Something is enchanting about castles, no matter how lavishly maintained they are or how derelict one has become. There is still some bit of enchantment to seeing one in person. Although Spain endured much conflict, Moorish influences are visible in the innumerable castles that dot the landscape of the country. Here’s a quick rundown of the top eight fortresses to explore.
There are always places you can easily get so immersed in you hardly notice the time go by. A trip to Alhambra Castle does just that. With its impressive barbican walls that line the fortress and a citadel tower that offers a fantastic view of the western portion of Sabika, this stronghold was constructed by the Moors and was later converted as the Sultan Yusuf’s summer home.
With its cylindrical towers and rectangular keep, the castle’s silhouette bears a striking semblance to that of a ship. Created in the 9th century, this castle was taken over by the Moorish ruler Almanzor before it was reclaimed in 1013 by the Christians.
Constructed for the Crown of Castille, this mudéjar style architecture is a perfect representation of the 15th century. The towers, interiors, and walls are all nods to the Islamic period. Unlike most castles in Spain, this one is not perched on a hilltop, which makes the Coca Castle quite unusual. Instead, a low slope offers easier access for tour groups and guests.
Palacio Real de Olite
A large part of the charm of this storybook palace lies in the mismatch tower sizes and whimsical details that further boosts its fairytale qualities. The courtyards, chambers, and hanging gardens that visitors can walk though offer a glimpse of the opulent lifestyle of kings and queens of yore.
Castillo de Lorca
Roughly a kilometer in length this fortress looms above the city of Lorca. One of the largest castles in Spain, recent excavation projects have managed to unearth a synagogue and 12 homes. Interestingly enough, this Moorish established castle would become the stronghold for Christians preparing to attack the Muslim barracks in Granada.
One of the best representations of the gothic castle from the Middle Ages, there was a point in its establishment when it was utilized as a garrison. These days, tours lead visitors through the halls filled with history. If you visit during the summer months, you’ll likely come across concerts which are held at the courtyard.
Castillo de la Mota
Made entirely of red brick, the 14th-century castle of La Mota is widely recognized for its 40-meter high keep and turrets on each corner. A tour of the grounds will expose the countless pockmarks left by numerous battles that date back to the 1400s. This once central portion of a citadel is still a magnificent building to explore.
Soaring above a rocky perch, this Catalan castle is now a mere shadow of its former self. Although in ruins, no one will argue that in its prime, the walls of this fortress gave off an aggressive appearance. This structure, with deeply rooted Moorish origins, is a stroll around its grounds would soon reveal its now strong Christian influences.