King Ferdinand III on the route of Castles and Palaces of Andalusia

This route is characterized by a tour of castles and palaces located in towns that were conquered by King Ferdinand III, the Saint, over more than 12 years of struggle against the Muslims and the  reconquest  of  Al-Andalus. The cities which it refers to are Jaén, conquered in 1246; Cordoba taken over in 1236, Almodóvar del Río, Córdoba taken over between 1240 and 1243; Seville  finally  conquered  in  1248  and  later  Jerez  de  la  Frontera,  Cádiz.

An ideal route to carry out in stages due to the distance it covers and to be able to enjoy each castle or palace and the possibilities they offer: complementary activities and their gastronomy that will leave a good taste in the mouth to travelers because of the typical products that can be tasted in each of them.

It is a route that combines castles with its characteristic defensive architecture and the most stately palaces where the interior decoration is an important part of it.

An interesting route highly recommended to do during a long holliday or long weekend. Another option is to visit some of the nearby places to the starting point in case you do not have much time.

Where does the route take place?

  • Palacio de Viana
  • Castillo de Almodóvar
  • Palacio Portocarrero
  • Castillo de la Monclova
  • Casa de Pilatos
  • Castillo de Santiago
  • Palacio del Virrey Laserna
  • Castillo de San Marcos

Know castles and palaces in this route

The Palace of Viana is a stately home dating from the 15th century and located in the central neighbourhood of Santa Marina. It continued expanding until the middle of the 20th century. In the process, it would become a valuable example of a manor of the Cordovan nobility.

It was connected to the Cordovan aristocracy. From its beginnings until the 19th century, it belonged to the Marquisate of Villaseca and from then until 1980 to the Marquisate of Viana. It currently belongs to the Fundación Cajasur which keeps it open to the public as a museum.

Viana offers its visitors the possibility to visit a worldly noble house and to discover the evolution of architectural styles, decorative arts and environments related to the aristocracy. It invites you to be transported to other periods, to get to know the evolution of the ways of life, through its tastes and the important role these elites played throughout history. All of this is reflected in the magnificent artistic collections of the palace: leather, gold leather, paintings, armour, tiles, upholstery, furniture… The visit is completed with one of its main attractions: its twelve courtyards and a garden. The courtyard in Viana, a vestige of Roman and Muslim tradition, offers a wide representation of its history: from the neighbourhood courtyard of medieval origin, an example of popular architecture, to the Renaissance courtyards that are symbolic of power and pedigree

The Castle of Almodóvar was built in the Arab period in the year 740. It received the name Almudawwar, which means the round, in honor of the shape of the land where it is settled.

It belonged to the Caliphate of Córdoba during the years of Abderramán III. When Al-Andalus was divided into different kingdoms independent of each other, known as the kingdoms of Taifas, the Castle belonged first to Seville’s kingdom and later to Carmona’s one and finally to Toledo’s kingdom.

In 1240, four years after the reconquest of Córdoba, the Castle was acquired by Fernando II “The Saint”, who rebuilt it and enlarged part of it.

During the reign of Peter I “El Cruel” or “El Justo”, the bastion reached one of its most splendid times, serving as a dwelling, prison and treasure chamber, thus establishing itself as a military function.

Among other personalities, the dungeons of the Castle of Almodóvar were occupied by D. Fadrique and Mrs. Juana de Lara.

It is in 1900, when its owner, D. Rafael Desmaissières and Farina, XII Count of Torralva, dedicates -for 36 years- his fortune and part of his life to rebuild the fortress.

The castle of Monclova, which has its origin in the SXIV, is located on the city of Obulcula S.II b.c. It constitutes the last avatar of a secular population nucleus of the prehistoric, turdetana and roman epochs, and the perduration of the city in the form of farmstead through the Muslim domination, as the historians and geographers of antiquity affirm, in their repeated mentions. Its name of indigenous origin, is the diminutive of the other great Iberian city called Obulco, in Porcuna (Jaén).

In the year 1342, King Alfonso XI granted the castle of Monclova to his Admiral of the Sea Micer Egidio Bocanegra as a reward for the services rendered. In the sixteenth century these lands belonged to the family of La Vega until the death of the famous poet Garcilaso related to the House of Mendoza by marriage of Leonor de la Vega, with Don Iñigo Lopez de Mendoza, Marquis of Santillana.

On September 20, 1617, Mr. de la Monclova, Mr. Antonio Portocarrero and Enriquez de la Vega were awarded the title of Count of La Monclova and on May 5, 1706, the greatness of Spain. Already in the eighteenth century these lands fall to the Marquis of Ariza and then joins the house of the Duke of Infantado.
 In the year 1910, Joaquín de Arteaga y Echagüe, XVII Duke of the Infantado rebuilt the castle.

At present, it has diversified its activity to welcome visitors and guests who wish to explore the charming residence, learn about its centennial history and enjoy this emblematic place.

The castle of La Monclova had a rectangular plan, and had rectangular towers, of which vestiges are preserved in the north and east angles. Although they were very remodeled with the later works, the oldest remains that are conserved of this castle date back to the XIV century, being these the tower of the Homage and three canvases of the walled enclosure. The keep is rectangular in shape, and has two overlapping chambers and a roof with a parapet and hooded battlements.

This tower must have been originally massive, although today it houses the main staircase of the palace. The entrance to the castle is made through a portico with a semicircular arch over columns and family shields in the spandrels. In a frieze can be read It is over 1668.

From the entrance you walk into a large patio porticoed on three sides with semicircular arches on columns and shields of the Order of Mercy in the spandrels. Today the chapel has an altarpiece of Castilian tendency of the sixteenth century, from the Castillo de Viñuelas, in Madrid, which was the property of the Duque del Infantado. The wooden doors are a sample of the size of the seventeenth century.

The Parador de Carmona offers beauty, tranquility, exquisite cuisine and lovely scenery. The building is built over the ruins of a stunning fortress standing high above the town. It offers a fabulous swimming pool, terraces with views of the countryside and a delightful interior courtyard surrounded by pleasant lounges. The dining room is located in the former refectory and is one of the most spectacular in the Paradores chain. It offers lovely views of the swimming pool and the light-filled landscape of Andalusia, as well as traditional cuisine, which of course includes exquisite confectionery and partridge dishes. Decorative elements such as the tilework will remind you that you are in the land of Andalusia, where the light is special and the people are friendly.

Many different peoples found Carmona to be an ideal spot to settle and they left behind traces that still remain today. Must-see sights include the Puerta de Sevilla (Seville Gate); the Roman necropolis, evidence of a magnificent past; and the Museum of the City of Carmona, which provides a journey through the town's history. 

It is less than half an hour by car from the tranquility of our Parador and the lovely town of Carmona to the magic and light exuded by Seville. It is almost impossible to express the beauty of Andalusia's capital in words. The city is home to some of the most spectacular sights in Spain, including the Giralda, cathedral, Torre del Oro (Golden Tower), Triana neighborhood and Reales Alcázares palace complex. In this city bathed by the Guadalquivir, religion and celebrations are lived with special passion. You are sure to think back on enjoying tasty tapas at a sunny terrace café and magical hidden spots with special nostalgia.

 

 

This palace better known as Casa de Pilatos, is a harmonious combination of the Gothic-Mudejar Late Middle Ages tradition and Italian Renaissance innovations which was first introduced in Seville by the Enríquez de Ribera family, Adelantados Mayores of Andalusia , main representatives of the crown in Baja Andalucia and former owners of this Palace. 

Located in the historic centre of Seville, the core zones of the building began to be built at the end of the 15th century and eventually halls, patios and gardens were added turning it into the largest private residential complex in the city, an ideal setting for the development of a new lifestyle and elite society in a city which had undergone a transformation into the richest imperial overseas metropolis ever known.

Throughout the Spanish Golden Age, this palace acted as a sieve for new artistic tastes from Italy. Sevillians first knew them thanks to the marble pieces brought from Genova five hundred years ago by the I Marquis of Tarifa from his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, which eventually gave its name to the palace. Then, later on, new artistic trends were revealed to the city’s citizens in the extraordinary sculptures and paintings collected and still seen within, brought by two of the descendants of the Marquis, the I and III Duke of Alcalá, while acting as viceroys of Naples.

Due to its spatial organization, architectural quality and richness in decoration, this building became the canonical model of Andalusian civil architecture and the pattern of Sevillian palaces.

The Castle of Santiago was built by Don Enrique Pérez de Guzmán, the II Duke of Medinasidonia, VII lord of Sanlúcar at the end of 15th century. It is one of the best documentated castles in the country and the biggest in terms of Surface in the province of Cádiz.

The duke started the construction of the fortress, after increasing his fortune and making his dynasty one of the main ones in the kingdom of Castile. It is believed the castle was finished by 1477, when the Queen Isabella, sovereign of Castile, saw the sea for the first time.

It was from here that Christopher Columbus started on his 3rd voyage, Magellan gathered all the necessary things for his travel around the world and from the watchover Elcano was named the commander in charge to finish the adventure after the death of Magellan.

San Marcos Castle, located in El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz, was built in the 13th century configured as a border fortress-church with the Nasrid kingdom of Granada under the reign of Alfonso X the Wise, who took the population of Alcanatif and integrated it into the kingdom of Castilla y León.

San Marcos Castle is built in a key place both strategic and spiritual. The oldest construction on this site dates from the Ist century; a Roman temple built in what was the highest point of Portus Gaditanus, a small fishing village dedicated mainly to obtaining salt and fishing in the bay.

This structure was marked by the different vicissitudes faced by the entire surrounding area such as the Visigoth invasion and the subsequent Arab conquest from North Africa, transforming the temple into a church and mosque respectively.

With the population increase experienced by the entire Andalusian Caliphate in the 10th century, the Alcanatif village was founded where Portus Gaditanus once stood and, erecting the mosque that today keeps this emblematic castle. It is precisely the structure of the mosque that first stands out inside the Castle: a temple of “Córdoba” tradition that uses the marble columns of the now disappeared Roman temple to support the roof and the vaults inside the building.

Highlights in the mosque not only the horseshoe arches that are distributed throughout the space, but the Mihrab located in the Quibla wall. Mihrab that has endured to this day surviving 7 centuries of Christian worship.

After the capture of Alcanatif by Alfonso X, it became part of the kingdom of Castilla y León under the name of "Santa María del Puerto" and the same monarch ordered not only the conversion of the mosque into a Christian church but the beginning of the works to turn it, also, into a fortress and border post with the Nasrid kingdom of Granada, giving it the name of "Castillo de San Marcos" in honor of the onomastics of the day of the conquest of Alcanatif, on April 25th.

Until the 14th century, the Castle and the village of Santa María del Puerto were part of the crown of Castilla until Luis de la Cerda, the first Duke of Medinaceli, was granted the duchy who owns the castle until the 19th century and under his orders the different works of the castle of extensions and adhesions that we can see today were made.

The most representative dates from the 15th century, a period in which the ducal house invests a good amount of resources in the population, also financing the construction of the city's Basilica.

Already in the 19th century the ownership of the castle passes to the town hall that manages to keep it barely carrying out reforms and reconstructions trying to seek its conservation. Today, it belongs to the Caballero Group that has managed to maintain successfully and in good condition this emblematic monument of El Puerto de Santa María.

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