The Alconchel Castle or Miraflores Castle

06131 Alconchel. Badajoz. España

Cultural Visit

The most distinctive element of the town is the “Alconchel Castle", also called today as “Miraflores Castle” because it is located on the hill of the same name. Nestled on top of the hill of the same name, dominates with its imposing presence all the territories of the environment. Of Arab origin, and rebuilt in the 12th century by the monarch Alfonso Enríquez, was later consolidated by the Templars, becoming one of the most important bastions of this order.

Originally it was composed of triple enclosure, reinforced the intermediate with cubes pointed towards the south. It is presided by a powerful homage tower, completing the whole a good yard of weapons, cisterns, dungeons, chapel and other dependencies of which are preserved different remains. Today it is inside the centre of interpretation of the fortifications of the Great Lake of Alqueva, it already has a unique space for conventions, congresses and exhibitions and prepares for the lodging.

From the historical point of view, it should be remembered that a Muslim enclave existed here, of which no trace remains. In the first place it was occupied by the Portuguese, late in the 12th century, in the time of Alfonso I, in 1166. It passed into Castilian hands a hundred years later, in 1264, and was given to the Templars first and to that of Alcántara later. The fortress is full of History of the struggles between the Kingdoms of Spain and Portugal.

Most of the bulk of the fortress is built with stones, with ashlars in the corners of the keep and masonry. The wood is used in a few places such as in ranguas bars, floors of the tower and possibly in the rake of the current entrance door and in the mechinales of the upper part of the north side of the tower.

The castle has not escaped the local heritage either and there are some local traditions that revolve around it. Despite being many of them exaggerated data, they turn out to be curious and worthy of being traced documentary.

Thus, in Alconchel it is often stated that a tunnel leads from the fortress to the parish church and another to the nearby Ermita de la Esperanza, indeed some castles have had mines or passageways that served as an escape in situations of siege, but in In this case at hand, it has not been possible to attest to the presence of said tunnels in any way. Of course, what is proven is that the presence of mines in castles was a serious detriment to it since in the same way that it could serve to escape, it could also serve to enter by enemies, with which the presence of them is almost ruled out.

Schedule

September,  October and winter

  • Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 10:00 to 13:30 and from 17:30 to 19:30h.
  • The guided tour is at 12:00, 13:30 and 18:00h.

March and April and Summer open time:  

  • Fridays from 19:00 to 21:00h.
  • Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 10:00 to 13:30 and from 19:00 to 21:00h. 
  • Guided Tours at 10:30, 12:00 and 20:00h.

Organized groups any other day of the week, please contact to Spain Heritage Network.

Location

Address:

Olivo street, 17, 06131 Alconchel, Badajoz

How to get there:

The current access to the fortress is:

By car:

  1. By the road EX-107 Badajoz-Portugal in which point kilometre 42.600 of the section Olivenza-Alconchel, it deviates to the right a road tarred of 2 Km. Approximately, in good condition, which leads to the vicinity of the entrance door to the Fortress.
  2. From the interior of the town by the Plaza de España, Sliding Street, Church Square and El Venero Street from where it is extended by an asphalted road towards the entrance to the fortress. 

On foot or on mountain bikes

  1. From the interior of the town square of the church, Calle Olivo from where it extends Stone road (new and old) until the entrance to the fortress.
  2. From the Natural and picnic area "El Gollizo" which is accessed from the EX107 Road to the fortress by dirt roads in good condition.
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