The castle of Črni Kal was noted in the 11th century. Apart from being a resting place for traders and travellers, it was also the place of the conflict between the Habsburgs and the Venetians for the dominance of Koper.

The ruins of a castle overlooking Črni Kal, called Town or Old Town by domicile inhabitants, stand on a cliff some 30 meters high that once could be reached only by a four-meter-long drawbridge. Situated on the road through the Rižana Valley towards Klanec, between the Adriatic Coast and the interior, on the border between the Venetian and Habsburg interests, Črni Kal was mentioned as early as the 11th century.

Following the war fought against the Turks, the entire defensive complex, including Črni Kal, was taken over by the Koper municipality. It was a resting-place for tradesmen and travellers, but also a place where conflicts for the supremacy of Koper, the Habsburgs took place, as well as attacks by the Uskoks. As the fortress of Črni Kal was not strategically as important to the Venetians as Socerb, they handled the defeat from Habsburg General Krsto Frankopan with ease as well as its conquest following the attack on the area surrounding Venetian Koper, when it was pillaged by the Emperor followers. Črni Kal, controlling the entire valley, during the Uskok War and together with Socerb, represented the major point from where the Habsburg soldiers invaded their enemy. As the period from the early 15th until the first half of the 17th century was noted for its frequent pillagings, the unapproachable camp was established beneath the fort for the locals to store their possessions.

Today, the cliff at Črni Kal is a popular climbing site. It offers rock-climbing fans a variety of routes with different climbing grades and lengths all year round. A local attraction is the 'leaning tower', a belfry of St. Valentine's Church from the 17th century which inclines as a result of the caving in of the ground.

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Founded: 11th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Slovenia

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www.istria-culture.com

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User Reviews

uros jakomin (3 years ago)
Nice castle on the edge.
Fu Ny (3 years ago)
It's a very big and cool climbing area for everyone !
Dona-shop. cz (4 years ago)
Super rozhled. Krasne misto na vylet i na relax. Stoji to za to...
Jake Smc (4 years ago)
Amazing place with nice views.
Jasa Zidar (4 years ago)
Great climbing, well I was there for caving practice but I think it's a great climbing wall as well. Gets sun and decent weather way before any other wall in Slovenia. Perfect to remove that winter rust. Oh the castle is cool too, I think..
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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.