Located on a hill, almost on the border of the province of Zamora, and within viewing distance of Villalonso Castle, the primitive Tiedra Castle is already mentioned in the 11th century.
The present castle seems to date from the end of the 13th century and is in a bad state of conservation. It consists of a polygonal enclosure, with a perimeter of 115 meters, equipped with two circular towers. Near one of these there are remains of a ruined wall. This could be a vestige of a second defensive enclosure. There is a dry moat on its western side.
In the 13th century a Don Alonso Téllez de Meneses was the Lord of Tiedra. In the 14th century the Lord of Tiedra was Don Sancho, Count of Alburquerque and brother of King Enrique II de Trastamara. His daughter Leonor, Countess of Alburquerque and married with Fernando de Antequera, inherited from him, amongst other possessions, Tiedra Castle. His sons Enrique and Juan, the Infants of Aragon, inherited from their father the castles of Medina del Campo and Peñafiel Castle. Both the brothers fought against King Juan II of Castile. Therefore this king confiscated Tiedra Castle and handed it over to his favorite Don Alvaro de Luna. During these wars the king incarcerated several of his enemies in Tiedra Castle; under these prisoners were the Count of Haro, the Lords of Batres and Valdecorneja and the bishop of Palencia. After his defeat, in 1445, in the battle of Olmedo, the enemies of the king, handed the castle to Don Pedro Girón, Master of Calatrava as a reward for his help. This Don Pedro Girón is the same one who would, in later years, received Peñafiel Castle from King Enrique IV.
Until the 19th century the castle belonged to ducal house of Osuna.References:
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.
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.
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.
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.