Soria Castle Ruins

Soria, Spain

The city of Soria formed in a valley near the castle that defended the Douro Riverbanks on the border between the Crowns of Aragon and Castile. The city was destroyed towards the end of the 12th century when Sancho of Navarre attacked it, therefore a great defensive wall was built to prevent further destruction. The wall defended a surface of 100 hectares that went from the Douro River up to the pastureland known as “La Dehesa”, and also from the castle up to the hill where you can find the Chapel of El Mirón.

The Sorian wall was destroyed by General Durán at the end of the Spanish Independence War to avoid French troops from entrenching in the castle. This is the reason why there are so few remains of this castle and why we can only see part of the tower and some parts of the defensive walls. From the castle, you can see a 360º view of the city and the bridge that crosses the Douro River, and in the Chapel of San Saturio, you can see frescos depicting the castle as it once was.

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Details

Founded: 12th century
Category: Ruins in Spain

More Information

www.sorianitelaimaginas.com

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Steeve Nicks (8 months ago)
Only popped in to take in the view and get a hot drink. My friend and I did not have a room there. Staff was friendly, but bar service was very slow. The view was nice, the decor adequate, but the lights were off (we came during siesta hours), so it was a bit dark and lacked a warm, welcoming feeling. The prices were decent, but the food menu was not particularly inspiring.
Josh Mendoza (14 months ago)
The hotel is wonderful, the WiFi is superb (each room has a dedicated hotspot). I stayed in a valley facing standard twin room. The balcony can get very warm in the mornings (at least during my mid July stay), so I would suggest lowering the blinds the night before so it keeps it cool. Overall the room was very clean and well kept. The road up to the hotel can be difficult to drive up if your car has low power (14% grade on one side, with rough conditions) but that is well worth the view once you arrive. COVID procedures: The hotel has ample amount of hand sanitizer available, and seals on different items in the room to validate they were cleaned. The TV remote was stored in a sealed pouch so you feel extra comfortable using it during your stay.
Joanna Mendoza (14 months ago)
We booked our rooms here (one double superior and one single) as they were having special pricing after reopening due to Covid-19. We noticed it was not in an historic building as many Paradores, but as we discovered it is located on the top of a hill filled with history and ruins that date back to the Bronze Age. The hotel itself is very nice with large, beautifully appointed rooms. One side has a wonderful view of the Duoro River valley and the other side is a peaceful and quiet view of the park. There are a lot of Covid-19 protocols put into place, several of which are included in my photos. The staff have all been very friendly and helpful. Would highly recommend staying here if you are planning a visit to Soria. You won't be disappointed!
Haari N M (20 months ago)
The hotel is on a mountain and the view is breathtaking. It's also very calm and peaceful. Nice breakfast and good food at the bar. Very nice and friendly staff as well.
Susan Cadwallader (2 years ago)
An amazing hotel, a beautiful location with panoramic views. Our room was very spacious with a lovely terrace overlooking the river. Wonderful breakfast and very friendly staff, we will return.
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Veste Coburg

The Veste Coburg is one of Germany's largest castles. The hill on which the fortress stands was inhabited from the Neolithic to the early Middle Ages according to the results of excavations. The first documentary mention of Coburg occurs in 1056, in a gift by Richeza of Lotharingia. Richeza gave her properties to Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne, to allow the creation of Saalfeld Abbey in 1071. In 1075, a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul is mentioned on the fortified Coberg. This document also refers to a Vogt named Gerhart, implying that the local possessions of the Saalfeld Benedictines were administered from the hill.

A document signed by Pope Honorius II in 1206 refers to a mons coburg, a hill settlement. In the 13th century, the hill overlooked the town of Trufalistat (Coburg's predecessor) and the important trade route from Nuremberg via Erfurt to Leipzig. A document dated from 1225 uses the term schloss (palace) for the first time. At the time, the town was controlled by the Dukes of Merania. They were followed in 1248 by the Counts of Henneberg who ruled Coburg until 1353, save for a period from 1292-1312, when the House of Ascania was in charge.

In 1353, Coburg fell to Friedrich, Markgraf von Meißen of the House of Wettin. His successor, Friedrich der Streitbare was awarded the status of Elector of Saxony in 1423. As a result of the Hussite Wars the fortifications of the Veste were expanded in 1430.

Early modern times through Thirty Years' War

In 1485, in the Partition of Leipzig, Veste Coburg fell to the Ernestine branch of the family. A year later, Elector Friedrich der Weise and Johann der Beständige took over the rule of Coburg. Johann used the Veste as a residence from 1499. In 1506/07, Lucas Cranach the Elder lived and worked in the Veste. From April to October 1530, during the Diet of Augsburg, Martin Luther sought protection at the Veste, as he was under an Imperial ban at the time. Whilst he stayed at the fortress, Luther continued with his work translating the Bible into German. In 1547, Johann Ernst moved the residence of the ducal family to a more convenient and fashionable location, Ehrenburg Palace in the town centre of Coburg. The Veste now only served as a fortification.

In the further splitting of the Ernestine line, Coburg became the seat of the Herzogtum von Sachsen-Coburg, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg. The first duke was Johann Casimir (1564-1633), who modernized the fortifications. In 1632, the fortress was unsuccessfully besieged by Imperial and Bavarian forces commanded by Albrecht von Wallenstein for seven days during the Thirty Years' War. Its defence was commanded by Georg Christoph von Taupadel. On 17 March 1635, after a renewed siege of five months' duration, the Veste was handed over to the Imperials under Guillaume de Lamboy.

17th through 19th centuries

From 1638-72, Coburg and the Veste were part of the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg. In 1672, they passed to the Dukes of Saxe-Gotha and in 1735 it was joined to the Duchy of Saxe-Saalfeld. Following the introduction of Primogeniture by Duke Franz Josias (1697-1764), Coburg went by way of Ernst Friedrich (1724-1800) to Franz (1750-1806), noted art collector, and to Duke Ernst III (1784-1844), who remodeled the castle.

In 1826, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was created and Ernst now styled himself 'Ernst I'. Military use of the Veste had ceased by 1700 and outer fortifications had been demolished in 1803-38. From 1838-60, Ernst had the run-down fortress converted into a Gothic revival residence. In 1860, use of the Zeughaus as a prison (since 1782) was discontinued. Through a successful policy of political marriages, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha established links with several of the major European dynasties, including that of the United Kingdom.

20th century

The dynasty ended with the reign of Herzog Carl Eduard (1884-1954), also known as Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a grandson of Queen Victoria, who until 1919 also was the 2nd Duke of Albany in the United Kingdom. Under his rule, many changes made to the Veste in the 19th century were reversed under architect Bodo Ebhardt, with the aim of restoring a more authentic medieval look. Along with the other ruling princes of Germany, Carl Eduard was deposed in the revolution of 1918-1919. After Carl Eduard abdicated in late 1918, the Veste came into possession of the state of Bavaria, but the former duke was allowed to live there until his death. The works of art collected by the family were gifted to the Coburger Landesstiftung, a foundation, which today runs the museum.

In 1945, the Veste was seriously damaged by artillery fire in the final days of World War II. After 1946, renovation works were undertaken by the new owner, the Bayerische Verwaltung der staatlichen Schlösser, Gärten und Seen.

Today

The Veste is open to the public and today houses museums, including a collection art objects and paintings that belonged to the ducal family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a large collection of arms and armor, significant examples of early modern coaches and sleighs, and important collections of prints, drawings and coins.