Atalaya Castle of Villena

Plaza de las Embajadas s/n. 03400 - Villena (Alicante)

Cultural Visit

Villena's Atalaya Castle was built by the Almohad Empire at the end of the 12th Century, to be used as a shelter for the Muslim population and a fortress against the attack of the peninsular Christian kingdoms. During this period, the inner rampart and the first two floors of the keep were built, with its imposing vaults, unique in the castles of Spain along with the fortress of Biar. King James I of Aragon conquered the castle in 1240 and, after the Treaty of Almizra, Villena Estate passed into the domain of the Manuel family, first feudal lords.

In the 14th century, the famous writer Don Juan Manuel, author of El Conde Lucanor, became Prince of Villena. In addition, his second wife, Princess Constanza of Aragon, lived in the castle, forcing him to carry out some important works, such us the building of the chapel, remains of which are still visible. In the 15th century, the castle was ruled by the powerful Pacheco family, Marquises of Villena, who added two new floors to the keep and built the second rampart.

In 1476, the Catholic Monarchs took the castle away from the Pacheco after a harsh siege throwing stone projectiles, with some of them still remaining in the courtyard. During the following centuries, the castle was used in the Germanías War, the war of the Spanish succession and the Peninsular War, with formidable canonball hits and graffiti made by prisoners still visible on the castle's walls.

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We Recommed

Medieval combats by members of the Official League of Medieval Combat. To take place on Su [...]

Schedule

Non-guided visit:

  • Morning from Tuesday to Sunday, holidays and Monday before holidays: 10:00 to 14:00 h.
  • Afternoon fromTuesday to Saturday: 16:00 to 18:00 h.

Last entry 30 minutes before closing.

Guided Tours:

  • Morning: 10:30, 11:30, 12:30
  • Afternoon: 16:30.

Closed: 

  • Monday all day long.
  • Sunday afternoon and holiday afternoon.
  • December 25.

Location

Address:

Plaza de las Embajadas, no number, 03400 - Villena (Alicante)

How to get there:

By car

The A-31 highway connects Villena with Madrid (just 360 km away) and with Alicante (58 km). The A-7 highway connects Villena with Valencia in just over an hour. When arriving from the A-31 it is advisable to take the exit Villena Sur, from which the arrival to the castle is signposted, leading to a parking area for cars and coaches next to the Castle and the Tourist Info Office Castillo de Villena.

By bus

Main companies that include Villena amongst their destinations are:

  • From Madrid and Valencia: Alsa
  • From Alicante and Elche: Vectalia Subús

By plane

  • Alicante-Elche Airport being 60km away.
  • Valencia Airport being 130km away.
  • Murcia-San Javier Airport being 120km away.

By train

Villena has a modern high-speed station opened in 2013 that connects the town with Madrid, Albacete and Cuenca. In addition, Villena has another train station in the town centre, which connects with Alicante, Murcia, Valencia and Barcelona.

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