Monday, 15 December 2014

Damp day... so it's Moorish Castle

For those of you that have been mightily pee'd off by my reports of sunshine, al fresco lunches etc. this weekend it has rained, a little, been overcast, a little, and overcoat's were required today...there you all feel so much better now don't you?

We took ourselves off this afternoon to Alcala la Real to visit the Fortaleza de la Mota...the Fortress of the Hill which dominates Alcala and all the surrounding countryside.  This is the Moorish 'castle' that you can see for miles before arriving at Alcala.  The Moslem rulers were established in the 7th century and held out against the 'Christian' rulers of the remainder of Castille until the mid 14thCentury ( 1341) when Alcala fell to Alphonso XI.   The fortress is developed and an Abbey founded there by the new Spanish rulers.  Napoleon fired the Abbey when he and his army was rampaging there in the Peninsula wars and it finally disappeared in the 19thC.

 Fortaleza De La Mota
 View of modern Alcala from the ramparts

 Medieval structures within the fortress, winery's, butchery's and Poundland etc.

 A modern representation of a Trebuchet..rock slinging anti-siege kit.

 The Trebuchet's ammunition...ouch!
 Excavated licence, full of wine

The Abbey Church...minus the abbey


  1. I love this post in particular. We are happy you and Joe escaped the cold (it was below freezing last night) and are hanging out and enjoying not only the weather but the local sites. The ammo for the siege engine (trebuchet) is quite daunting to see piled up like that. We've been watching the BBC's Secrets of the Castle wherein three archeologist's/historians are living in France at the modern site of a castle being built using only medieval methods. It's fascinating how thick the walls are and how building castles in this country came from the castles built by the moors and the Spanish during the Crusades. Eat some olives for me and lift a glass of vino for Les!!

  2. Vino being imbibed as I type...just for you two.
    I glad you are enjoying Spain, vicariously anyway. I saw the trailers for the Castle program and would have watched them, we have followed all of the previous outings by Ruth and Peter in their 'life on, Victorian/Edwardian farms etc. Re crusader castles, they may well have influenced how the Barons built or amended/embellished castles in Gt. Britain but they were building them long before the Crusades started; the Pope's of Rome very own Jihads..
    I do hope GCHQ don't find anything to interst them in the use of the dreaded word...
    See you both somewhere on the cut
    X Lesley


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