The Castillo de Portillo is a well-preserved medieval castle in Portillo; the earliest elements of its present construction date to the fifteenth century. The site has been fortified since the tenth century, when it is documented in connection with Moorish forays into the region, under Abd al-Rahman III. In the fourteenth century, and until the early fifteenth, it was in the possession of the family of Sandoval; in 1392 it was confiscated from Diego Gómez de Sandoval in the name of King Juan II of Castile, who granted it in 1438 to Ruy Díaz de Mendoza.
From 1448 to 1452, Portillo was occasionally held by Juan's favourite, Don Álvaro de Luna, although the fortress remained in royal hands. Don Álvaro, however, fell from favor, and was detained at Burgos, sent to Portillo until two months later he was tried at Valladolid, and subsequently beheaded in the main Plaza on 2 June 1453. In 1464 Enrique IV of Castile conferred it upon Alfonso, held in trust by Juan Pacheco, the prince's tutor, until his death (1474), though it had been ceded to Rodrigo Alfonso de Pimentel, whose heirs held it until the nineteenth century, when it passed to the family of Osuna.
As the history above indicates, Portilla is better known for the list of distinguished prisoners it has housed, than for being the site of battles or other events. Juan II of Castille was briefly imprisoned at Portillo in 1444 by the Conde de Castro, escaping by bribing one of his guardians. The chronicles also touch upon the fact that Don Enrique, brother of the admiral Don Fabrique y de Suero de Quiñones (who fought at Paso Honroso) was jailed here for conspiring against the crown.References:
Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.
In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.
UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.
In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.