The medieval castle of Carcabuey was the object of incursions by Ibn Hafsun at the end of the Emirate, being dominated and demolished by the emir Add-Allah in 892. Conquered by Fernando III, it was rebuilt according to the design of other fortifications, such as those in Fuengirola or Iznájar.
From the mid-13th century, it belonged to the Order of Calatrava, until, in 1333, it was conquered by Muhammad IV of Granada and reconquered and modified shortly after by Alfonso XI. It was integrated into the Señorío de Aguilar after numerous donations.
The fortress has five towers distributed along the wall, of which two are square and three circular. Inside the walled enclosure, the keep remains well-preserved. In the upper part of the courtyard sits the eighteenth-century chapel, Ermita de Nuestra Señora del Castillo.
The castle itself has gone down in history for the battle between King Alfonso X and his rival, Sancho. According to legend, the King had ordered everyone not to leave the castle under any circumstances. His rival knew that, in order to emerge victorious over the local population, he needed to flush the army out onto open ground. He learned that the Governor's daughter had a 'secret' lover and therefore devised a plan to lure her away from the castle to meet her true love and escape together. He was sure that the Governor would call out the troops to go after the girl and return her. The Governor, Pero Nuño Tello, was committed to total loyalty to his King and refused to send out the troops, thus losing his daughter forever as she fled with her lover. Interestingly, when Sancho later became King, he was sorry for the injury he had caused to the Governor and called Pero to his court to make amends. However, he was only able to meet with Pero's dead body as the Governor committed suicide, feeling that his dead body was the only loyal part of himself that he could present to the new king. His spirit, as the legend goes, would never bow to Sancho.References:
The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.
The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.
The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.
The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.
Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.
Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.