Fortified Castle of Chinchilla de Montearagón

C/Subida al castillo, s/n, 02520, Chinchilla de Monte-Aragón, Albacete

Cultural Visit

The fortified castle of Chinchilla de Montearagon was built in the 15th century by Juan Pacheco, Marquis of Villena, on the site of an existing Arab fortification, the walls of which can still be seen.

Keeping watch from its elevated position, the castle’s majestic tower, the so called “Torre del Homenaje” (Tower of Tribute), is where Cesar Borgia was imprisoned in 1504.

Evidence of the construction by Juan Pacheco can be found in the coat of arms on the walls and in a topographical survey from 1576 which states: “This tower, fortifications and moat were made by the Marquis of Villena”.

Archaeological remains from all the civilizations that have existed in the Peninsula, such as Iberians, Romans, Visigoths, have been discovered in the vicinity of the castle.

The Muslims were very important for the development of Chinchilla and they named it Ghenghalet, a name that appears in the records of that time.

Chinchilla was re-conquered from the Muslims in 1242, led by the Commander of Ucles, Pelayo Pérez Correa, with an army formed by Christians from the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon.

In the 14th century Chinchilla became part of the Señorío de Villena under the mandate of Don Juan Manuel. It was a very prosperous century for the city and its territory, a century in which important buildings appear such as the convent of San Juan of the Dominican order, begun at the end of the 13th century, the Church of El Salvador and that of Santa María in the current Plaza de La Mancha.

The 15th century stands out for the appointment of Chinchilla as a city in 1422 by King Juan II, and for the beginning of the construction of the current castle in 1448 by Juan Pacheco, who turned the former Arab castle into the magnificent fortress that we can see today.

Centuries later, in 1812, the castle suffered undoubtedly some of its greatest damage when, during the Independence War, as the French troops were withdrawing from the country, they besieged the castle and demolished the great tower located inside the walls, also causing major damage to the interiors.

Shortly before 1900, the city council ceded the castle to penitentiary institutions, allowing the construction of a prison within the castle walls. This led to the ultimate destruction of the interior of the fortress built by Juan Pacheco, as all remaining structures were removed to build the prison.

In 1973, the town council regained ownership of the castle and demolished the prison, which had been abandoned since 1946 and was in poor condition, leaving the parts of the castle which are visible today.

Schedule

Winter schedule, from November 01 to May 31:

  • Guided tours from Tuesday to Saturday at 11:00, 12:30 and 16:00h.
  • Guided tours on Sunday at 11:00h.

Summer schedule, from June 01 to October 31:

  • Guided tours from Tuesday to Saturday at 09:00, 10:30 and 19:00h.
  • Guided tours on Sunday at 09:00h.

Please, check the specific times for each type of visit before your purchase.

Closed:

  • Sunday afternoon and Monday all day.
  • December 24, 25 and 31.
  • January 01.

Location

Address:

Subida al castillo St, no-number, 02520, Chinchilla de Monte-Aragón, Albacete

How to get there:

From Albacete, the distance is 16.8 km. Journey time approximately 22 minutes on the motorway A-31.

From Madrid, the distance is 270 km. Journey time approximately 2 hours 36 minutes on the motorways A-3 and A-31.

From Valencia, the distance is 171 km. Journey time approximately 1 hour 47 minutes on the motorway A-31.

From Alicante, the distance is 156 km. Journey time approximately 1 hour 35 minutes on the motorway A-31.

From Murcia, the distance is 134 km. Journey time approximately 1 hour 35 minutes on the motorway A-30.

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