Wednesday, 25 October 2023
Andalucía is steeped in history, and its castles rise as silent witnesses of bygone eras. Among the many fortifications found throughout the region, one of the most fascinating treasures is in Baños de la Encina, in Jaén province. This castle, known as Burgalimar castle, stands proudly on a small hill and is, without a doubt, one of the most amazing historical landmarks in Spain.
This imposing castle was built in 968 by the caliph of Cordoba, Alhakén II, making it the oldest in Spain and the second oldest in Europe. Its initial purpose was to defend the Al-Ándalus border, and this statement is supported by an inscription found on the castle gate, the original of which is preserved in the Madrid National Archaeological Museum.
The initial construction of the castle was exceptionally complete, with walls, towers and powerful battlements, in addition to an impressive adaptation to the surrounding topography that allowed it to be useful for many centuries.
In the 11th century, with the fragmentation of the Cordoba caliphate, Burgalimar castle became a point of conflict in the struggles between Muslims and Christians. Several Christian rulers such as Alfonso VII of León and Alfonso VIII of Castilla managed to conquer it at different times, although their control fluctuated. It was not until 1225, with the decisive effort of Fernando III de Castilla, that the castle came fully under Christian rule.
In the fifteenth century, modifications were made to the castle, including the construction of the imposing Tower of Homenaje. This tower marked an adaptation to Christian architectural canons and pointed towards the people, reflecting the feudal custom of the time.
The fortress is surrounded and flanked by a robust wall with fourteen towers quadrangular in caliphal style which are the same height as the wall. The interior houses a parade ground, in which there is a cistern covered by a half-barrel vault. In addition, you can see the vestiges of a small fort from the Christian era, which divided the parade ground into two parts.
Burgalimar castle, with its invaluable historical and artistic value, was declared a National Monument in 1931.
Today, the Baños de la Encina tourist office offers guided tours of this fortress for 4.50 euros for adults and two euros for children. These visits not only delve into the medieval characteristics of this monument, but also into the archaeological finds that have been discovered on the site, dating back to the prehistoric period.
Te puede interesar
El Norte de Castilla
Necesitas ser suscriptor para poder votar.