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 (12 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 (2 years 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 (2 years 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 (2 years 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 (3 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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Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.