Medieval Castles in Spain

Spain is home to some of the most magnificent medieval castles in Europe. Castles in medieval Spain were largely built in response to the Moorish rule in Spain.

On one hand, Moors settled in and began building castles for both residential and military purposes.

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On the other hand, a number of Christian kingdoms in northern Spain built castles in order to stem the Moorish tide and secure their lands against the Muslims.

As a result, the castles built in Spain often depict construction styles from a number of different cultures.

Moorish History Regions Conquered

Map showing Moorish conquest areas of Spain highlighted in green

Alhambra of Granada

Alhambra of Granada is one of the most iconic medieval castles in Spain. The castle was the site of a fortification from the 9th to the 13th century.

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In the 13th century, the ruler of the Moorish Emirate of Granada decided to have a magnificent palace built at the site. The palace was to serve as his seat, so its design included heavy fortifications and vast overall size.

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The original structure of Alhambra includes 13 towers on the exterior walls and a very strong curtain wall. The interior is embellished with honeycomb vaults, beautiful courtyards and other elaborate interior decorations.

Most of the original structure of Alhambra is extant today and is well-preserved.

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Loarre Castle

Loarre Castle was originally built in the 12th century. The primary purpose of the castle was to serve as a military fortification, given its location between the Moorish and Christian territories.

The original structure of the castle comprised of a huge tower, three other complementary towers as well as a chapel inside.

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During the 14th century, the castle became a secure base for the Reconquista forces and many further fortifications were added.

These additional fortifications include another 8 towers enclosing a second boundary wall. Most of this medieval Spanish castle is well-preserved today.

Alcazaba of Almeria

Alcazaba of Almeria is a medieval Spanish castle located in southern Spain. It was originally constructed in the 10th century at the behest of the Moorish ruler Abd ar Rehman III.

The castle was built as a formidable and virtually impregnable military fortification, comprising of a huge tower and a very thick curtain wall.

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An additional boundary wall encloses the key structures of the castle which include the royal residences and a royal keep.

The castle passed to the hands of King Charles III of Spain towards the end of the medieval period. Most of its magnificent fortifications and original structures are extant today.

Sádaba Castle

The Sádaba Castle is located in what was historically the Kingdom of Aragorn in Spain. The castle was originally constructed in the 12th century.

However, the original structure was rather rudimentary, and significant additions were made to this construction in the 13th century.

Castillo Sadaba

The defensive structures of the castle include seven towers enclosing a strong boundary wall. The interior structures include a chapel, courtyard as well as living quarters for royalty.

The castle became the royal residence of the King of Aragorn, also doubling as a formidable military fortification. Most of the original structure of the castle is well-preserved to this day.

Learn more about Loarre Castle In Spain at Wikipedia

Learn more about Sadaba Castle In Spain at Wikipedia

Learn more about Almeria Castle In Spain at Wikipedia

Learn more about Aljaferia Palace In Spain at Wikipedia