“Building castles in Spain”! That means having unfeasible projects.
For Spain is considered to have few castles, which in the 15th century would have deprived the Moors of the possibility of taking refuge in a residence that would guarantee their safe retirement when the Christian kingdoms took over the Peninsula.
However, in Aragon, a former kingdom and the current autonomous community of Spain, you can see many of them, including two very impressive ones, in Loarre and Uncastillo.
Loarre Abbey Castle is one of the best preserved Roman fortresses in Europe, considered the oldest Roman-style castle in Spain.
In the 11th century. Sancho Ramírez, king of Aragon and Navarre, had this inextricable fortress built at an altitude of 1070 m and set up a monastery there.
As you approach this impressive eagle’s nest, you will be struck by the beauty and tranquility of the site. Once you have crossed the fortifications flanked by round towers, you enter the castle through a majestic vaulted staircase leading to a Romanesque church and, through a maze of passageways, you arrive at a massive dungeon from which you can discover a huge panorama of the Ebro Depression.
Huge reservoirs collected 80,000 liters of rainwater.
Forgetfuls were used as a pantry by the monks, then as a prison by the nobles who then took possession of the castle.
Loarre is the finest example of the Spanish fortifications, representing one of the best specimens of military and civil architecture in Europe and was declared a cultural heritage and national monument in 1906.
In Uncastillo, the fortress was also built in the 11th century, but by the Muslims in order to defend their borders and control Christian expansion.
The Iberian peninsula was then, since 711, under Muslim domination and was called Al-Andalus … until the fall of Granada in Andalusia in 1492.
Two large square towers, two wall walls … uniqueness at a time when the castles only have one. We walked into the towers on the first floor through a rope ladder. In the 14th century, fireplaces improve comfort and a Gothic Palace is added. A prosperous city will expand around the fortress, which will, however, experience periods of incessant wars throughout the Middle Ages.
The Spanish builders have successfully carried out their architectural projects!