Niebla Castle

Niebla, Spain

The construction of the Niebla Castle started in 1402, when Don Enrique de Guzmán, the second Duke of Medinasidonia and the fourth of Niebla, pulled down the old Moorish Alcázar to build the one we know today. The result was a magnificent royal palace which preserved the most interesting and luxurious parts built by the Arabs, such as the Muslim Tower of Homage.

After the works of restoration made in the last few years, the Alcázar is now in good conditions. It has a rectangular structure divided by an inner wall which separates the patio of arms from the luxurious rooms intended as palace. This main structure has ten towers; six of them are square (four are on the corners -including the Tower of Homage - and two of them are at the ends of the inner wall). The other four are semicircular cubes alternated with the square ones. The walls go on from the Tower of Homage and the one located on the north-west angle to form a barbican surrounding the central building on the east, south and west sides. This barbican has six towers and joins the almohade wall near the Puerta de Sevilla and del Socorro. An adarve and a barbican built in the late 15th century completed the building.



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Founded: 1402
Category: Castles and fortifications in Spain

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User Reviews

Acisclo Pedraza Nevado (11 months ago)
Since we have been interested in it, it is worth knowing something more about the Alcazaba or Castle of the Counts of Niebla ... Despite the fact that some chroniclers affirm the existence of a Roman citadel, which must have been located in the place where Today it occupies the castle, there is no archaeological record of it. On the other hand, there is evidence of an important building from this time, next to the Puerta de Sevilla, as well as a great profusion of Roman ashlars in the foundations and corners of the towers of the fortress and wall. Niebla owned a citadel in Muslim times, which was handed over to the Castilian king in the surrender of the city in 1262. Later the town, and with it the fortress, was handed over to the Guzmán manor (1367), they repaired and rebuilt it in part. It is in the last decades of the 15th or early 16th century that the castle is built. Don Enrique, fourth Count of Niebla and second Duke of Medina Sidonia, was the only representative of the Guzmán lineage that ever inhabited the castle. The builders of this magnificent building were Mudejar builders brought expressly for it; These people came to constitute an important colony in the city whose relations were regulated by ordinances in 1493. At the end of the 17th century or the beginning of the 18th century, the north barbican had to be built on the remains of the old one, which was already very deteriorated in 1615. The entire enclosure, and especially the keep, suffered enormous damage in the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. During the War of Independence, Marshal Soult repaired the walls of his fence and opened embrasures in the walls of the barbican for artillery, in 1810. It is the last time that this building fulfills its military function. But in 1812, before his retirement, he blew up the building and left it completely demolished. From this date it became a home for marginalized people, until in 1935 Mrs. E. Wisah tried to evict them from there, for which she built a neighborhood. It was built in the late 15th or early 16th century. In the 60s, the architect Rafael Manzano restored the north wall of the first enclosure that was destroyed and acted on the homage wall. He also acted in the main courtyard, finding the foundations and the organization of the interior bays. The staircase in the main patio is also his work. In the eighties, cleaning and consolidation works were carried out on part of the castle by the architect D. Manuel López Vicente. The Niebla Workshop School and the Niebla Archaeological project have carried out rehabilitation work in the northern barbican area. It is located in the northwestern area of ​​the Historic Complex of Niebla, between the gates of Seville and that of the Hole. The castle consists of two enclosures. The first, the castle itself and the second, an outer defensive perimeter that completely surrounds the inner building. The fortress, at present, is protected by ten towers (six square and four cylindrical), built, like the walls, in masonry with baseboards and ashlar edges in the corners. It has many characteristic embrasures of the "cross and orb" type. On its north flank, the canvas of the castle merges with the route of the wall that surrounds the entire town, as the fortress is attached to this walled enclosure. The interior enclosure consists of a rectangle subdivided into two others by a practically disappeared central wall. One of them would be the parade ground where the stables and other military units were located. The other courtyard is domestic and residential, where the keep is located, which is it became the last defensive redoubt in case of attack. This tower, badly affected by the earthquake of November 2, 1755, has a square plan. The outer enclosure is constituted by the north wall, which will be replaced during the s. XVII
marcos arcos (2 years ago)
Raquel Gil (2 years ago)
Castillo al que están empezando a reformar y que no está bien cuidado ni bien mantenido . Tienen una sala de torturas bastante sucia y no cuidada . Sí ha esto le sumamos que la entrada para lo que se puede ver es bastante cara . A mí parecer lo deberían mantener y cuidar más
Antonio Fernandez (2 years ago)
Deja mucho que desear. En las mazmorras había una exposición de tortura muy poco cuidada. Para mí, no merece la pena.
Dulcinea Doniz (2 years ago)
Está muy descuidado y al darle uso a otras actividades pierde todo el encantando. Cobran 4€/ pers y te dan una fotocopia en blanco/ negro de las cuatros zonas que puedes ver.
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Veste Coburg

The Veste Coburg is one of Germany's largest castles. The hill on which the fortress stands was inhabited from the Neolithic to the early Middle Ages according to the results of excavations. The first documentary mention of Coburg occurs in 1056, in a gift by Richeza of Lotharingia. Richeza gave her properties to Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne, to allow the creation of Saalfeld Abbey in 1071. In 1075, a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul is mentioned on the fortified Coberg. This document also refers to a Vogt named Gerhart, implying that the local possessions of the Saalfeld Benedictines were administered from the hill.

A document signed by Pope Honorius II in 1206 refers to a mons coburg, a hill settlement. In the 13th century, the hill overlooked the town of Trufalistat (Coburg's predecessor) and the important trade route from Nuremberg via Erfurt to Leipzig. A document dated from 1225 uses the term schloss (palace) for the first time. At the time, the town was controlled by the Dukes of Merania. They were followed in 1248 by the Counts of Henneberg who ruled Coburg until 1353, save for a period from 1292-1312, when the House of Ascania was in charge.

In 1353, Coburg fell to Friedrich, Markgraf von Meißen of the House of Wettin. His successor, Friedrich der Streitbare was awarded the status of Elector of Saxony in 1423. As a result of the Hussite Wars the fortifications of the Veste were expanded in 1430.

Early modern times through Thirty Years' War

In 1485, in the Partition of Leipzig, Veste Coburg fell to the Ernestine branch of the family. A year later, Elector Friedrich der Weise and Johann der Beständige took over the rule of Coburg. Johann used the Veste as a residence from 1499. In 1506/07, Lucas Cranach the Elder lived and worked in the Veste. From April to October 1530, during the Diet of Augsburg, Martin Luther sought protection at the Veste, as he was under an Imperial ban at the time. Whilst he stayed at the fortress, Luther continued with his work translating the Bible into German. In 1547, Johann Ernst moved the residence of the ducal family to a more convenient and fashionable location, Ehrenburg Palace in the town centre of Coburg. The Veste now only served as a fortification.

In the further splitting of the Ernestine line, Coburg became the seat of the Herzogtum von Sachsen-Coburg, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg. The first duke was Johann Casimir (1564-1633), who modernized the fortifications. In 1632, the fortress was unsuccessfully besieged by Imperial and Bavarian forces commanded by Albrecht von Wallenstein for seven days during the Thirty Years' War. Its defence was commanded by Georg Christoph von Taupadel. On 17 March 1635, after a renewed siege of five months' duration, the Veste was handed over to the Imperials under Guillaume de Lamboy.

17th through 19th centuries

From 1638-72, Coburg and the Veste were part of the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg. In 1672, they passed to the Dukes of Saxe-Gotha and in 1735 it was joined to the Duchy of Saxe-Saalfeld. Following the introduction of Primogeniture by Duke Franz Josias (1697-1764), Coburg went by way of Ernst Friedrich (1724-1800) to Franz (1750-1806), noted art collector, and to Duke Ernst III (1784-1844), who remodeled the castle.

In 1826, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was created and Ernst now styled himself 'Ernst I'. Military use of the Veste had ceased by 1700 and outer fortifications had been demolished in 1803-38. From 1838-60, Ernst had the run-down fortress converted into a Gothic revival residence. In 1860, use of the Zeughaus as a prison (since 1782) was discontinued. Through a successful policy of political marriages, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha established links with several of the major European dynasties, including that of the United Kingdom.

20th century

The dynasty ended with the reign of Herzog Carl Eduard (1884-1954), also known as Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a grandson of Queen Victoria, who until 1919 also was the 2nd Duke of Albany in the United Kingdom. Under his rule, many changes made to the Veste in the 19th century were reversed under architect Bodo Ebhardt, with the aim of restoring a more authentic medieval look. Along with the other ruling princes of Germany, Carl Eduard was deposed in the revolution of 1918-1919. After Carl Eduard abdicated in late 1918, the Veste came into possession of the state of Bavaria, but the former duke was allowed to live there until his death. The works of art collected by the family were gifted to the Coburger Landesstiftung, a foundation, which today runs the museum.

In 1945, the Veste was seriously damaged by artillery fire in the final days of World War II. After 1946, renovation works were undertaken by the new owner, the Bayerische Verwaltung der staatlichen Schlösser, Gärten und Seen.


The Veste is open to the public and today houses museums, including a collection art objects and paintings that belonged to the ducal family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a large collection of arms and armor, significant examples of early modern coaches and sleighs, and important collections of prints, drawings and coins.