, although his tomb has not been found. Privileged view on both sides of the castle. Poor access for people with reduced mobility, wheelchairs or carts.
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