Jimena de la Frontera castle was originally built by the Grenadian Moors of the Umayyad Caliphate ruling over the area of Hispania Baetica (modern Andalusia) in the 8th Century. It served as one of many castles guarding both the approach to the fortifications around Gibraltar and the Bay of Algeciras where the strategic and important Moorish stronghold and fortress of Algeciras was located.
The fortress was likely built over the ruins of the ancient city of Oba which dated to pre Roman Celtiberian period. Given its strategic location on the frontier of the Gibraltar region, this fortress proved an important Moorish stronghold throughout the Muslim domination of the Iberian Peninsula.
The castle was taken by the Jerezanos in 1430 and retaken by the Moorish Kingdom of Granada in 1451. In 1465, it was integrated into the Kingdom of Castille as the property of the crown.
The outer defenses consist of a long irregular wall that is lengthened in places to adapt to the uneven mountainous terrain. Watchtowers line this wall at regular intervals. The most well known tower is the Torre del Reloj or Albarrán (Clock Tower) and together, the towers have a very effective line of sight and defense forming an easily defensible arch of a fire zone. Various trenches also exist, all dug in different eras.
Inside the walls stands the Alcázar which was built or renovated after the Christian takeover of the castle. the Torre del Homenaje, with its large circular dome juts out of the Alcázar at a height of 13 meters making it the tallest tower of the castle. The inside of the Torre del Homenaje hides an earlier polygonal pattern tower that was presumably built over after the Christian takeover.References:
The Church of St Eustace was built between 1532-1632. St Eustace"s is considered a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture. The church’s reputation was strong enough of the time for it to be chosen as the location for a young Louis XIV to receive communion. Mozart also chose the sanctuary as the location for his mother’s funeral. Among those baptised here as children were Richelieu, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, future Madame de Pompadour and Molière, who was also married here in the 17th century. The last rites for Anne of Austria, Turenne and Mirabeau were pronounced within its walls. Marie de Gournay is buried there.
The origins of Saint Eustache date back to 13th century. The church became a parish church in 1223, thanks to a man named Jean Alais who achieved this by taxing the baskets of fish sold nearby, as granted by King Philip Augustus. To thank such divine generosity, Alais constructed a chapel dedicated to Sainte-Agnès, a Roman martyr.