Castle da Rocha Forte was built by Archbishop Juan Arias around 1240 and has since served as an archbishop's and cabildo's residence, witnessing much of the medieval history of Santiago. In the year 1255 appears the first documentary mention of the fortress in relation to the capitular constitutions of Juan Arias. The castle was situated in a strategic location by road from Padrón village to Santiago. Pilgrims followed that route from Portugal.
In addition to its purpose for defence, the castle was also a home for the Archbishop, which could provide the men of the local church a shelter from rioting citizens. In 1317, Berenguel de Landoira was nominated as Archbishop. The residents did not like him and started a rebellion. Archbishop Landoira had all the leaders of the rebellion executed. In the 15th century in Irmandiño wars the castle was damaged badly and it was abandoned. Later, in 1472 the walls were dismantled. During the Franco era the ruins were used as a hideout. In 1962, an electricity pylon was installed to the castle area.
Since 2001, a series of archaeological excavations have been carried out, thanks to an agreement between the City Council of Santiago and the University of Santiago de Compostela, in order to recover the deposit and consolidate it by means of the creation of an Archaeological Park.References:
Varberg Fortress was built in 1287-1300 by count Jacob Nielsen as protection against his Danish king, who had declared him an outlaw after the murder of King Eric V of Denmark. Jacob had close connections with king Eric II of Norway and as a result got substantial Norwegian assistance with the construction. The fortress, as well as half the county, became Norwegian in 1305.
King Eric's grand daughter, Ingeborg Håkansdotter, inherited the area from her father, King Haakon V of Norway. She and her husband, Eric, Duke of Södermanland, established a semi-independent state out of their Norwegian, Swedish and Danish counties until the death of Erik. They spent considerable time at the fortress. Their son, King Magnus IV of Sweden (Magnus VII of Norway), spent much time at the fortress as well.
The fortress was augmented during the late 16th and early 17th century on order by King Christian IV of Denmark. However, after the Treaty of Brömsebro in 1645 the fortress became Swedish. It was used as a military installation until 1830 and as a prison from the end of the 17th Century until 1931.
It is currently used as a museum and bed and breakfast as well as private accommodation. The moat of the fortress is said to be inhabited by a small lake monster. In August 2006, a couple of witnesses claimed to have seen the monster emerge from the dark water and devour a duck. The creature is described as brown, hairless and with a 40 cm long tail.