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:
Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.
Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.
Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.
The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.
During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.
The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.
From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.
The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.
Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.