Marquis de los Vélez Castle

Cuevas del Almanzora, Spain

Marquis de los Vélez Castle lies in the center of the town of Cuevas del Almanzora. The first fortification at this site was probably an Arab defensive watchtower, dating back to the late 13th or early 14th century.

The castle was built in the first half of the 16th century by Don Pedro Fajardo y Chacón, 1st Marquess of Los Vélez. Shortly before he also built Vélez-Blanco Castle, in which he resided, and around the same time Mula Castle in Murcia.

The castle has an irregular rectangular layout and inside its walls are a former Palace of the Marquis and a keep. This keep probably incorporated the older Arab tower.

Inside there is also a Casa de la Tercia, which is a fortified warehouse where taxes were collected and stored. This warehouse was built in the 18th century in neoclassical style. Later it was also used as a prison.

The castle houses today the Museo Antonio Manuel Campoy and one of Andalucía's premier modern art collections. Amassed by the celebrated Spanish art critic, this fascinating selection of paintings and sculpture includes works by the likes of Picasso, Miró and Tàpies.

Also of note is the gallery of Goya lithographs and the small archaeology museum devoted to the El Argar Bronze Age culture.

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Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Spain

More Information

www.castles.nl

Rating

4.1/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nick Prevett (2 years ago)
Not big when it comes to castles but still very interesting
John Bristol (2 years ago)
Very interesting treasure chest of the surprisingly rich history of Cuevas de Almanzora and of Almeria.
Jenny Spear (2 years ago)
Interesting place to visit.
David Bell (3 years ago)
It's worth a visit though the inside of the castle is an art gallery so not very castle like. It does have some great pictures and is well worth seeing just if you were expecting an old castle interior you may be disappointed
Michael Jefferson (3 years ago)
Worth a wonder but not much to see. We spent 10mins looking around before heading for the coast. It was pleasant enough though very hot! Nothing open even though we were there during opening hours. You can climb steps to the battlements on 2 sides for some nice views.
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Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.

The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.

In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.

A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.