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Castle In Spain


Spain is home to some of the world's most iconic fairy-tale castles and medieval fortresses, including the palace that inspired Walt Disney's vision of Cinderella's castle. Most of Spain's castles were built to serve as both royal residences and military fortifications, resulting in palaces that are both beautiful and imposing.

Perched on the rocky slopes of a hill that overlooks Segovia, the Alcázar was built to serve as both a fortress and royal residence. It is most widely known as the castle that inspired the design of Cinderella's Castle at Walt Disney World. Architectural elements, like its numerous conical roofs and turreted towers, have become the model for the perfect fairy-tale castle.

The castle was first constructed during the 12th century, built as the residence of King Alfonso III. It was modified and expanded over the centuries by subsequent rulers, including Isabela I who was crowned here in 1474.

Among the castle's most notable features is the Torre de Juan (Tower of John II), which is the tallest section of the fortress. This rectangular tower is decorated with a dozen ornamental turrets, and those who are willing to climb its 156 steps can enjoy stunning panoramic views from its roof.

Visitors can access all areas of the castle, and an audio guide is available. Chambers and halls are fully furnished in the height of medieval style, featuring original and reproduction tapestries, as well as armor and weaponry once used by the king's army.

Located in the town of Coca in the Segovia region, Coca Castle is a stunning Christian-era palace featuring a tan brick exterior and multiple towers. Although it was built in the 15th century, the castle's architecture reflects the ongoing popularity of the Aracbic Mudejar style.

The castle's numerous crenelated battlements with their pointed Moorish merlons are more decorative than functional, as this was built to be a showy residence and not a military fortification. This is even more evident in the castle's location on a low escarpment, with a 40-foot-deep moat as its primary protection form unauthorized entrance. Today, the moat sits dry, circling the castle in a pattern that reflects the outline of large circular towers positioned at each corner.

Located in northeastern Spain about two hours from Pamplona, Loarre Castle sits perched on a hill overlooking the Pyrenees mountain village of Ayerbe. It is distinctive for its series of cylindrical towers that seem to lead up the hill to the castle proper, the remains of defensive posts that once stood guard along the partially ruined outer wall. These, as well as the fortress's main towers, have crenelated parapets with rectangular merlon, reminiscent of storybook medieval castles.

Designed as both a military fortification and a royal residence, this castle is particularly well-protected by the limestone bedrock that forms its foundation, barring sneak attacks from an underground tunnel. It was built in the late 11th century for King Sancho Ramírez I of Aragon, and in the following century the Romanesque Church of Santa María was added. Later, the castle would house an Augustinian monastery.

This is a particularly photogenic castle thanks to its brick-and-stone exterior and irregular layout. Capped towers, parapets, and keeps seem to have been haphazardly placed, but the asymmetry just adds to the charm. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views from atop the large flat roofs, towers, and parapets.

The palace has been under the care of the Spanish government since the early 20th century, and it has been carefully restored to give visitors an idea of what it looked like during its luxurious heyday. The castle has been a recognized national monument since 1925. It sits approximately 30 minutes from Pamplona.

This massive castle was constructed in a truly unique design, with the majority of the structure consisting of a circular building that is reminiscent of Rome's Colosseum. The interior courtyard is expansive, circled by two stories of arcaded patios. Four circular towers stand guard around the central castle, with the silhouette of the old moat carved around them.

Located in the province of Valladolid, Peñafiel Castle is an imposing and beautiful sight atop a long ridge. When lit from below at night, the castle resembles a massive ship due to its unusual elongated shape. The fortress stretches to a length of 210 meters while only reaching 33 meters at its widest, making best use of the full height of the rocky ridge.

Construction on the castle began during the late 10th century, with most of the currently visible structure dating from the 15th century when it was expanded and re-designed. A museum now occupies one wing of the castle, and visitors can explore the other wing by guided tour. Peñafiel Castle is located a little over an hour south of Burgos.

Perched on a man-made hill overlooking the town of Medina del Campo in Spain's Valladolid Province, the original structure was built during the 11th and 12th centuries using concrete with a brick façade. The holes left from the timber framing are often mistaken as scars from old battles despite their regular spacing. The castle underwent extensive renovations during the 15th century before falling under the rule of Ferdinand and Isabella.

The most imposing part of the castle is the Torre del Homenaje (Homage Tower), a 40-meter-tall rectangular tower that sits in the northeast corner of the inner section of the castle, topped by a crenelated keep and four smaller turrets. It is often referred to as the Great Tower of Castille. The castle can be visited in an easy day trip from Salamanca; advanced booking of castle tours is recommended.

The defensive portion of the citadel is characterized by a series of formidable square turrets and battlements. The interior features several ornamental gates, patios designated for gardens, orchards, and the pool, three major towers, and the royal chambers, as well as the castle's dungeons. The citadel has been restored, and can be seen via guided tour.

Today, large portions of the castle and grounds have been turned into a botanic park, full of native trees and flowers. This is a beautiful place to visit for the gardens, as well as the panoramic views of the Mediterranean from atop the vantage point.

Also known as Castillo de los Mendoza (Mendoza Castle), named for the royal family who resided here, this castle is known for being used in the filming of El Cid, the epic 1961 movie. With its photo-worthy exterior, one can easily see why it was chosen - the stately, round crenelated towers are decorated with ornamental Gothic stonework, and multiple layers of walls and double-towers speak to its use as both a fortress and a palace.

Constructed entirely of granite, the castle features a main tower that is hexagonal in shape and four circular towers. Visitors can tour the palace, including all six floors; multiple galleries; and the towers, which provide excellent views of the surrounding countryside.

The castle is maintained by the Community of Madrid and houses an excellent museum dedicated to the history of Spanish castles. This medieval fortress is one of the most popular day trips from Madrid.

Located in Spain's Murcia region, this 13th-century castle overlooks the Guadalentín Valley, once a major fortification along the edge of the neighboring Granada region. It has been restored to allow visitors to safely explore, and there are several tours and interpretive programs available, as well as kids' workshops. The site is also home to exhibits containing archaeological finds from the surrounding area, including evidence that the site has been inhabited for well over three millennia.

Points of interest within the castle are its main towers, courtyard, and a unique Jewish Quarter with a synagogue. The Espolón Tower demonstrates Mudejar influence, while the Alfonsí Tower contains vaulted ceilings in Gothic style.

Like many of Spain's castles, the Alcazaba of Almería was later added to and modified by Christian rulers in the middle ages, and the castle features many Gothic influences that reflect the changing styles. Among the castle's most remarkable features are the entrance at the Torre de la Guardia (Guard Tower); the Puerta de la Justicia (Justice Gate); and the Torre de los Espejos (Tower of Mirrors), which provides excellent views of the Bay of Almería.

Thanks to its classic look, this castle has had a supporting role in several major films, including the James Bond thriller Never Say Never Again, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Wonder Woman 1984, and episodes of Game of Thrones.

Also known as the Castillo de los Templarios (Castle of the Templars), this castle features round towers with ornate crenelation for a picture-perfect medieval fortress look. As the name suggests, the current structure was established in the late 13th century by the Knights Templar before their downfall. Most of the current visible structure was built between 1340 and 1440, when the first Count of Lemos took over the town of Ponferrada.

The castles in Spain were built mainly for the country's defense, particularly with respect to fortification. During the Middle Ages, northern Christian kingdoms had to secure their borders with their Muslim southern neighbours, thus forcing both Christian and Muslim kings to grant border fiefs to their liege noblemen so as to keep and maintain defensive fortresses. When the Reconquista advanced, those border castles lost their initial purpose, and, as in the rest of medieval Europe, they were used as noble residences and fief-keeps. Sporadic threats of war maintained their initial military purposes as enemy invasions were common. In some locations, such as the Basque country, fiefdoms did not exist as such, and noble families could not afford nor did they need huge fortresses, giving rise to many tower houses. In Muslim Spain many castle-palaces were built: the petty taifa kingdoms that arose after the fall of the Caliphate of Córdoba were militarily weak thus castles began taking on a more aesthetic purpose. During the late Middle Ages, Christian kingdoms had secured and enriched themselves well enough to support a more courtly lifestyle, so more residential castles were built, such as the Alcázar of Segovia, which was used as the main residence of the kings of Castile, whereas the Castle of Olite, built in a luxurious gothic style, was the seat of the Kingdom of Navarre's royal court. 153554b96e

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