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Azagala Castle

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Azagala Castle

Brief Description

Azalgala Castle is located on a peak in the Sierra de Santiago, near Albuquerque. Its location is in a country of great qualities and military logistics, despite that it appears that the castle came after the Christian Reconquest of these lands. During the 15th and 16th centuries there were constant fights between noble families and the Portuguese armies because of their border proximity.

From the mid-13th century to the mid-15th century it alternately depended on the city of Badajoz and stately power, being integrated into the Order of Alcantara in 1461 thanks to some swaps, which then linked it to the Maestral Bureau.

The castle adapts well to the terrain on its location at the top of a rocky ridge, forcing a narrow and elongated layout, taking advantage of a topography that defines the space and further extends the site with diverse structures.

The castle is constituted of a long enclosure, consecutively from various eastern and western precincts, each composed of a yard, towers and various units. The westernmost part of the castle consists of a Barbican triangular plot near the apex through which the access door opens. The walls are of masonry and ashlars, similar to the rest of the fortress. Moving onto the main part of the castle, one enters through a door with ashlar arches, where it is possibly to make out the small shield whose weapons are not distinguishable today.

The first visible space one sees consists of a courtyard flanked by several dependencies.  A lift, a large tower and a hall connects it with the second section of the castle; to the north there are stables and a main wall; straight ahead is another main wall and a newly constructed house, and toward the west there is a gateway flanked by two projecting towers.

In the entire first courtyard, the most interesting part is the imposing Weapons Tower. Its structure is masonry and ashlar with a square base, compartmentalized inside of two floors and a terrace. In addition to the monumentality of the tower, it is a very interesting internal structure. It has two entrances, on which appears a Gothic inscription which gives us data on the exact date of its construction, the year 1303. The ground floor is covered with a masonry vault, whiles its walls demonstrated fine masonry styles. The top floor can be reached by a spiral staircase embedded in the wall; the ceiling is ribbed, starting from the columns to the corners and brackets located on each side. The terrace is in poor condition, as it has lost its parapets and battlements, but still retains the strong brackets that held the machicolations.

The Keep, without a doubt, was the most important structure in terms of strength, and although it was built after the Weapons Tower, it is far more monumental.

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