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Tema: Castles in Spain

  1. #1
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    Castles in Spain


    Castle of Manzanares

    Manzanares el Real Castle, combining the solidarity of a large fortress of the low Middle Ages and the elegance of a Renaissance residence, is a proud symbol of one of the most powerful families in Castilla during the XIV and XV centuries, the Mendozas. The Palace Castle, which the Duques del Infantado had built during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs, is located near Madrid and set in the breathtaking rocky landscape between La Pedriza and Santillana reservoir. Carefully reconstructed, Manzanares Castle offers examples of late Gothic and Mudejar architecture, Moorish and Renaissance details, as well as furniture, tapestries, Armour and objects from different historical periods.




    The Palace Castle of the Mendozas
    Manzanares el Real Castle lies 50 kilometers from Madrid on
    the southern slope of the Guadarrama mountain range, between Santillana reservoir and the crags of La Pedriza. The Castle is an impressive example of xv century Castilian military architecture, and one of the last of its kind in Spain. In fact, after initially being user as a fortress, it became a residential Palace of one of the noblest families in Castilla since the Middle Ages: the Mendozas. However, Manzanares Castle is also closely tied in with Madrid's recent history, because the process leading to the autonomy of Comunidad de Madrid (1981) was started there, as was the project for the Statute of Autonomy, which would be approved in Congress and the Senate in I 983.

    The Mendoza family, whose lineage goes back to the XI century and who were linked to the Spanish monarchy, received titles of nobility and considerable inheritances for their services to the Crown. The connection between the Mendoza's and the territory of Real de Manzanares dates from the XIV century when Pedro Gonzalez de Mendoza (1340-1385), faithful servant of Enrique II of Trastamara, was granted extensive estates in the Somosierra mountain range from Buitrago to Colmenar.

    His son, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza (1365-1404), who was "Almirante Mayor" of Castilla under the reign of King Enrique II, received the Real de Manzanares estate from Juan II in recognition of the services of his father Don Pedro. He ordered a Castle to be built on his new estate, close to the present-day site, and its ruins are still visible today. However, the old castle near the river became too small and uncomfortable for the Mendozas, who continued to prosper in the service of the monarchy, they had to start thinking about building a new fortress.
    Don Diego was succeeded by his son, Inigo Lopez de Mendoza (1398-1458), a brave soldier and an educated man who served Juan II, who received the title of first Conde de Manzanares and first Marques de Santillana after participating in the battle of Olmedo. The latter title would pass on to posterity, more as a result of his lyrical poetic works than his military deeds or political ambassadorships.
    The Mendoza family reached the height of their power and influence during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs. The first-born of the Marques de Santillana, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, a man greatly trusted by the Monarchs, was given the title of Duque del Infantado together with new possessions and privileges. His brother; Pedro Gonzalez de Mendoza (1428-1494), became a close adviser to Fernando and Isabel and a great Cardinal of Spain.
    The whole building is surrounded by a permiter barbican, with a single entrance via a beautiful west-facing door, flanked by two strong turrets and defended by stone deer. All the walls of the barbican contain loopholes in the shape of the Jerusalem Cross in homage to the first duke's brother, Cardenal Mendoza, who was given the title of Cardinal of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem Basilica by the Catholic Monarchs in 1480.The south facade boasts a portico, the outer face of which is made up of low arches with a flamboyant Gothic style pillar between each one. It contrasts sharply with the solid walls, and shows how lnigo Lopez changed the look of his residence with the help of the skilled architect Juan Guas. The latter also designed the magnificent portico, galleries around the central courtyard, with late Gothic and Mudejar influences particularly on the ceilings and the corridors containing the coat of arms of the Mendozas, Lunas and Enriquezs.
    The Castle�s stately appearance, contrasting with the harmonious blend of Moorish and Renaissance details and the elegance of the mock Arabic cornice on which the battlements are supported, is only interrupted on the south-facing facade by the splendid portico which gives it
    A special grace and uniqueness.

    The Mendozas used this Palace-Castle as a stately home for less than a century. In 1565 when the 4th Duque del Infantado died, feuds between the inheritors resulted in its disuse and a slow process of deterioration until the architect, Vicente Lamperez Romera, took responsibility for the first restoration works in 1914. Declared a Historical �Art Monument in 1931, the Duque del Infantado, lnigo Arteaga y Folquera, ceded it to Madrid County Council in 1965. At present, the Castle is run by "Direccion General de Turismo de la Consejeria de Economia y Empleo de la Comunidad de Madrid".

    A living Castle

    �When the Regional Council took charge of the Castle, it was in a regrettable state of ruin and abandonment. In 1974 an ambitious three-year restoration plan was started in line with the project by be architect, D. Manuel Gonzalea. The plan aimed to give the Castle back its former splendor, and respect the previous distribution and decoration of the period. Its objective was for the Castle to once again be a living building, in a state to be visited by the public and also used for various activities. Several Old pieces of furniture adorn the Castle's rooms, together with others which were actually made inside them. Rugs, armour, tapestries, paintings and other objects of various origins were placed in the Castle for decorative purposes. A collection of XVII century Baroque tapestries from the Brussels workshops is of particular interest. Seven of them mark periods in the life of Julius Caesar, two show the series 'The Life of Man" and the tenth portrays a biblical theme. At present Manzanares el Real Castle is the venue for many different activities throughout the year: public functions, conferences and seminars, exhibitions, concerts and promotional events, in order to maintain the Castle as a living building by serving the community, making the effort put into its restoration, preservation and daily maintenance worthwhile socially. Every year thousands of Madrid�s citizens and travelers from other destinations flock to this beautiful monument, so closely linked to both the history of Spain and Madrid.
    Última edición por Hyeronimus; 03/07/2010 a las 11:41

  2. #2
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    Re: Castles in Spain

    Castle of Guadamur


    The castle of Guadamur in the Province of Toledo, is distinctive for its elegant stepped profile. Four progressively elevated elements create this happy result: a low outer barrier, the main body with its towers, a second body with projecting turrets, and the principal tower (on one corner) with its typical turrets projecting on decorated arches similar to the Alcazar de Segovia.

    In the main body of the castle, the mood comer towers alternate with triangular abutments that look like the breakwaters of a bridge. It seems (hat the stain body of the castle must have been enlarged soon after its original construction since the wells are topped wily cantilevered trusses, which in turn support a separate body with entirely different vertical battlements, This extension must have modeled the palace, and as the castle could not be enlarged beyond its restricted square plea, it was instead extended upwards.

    It was built in the latter fifteenth century by Don Pedro Lopez de Ayala, a member of an illustrious Teledan family and much beloved by John 11 of Castile Philip the Fair and Princess Joanna spent happy days here on their honeymoon . and Charles V retired here and to the convent or Sisla to mourn the death of Empress Isabella Cardinal Cisneros also lodged here.

    After its days of glory had passed, the castle suffered in the Napoleons wars and the civil disturbances between the Carlists and liberals, but fortunately it was restored to 1887 by a member of an old Catalan family, the count of Asalto.



    http://www.castles.org/castles/Europ...ledo/index.htm
    Última edición por Hyeronimus; 03/07/2010 a las 11:42

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    Re: Castles in Spain

    Castle of Peñafiel




    Penafiel is one of the most important fortresses of medieval Castile The ridge between the Duero and the Duraton rivers must have always been fortified. Count Sancho Garcia conquered the site in the eleventh century, and later AIfonso X left it to his brother, Don Juan Manuel, who undertook important constructions in 1307. The principal tower was rebuilt during the reign of John II. The present structures date mostly from the fifteenth century.


    Its irregular plan follows the long, narrow ridge on which it sits The main walls are very thick and are reinforced by a variety of circular and rectangular towers. A second, lower wall encloses the larger one. The gate is set obliquely into the eastern wall and is defended by two cylindrical towers. From the outer gate one reaches the entrance to the main enclosure by a transverse wall with its own ditch. Federico Bordeje has called this inner gate one of the most perfect in the history of military architecture
    The principal tower dominates the ensemble, and its rectangular form nearly crosses the entire enclosure. Its silhouette is animated by small turrets at the comers and the center of the walls.
    Última edición por Hyeronimus; 03/07/2010 a las 11:42

  4. #4
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    Re: Castles in Spain

    Castle of Coca





    The castle of Coca was built in the late fifteenth century by Don Alonso de Fonseca, one of the most magnificent and luxury-loving magnates of Castile. It lies in the province of Segovia but is close to the border of Valladolid. Cuellar, Arevalo, Olmedo, and Coca formed a square of great strategic importance.


    Built in a sandy, wooded land, poor in stone but rich in mudejar masons, it was naturally built of brick, as were the castles of Arevalo and Medina del Campo, and a multitude of churches in the area. But despite its brick construction, it is not Islamic in plan or disposition. In this respect it is completely Christian. The outer enclosure, with polygonal towers at the corners and semicircular ones on the walls, emerges from a huge moat with views of the artillery defenses. Behind it rise the extremely strong walls of the main part of the castle, which repeat the polygonal and round towers of the outer enclosure. These polygonal forms are especially suited to brick construction.
    Última edición por Hyeronimus; 03/07/2010 a las 11:40

  5. #5
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    Re: Castles in Spain

    Castle of Calahorra






    La Calahorra follows the model of Renaissance castle-palaces: a sober and warlike exterior contrasting with a luxurious mortar decorated in Renaissance style. In addition La Calahorra one of the few castles built by Christians after the fall of Granada in 1492, is built of ashlar, instead of the bricks and plaster used by the Moslems.

    Built on a slope at some distance from the village, where the Moorish population remained after 1492, it has a rectangular plan with a cylindrical tower at each comer plus a rectangular body extending from the west wall. Its severe exteror, relieved only by barred windows, is built for artillery, and around the castle there is a lower wall, which also has large embrasures for cannon.

    The interior is completely different in style, a fine example of Italian architecture brought from that country by Don Right de Vavar y Mendoza. The main section is a two-story courtyard with arcades on columns, and it was built of 1,200 pieces of marble cut in Italy and assembled in Spain.

    La Calaborra is unique not only for its architectural design, but because it is one of the last aristocratic castles to Spain, built at a time when the kings were limiting the powers of the nobility.

    http://www.castles.org/castles/Europ...nada/index.htm

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    Re: Castles in Spain

    Castle of Belmonte



    Belmonte is one of Spain's finest castles and was conceived from the beginning as a palace. Its plan is an extraordinary creation. The court of arms, or patio of honor, is a perfect pentagon. Two sides of the pentagon have palatial galleries and facing them is the principal tower, which protects the entrance gate. The major rooms of the palace extend behind the two arcades. The castle is surrounded by a curtain wall with distinct and original battlements. Don Juan Pacheco, marquis of Villena, began building the castle in 1456, and the luxury of its rooms must have been extraordinary. It was partially restored by Don Vicente Lamperez under the aegis of Empress Eugenie, but it was afterwards abandoned and its decay began anew.


    http://www.castles.org/castles/Europ...enca/index.htm

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    Re: Castles in Spain

    Castle of Loarre


    Sancho Ramirez, king of Aragon, founded a monastery of regular canons at Swat Augustine in Loarre The foundation was sanctioned by Pope Alexander II in 1071, although construction of the building had commenced before that time The church has a single nave, divided into two bays and extended by a semicircular apse of almost equal width.

    The first bay is cut obliquely by the outer wall of the
    Castle. T'he second bay, in the center of the church, is a
    full square covered with a cupola The apse, of course, is
    covered by a quarter sphere. Because of a sudden drop in
    the terrain, a crypt was built below the apse The crypt is a
    simple semicircular room with a robust blind arcade One
    enters it from the middle of a staircase using from the
    castle entrance below the church The entrance to the staircase and therefore to the entire complex, is an attractive
    Romanesque portal with elbowed columns and a checked
    archivolt with a mutilated inscription reading Aedes-Has-Municass-Invistas (Preserve inviolate These Houses
    1103") On our modem calendar that year would be
    equivalent to 1065 The portal and the crypt must be
    older than the church, although the form of tile crypt pre
    figures the structure which must have grown direct
    the same concept The decorative elements of this
    and the crypt clearly derive from the art of Jaca.


    http://www.castles.org/castles/Europ...esca/index.htm

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    Re: Castles in Spain

    Castle of Almodóvar




    Almodovar del Rio is a grandiose caliphal fortress erected on a high mound along the Guadalquivir. Its high walls are flanked by square towers, except for one that may be Visigothic.
    The principal tower is taller than the others, and the entire castle is surrounded by a large moat, while in the middle there is a large court of arms.
    During the Almohad invasion, it was the site of an encounter between warring Muslim factions, and Peter the Cruel used it as a prison for his sister-in-law Juana de Lara. It was also the scene of the battles between the followers of Henry IV and his brother. Much later, Philip IV ceded it to the Order of Santiago.
    The count of Torralba rebuilt it at the beginning of this century under the direction of the marquis of Cubas, giving it the external appearance of the original Arab fortification. It is one of the few castle-palaces in Andalucia that can still be inhabited.



    http://www.castles.org/castles/Europ...doba/index.htm

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    Re: Castles in Spain

    Libros antiguos y de colección en IberLibro
    Castle of Olite


    Palacio Real de Olite: Photographies of the Castle Olite's Royal palace


    History of the Royal Palace of Olite

    It was Sancho VII “el fuerte” who ordered to build a first defensive place at the end of 12th and the beginning of the 13th century. It was built over the remains of a roman fortress. His sucessors from the house of

    Champagne, Teobaldo I and Teobaldo II, improved and extended what it is called Palacio Viejo (Old Palace). The first expansion of the palace was made in 1350 by Carlos II “el malo” when he ordered to build St. George Chapel at the south of it.

    The definitive impulse for a building which would be a permanent residence for the royalty and made way to what nowadays is known as Royal Palace of Olite or Palacio Nuevo (New Palace), was made by Carlos III “el noble” from the house of Evreux. He made the successive expansions of the historic place with the intention of consolidate his presence and get a more comfortable environment typical of the court. This was thanks to the influence of the French nobility dynasty he belonged to and his inherited possessions in Normandy.

    Except for the building of some not very relevant rooms, Catalina de Foix and Juan III de Albret ordered the last significant renovations at the end of 15th century.

    Later, Olite became the house of Viceroys of Navarre although they did not spend long periods there.


    Castle - Royal Palace of Olite

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