Castilla La Mancha is situated in the heart of Spain. It is famous for Toledo city, popular travel destination and historic cultural center; and, of course, this region is known worldwide thanks to Miguel de Cervantes and Don Quixote novel.
Castilla La Mancha appears to be the greatest arena of Spanish history, as it was the place of numerous civil and international wars. Probably, it is the main reason of a big number of castles around. These are prime points of historic sightseeing that are usually offered to tourists.
Alarcon castle, for instance, dates back to the 5th century, specifically, the reign of Visigoth King Alaric II. For many centuries it served as a shelter for numerous Arabic political leaders and royal members, until the Middle Ages. The importance of this castle has risen during Reconquista period - the construction served as a fortress on the road to Valencia and Murcia. In course of time the authority of
Alarcon castle embraced neighboring villages and settlements, until the same-named city appeared around. Ruins of Alarcon castle were reconstructed at the beginning of the 21st century.On June 15th 2003 it was opened for visitors.
In Alarcon neighborhood there is one more beautiful medieval castle – Belmonte. According to one of the legends, it is here Henry I of Castile hided his bastard daughter Joanna la Beltraneja, who later became consort queen of Portugal (in 1475). One of the castle gates are named after her. Speaking of Belmonte castle, it is appropriate to mention that since its first settlers, the Romans, each owner of Belmonte invested new features and reconstructed the interior. As a result, the residency is performed in Mozarabic style with some Moorish and Gothic features in its interior decoration. In 1932 Belmonte became a national monument of Spain.
Castillo Calatrava la Vieja
Castillo Calatrava la Vieja has soared on the left bank of Guadiana River in the 8th century. It was located on strategically important road from Toledo to Cordova, which assured its lasting existence for following five centuries. It was a spot of violent revolutions and Arabic Civil Wars, as well as murderous conflicts of religious orders. In 1984 Calatrava la Vieja became the basis of research of medieval Spain, as archeological digging was initiated. Numerous exhibits are distributed over Spanish national museums. It is opened for tourists all year round, except of Mondays and public holidays.
Castillo de Calatrava la Nueva
Castillo de Calatrava la Nueva appeared near Almagro town in 1216. It was the main citadel of the first Spanish knights’ order – Calatrava. It was a set of large-scaled buildings, a church with three naves and two inner yards. Despite the fact that Calatrava la Nueva is half-ruined, it has preserved its mightiness and magnificent view through ages.
San Servando Castle
San Servando Castle is located in Toledo. Specifically, it is a fortress of the 14th century that appeared just after Toledo town, in order to control the connection to main facilities around. The construction experienced influence of Roman, Visigoth and Arabic cultures, which are reflected in castle architecture. The last improvements were made in 1959, when San Servando became a place of student hostel conference hall.
Escalona Castle is in private ownership today. Nevertheless it was built in the 15th century and much destroyed by French troops during the Independence War.