The province of Zaragoza has many amazing castles that tell us histories from the past about different cultures and kingdoms. Some of them have their origins in the Muslim domination epoch, while others were built due to orders of kings from Aragon. Also, some are really well preserved, but others are much deteriorated. Nevertheless all these castles are fascinating examples of that impressive architecture heritage from past times and you should definitely visit all of them. Come to discover these gems with us!
Our route around the main fortresses in Zaragoza starts in the Aljafería palace, the biggest from the Taifa Zaragoza built during the first half of the XI century as one of the most important Muslim complexes in Spain. After the retaken of the city in 1118, La Aljafería became the home of the kings of Aragon, who carried out different reforms. Nowadays this castle is the headquarters of Aragón. In 2001 it was introduced in the list of UNESCO Heritage of Humanity, inside of the Mudejar architecture of Aragón.
We continue to the Cinco Villas, where we highlight the Sádaba castle. It is located in the opposite side of the city centre and it supposes one of the most famous postcards of the locality. Its main characteristic is the perfect preservation of its original shape: rectangular floor with seven important towers.
Sos del Rey Católico castle
Still in the Cinco Villas we visit now the locality in which Fernando the Catholic was born, a good example of fortress, in which origins was an important defensive site along with the frontier with Navarra. This castle was the origin of the medieval village that grew due to the houses that were building next to the walls. Dating the XII we can still visit the original Tribute Tower.
Located in the peak of the Ayllon crag there is the Uncastillo fortress that we must visit. Its irregular floor is constructed in a difficult space, that nevertheless let the reminders of this building to divide in two differentiated spaces presided by two towers: the Tribute and the Palace’s.
The history of this castle dates back to re-conquest times, when Alfonso II took the village to give it later to the Hospital Order, who in return built this great fortress. In 1412, this castle was located in the center of the historic Aragon, where Fernando de Antequera was chosen first king of the Trastámara house in Aragon. The current look of the castle has many restorations started at the end of the XX century. In the same locality there stands out the Salamanca Tower, built up in 1875 by the general Manuel Salamanca.
In Moncayo we find this Trasmoz castle, located in a beautiful hill. Constructed during the XII century, this fortress was an important frontier spot for the Navarra and Aragon kingdoms, which provided a continuous owners change until its abandon after the union of the Castile and Aragon crowns. Its origin is linked to legendary interpretations talking about witches and necromancers, stories that own their existence to the famous writer Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer.
Defensive fortress of Calatayud
We finish our route around Zaragoza visiting Calatayud, a city with one of the most attractive defensive complex of Muslim origin in the whole country. The common element is the wall of four kilometers drawing a complex defensive system made of five castles or differentiated defensive areas: Doña Martina, Mayor Castle, Real or del Reloj Castel, Mocha Tower and Peña Castle.
These are some of the main castles in the province of Zaragora, but they are not the only ones. Other localities like Ejea de los Caballeros, Daroca, Luesia, Mequinenza, Illueca or Embid de Ariza also have interesting monuments of defensive character. Do you know any of them? Which is your favorite?