Belmonte Castle

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Belmonte Castle

Belmonte Castle in Cuenca, Spain is a massive medieval castle in Spain. This grand bastion was built on the hill of San Cristobal, considered one of the important historical locations throughout Spain. Medieval fortress Belmonte attracts thousands of visitors a year, because besides the magnificent fortress, it impresses with the beauty of its forms - it was built in the shape of a star with six rays, each ending in an oval, tall tower.

Belmonte Castle is located about 150 km southeast of the Spanish capital Madrid, in the province of Cuenca, the autonomous region Castilla La Mancha. For Belmonte Castle, we can say that is one of the best and preserved specimens of Gothic medieval castles with so-called mudejar ornamentation in Arab style. To Belmonte you can get with highway Nacional 420.

Belmonte Castle in its original form was a family mansion dating from the late 12th century. Then Fernando III gave it to his son Don Manuel, who began building his residence here around 1323-1324 year. Today this structure is in ruins. This castle was erected on the site of the old Don Juan Fernandez Pacheco, which was the first Marquesado of Villena between 1456 and 1470.

He received the palace as a donation from Enrique III. There is an original document dated October 12, 1456, in which Don Juan ordered the construction of the magnificent fortress Belmonte, on the hill of San Cristobal. Plans to build a long wall from the village under the hill to the castle itself. Means for the grand project would come from the Marquis and vassals of Belmonte.

In 1467 Belmonte was succeeded by his son Don Juan - Don Diego Lopez Pacheco, second Marquis of Villena. After that date, after stormy historical events when the kings Catholics forced Diego Lopez Pacheco to swear allegiance to them and gain power over his castle.

For further history of Belmonte Castle is the related function of the prison. This happens in the early 19 th century, during the French invasion. A little later the castle is owned by Eugenia de Montijo, who decided to retire to the palace after the death of her husband - Napoleon III. Indeed, Belmonte was a survivor of the family stronghold of Eugenia.

Belmonte Castle in Cuenca, Spain

While living there, she began a large-scale restoration of the medieval fortress. Its outcome is visible today.

The original architect of Belmonte Castle was captain Hanequín of Brussels, but the building underwent a lot of improvements. Belmonte recreated the unique Gothic architecture with Arabic motifs. It’s great wall descends down the hill, and its outer gate was re-made again in the Gothic style, with a typical porch with side rails. Another such gate on the opposite side connects the castle with the village.

Even today are preserved traces of the former drawbridge of Belmonte. In relation to interior, the palace also has some interesting things to offer. Filled with a variety of rooms, galleries, a chapel, but everywhere visitors can see the beautiful arches, all legacies of the Neo-Gothic structure of 19 century.

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