Monturque Castle

Monturque, Spain

When Monturque Castle was exactly built is unknown. Archaeological findings suggests it was built during the reign of the Ummayad Caliphate (661–750 AD) on Roman remains.

The Castle was conquered by Ferninand III in 1240, and for a long time thereafter its ownership passed intermittently between the Crown and Nobility. One early record of this is from 1273, when half of the Monturque tower was awarded by Martin Sanchez to his grandson, Lope.

The well-preserved tower, Torre del Homenaje, stands in the center of the Patio de Armas. A sober and simple structure, this tower was the best equipped of the castle to house its guests, who would probably only spend short stays here, as it does not show signs of having been adapted for permanent accommodation. The castle and tower are located on Calle de Rafael de Lara.

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Founded: 8th century AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in Spain

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Gema Gemap (2 years ago)
Me ha encantado. Lourdes una magnífica guía que ama su trabajo
Darpi pino (2 years ago)
Lourdes es maja simpática y graciosa esta muy bien 10 l la guía
José Val San (2 years ago)
Una de las construcciones romanas mejor conservadas destinadas a almacenar agua. Sus doce aljibes almacenaban hasta 850.000 litros de agua.
Antonio Mejias (3 years ago)
Excelente visita a estas cisternas romanas que el ayuntamiento de Monturque ha puesto en valor
i R (5 years ago)
Being the largest easily accessible Roman cisterns these are not so well known and famous among foreign tourists. As I've been told by the cutest guide in whole Andalusia, we were only second non-spanish speaking visitors (it is probably sad, but I don't know if cisterns would benefit from higher number of visitors).
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Broch of Gurness

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. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.