Castellar de la Frontera is a village within a castle surrounded by the walls of a well preserved Moorish-Christian fortress. It is located within the Parque Natural de Los Alcornocales next to a reservoir formed by the Guadarranque River.
The history of the village goes back to prehistoric times and the Bronze Age, after which the place became a medieval fortress. The prehistoric presence is still evident in the many caves around the area, where enthusiasts can see the wonderful cave drawings as proof of its heritage. It played an important role in the wars between the Spanish and the Muslims. In such a high up advantageous strategic position, peoples of many cultures wanted to control this strong vantage point.
The village was conquered and won back between Fernando III, the Moors and then Juan II, who described it as 'such a wonderful, strong town'. After the many battles of medieval times, by October 1650 Teresa María Arias de Saavedra, the Countess of Castellar, took possession of the town and later it was in the hands of the Medinaceli family.
The village was abandoned in the 1970s and its inhabitants moved to the aptly named Nuevo Castellar. The derelict state of the village attracted a number of Germans who took over the empty houses and built temporary dwellings outside the walls. The village was later repopulated.References:
The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.
The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.
The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.
The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.
Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.
The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.