According to some historical sources, Dragonara Castle was built in the first half of the 13th century. In the second half of the 14th century, the castle, to ensure the safety of the fishing village of Camogli, was repeatedly reinforced, receiving the necessary weapons from the Republic of Genoa.
In the 14th century, the Dragonara Castle was attacked several times. Well documented are the assaults made by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Lord of Milan, and the one made by Nicolò Fieschi in 1366.
Between 1428 and 1430, the castle was considerably enlarged and reinforced, especially the adjacent watchtower. In 1438, the Duchy of Milan besieged the castle, destroying its walls. A few years later, the inhabitants of the seaside village built new walls around the castle.
In 1448, due to a conflict between Camogli, Recco and Genoa, the Republic demanded the immediate destruction of the castle. The castle was destroyed, but it was rebuilt again only six years later and given to the Doge of Genoa.
In the 16th century, the castle was abandoned as a defensive post, and it was used as a prison.
In the seventies of the 20th century, after decades of neglect, the building was recovered and converted into an aquarium, hosting specimens of the marine fauna typical of these waters. At the closing of the aquarium, the fish were transferred to the Genoa aquarium.References:
The castle of La Iruela, small but astonishing, is located on the top of a steep crag in Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park. From the castle, impressive views of the surrounding area and of the town can be enjoyed.
The keep dates from the Christian era. It has a square base and small dimensions and is located at the highest part of the crag.
There are some other enclosures within the tower that create a small alcázar which is difficult to access.
In a lower area of the castle, protected with defensive remains of rammed earth and irregular masonry, is an old Muslim farmstead.
After a recent restoration, an open-air theater has been built on La Iruela castle enclosure. This theater is a tribute to the Greek and Classic Eras and holds various artistic and cultural shows throughout the year.
The first traces of human activity in La Iruela area are dated from the Copper Age. An intense occupation continued until the Bronze Age.
Originally, La Iruela (like Cazorla) was a modest farmstead. From the 11th century, a wall and a small fortress were built on the hill to protect the farmers.
Around 1231, don Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada, Archbishop of Toledo, conquered La Iruela and made it part of the Adelantamiento de Cazorla. Over the Muslim fortress, the current fortress was built.
Once the military use of the fortress ended, it was used as cemetery.