The first documents of Baena Castle date at the beginning of the 9th century (890), during the reign of Emir Ahdullah, whose Governor in Regio since 889 had been Omar Ben Hafsum who rebelled and took Baena in 891.
In 1228, the governor of Fernando III in Baeza attacked the castle, belonging then to Seville. Subsequently the castle was attacked by Mohamed, the king of Granada, 1297. In July 1320 a peace treaty was signed in this castle between the Alonso XI and Ismail, King of Granada, which guaranteed this peace for eight years. In 1332, this same Alfonso XI garrisoned the castle in the face of danger from Granada, and in 1341 he left Baena to attack the Nasrid kingdom, not before providing the fortress with men and materials. In 1362 Abu Said, King of Granada, the Bermejo, took refuge in Baena and was accompanied to Seville by people from Cordoba.
In 1401 the castle was ceded by Henry III to the Marshal, Don Diego Fernández de Córdoba, with the opposition of the inhabitants of the city, taking possession of it in 1438.
Since the 16th century it has been used as the Palacio de los Duques. Diego Fernández de Córdoba, III Conde de Cabra, established his residence in the castle at the beginning of the 16th century and gave it a more palatial character. In 1520 the Baena and Condado de Cabra estate became related by marriage to the Duchy of Sessa. En 1566, by a Royal Decree of Philip II, Baena became the Duchy of Baena whereupon the lords of Baena came to be the Dukes of Sessa and Baena. It is from that time when there began to be a succession of structural changes in the fortified enclosure aimed at making the place suitable as a residence, and the military character of the complex faded into the background.
Baena Castle is square and still has part of its original walls and three of the four towers located in those of: El Secreto, Los Cascabeles and the last one of the Cinco Esquinas or Las Arqueras.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick.