The Archidona Castle is located in the Cerro de Gracia, in the Andalusian town of Archidona and within the Parque Periurbano Sierra de Gracia (Park).
The Castle/Fortress of Archidona was built by the Arabs in the IX century and rebuilt by Alhamar, the first Nasrid king, in the thirteenth century.
The Sierra de Gracia Periurbano Park has a total area of 35,5 hectares and was listed as such in 1999 by the Conserjería de Medio Ambiente (Department of the Environment). Inside is the Castle of Archidona, declared of cultural interest, and also part of the Periurbano Park is located within the Historical Site of the city, regognized as such in 1980 and is situated in the shelter of the imposing Sierra de Gracia. The whiteness of their houses contrasts sharply with the aridity of the rock and olive groves.
This area is prehistoric as testified useful tools founded bouth Neolithic and Chalcolithic. The first settlements were in the Phoenician city of Ascua. The historical footprint continues with testimonies of defensive architecture of the Iberian populations and the Roman presence after the incorporation of Hispania to post-war with Cartage empire.
The Roman called it “Arcis Domina”, meaning “lady of the heights” because of its location.
The fortified area of Cerro de Gracia is a good example of the Arab presence, highlighting the Puerta de la Ciudad (City Gate) and the Puerta del Sol.
The Arabs became a fortress where emir Abderrahman I proclaimed, callin Medina-Arxiduna, where it derives its current name. In 1462 Archidona was conquered by the Conde de Osuna, beginning to expand outside the walls to occupy the area it currently has. After the Christian conquest, the new population center and its most prominent urban representation in the Plaza Ochavada, the eighteenth century curious octagonal shape is established; in her red brick and white lime are combined.
Puerta del Sol (08/07/2018
The “Puerta del Sol”, open towards the east, is one of two entrances to the ancient walled Andalusian Arsiduna, erected on the top of Cerro de Gracia. The gate, restored shows an elbow transit and a second floor, and a pointed horseshoe arch. From this are you have a good perspective of the citadel that crowns the hill and the current Sanctuary of Our Lady of Grace, close to that door, which includes much of the structure of the former medieval mosque. In the same complex there is the Interpretation Center of Mozarabic Culture. Nearby of this gate, on the Eastern slope, you can look at a tretch of wall which shows an old first cloth, less thickness, and reinforcement that was submitted back to give a more defensive. Continuing the tour of the walls, you reach the north side, from which you have a great view from inside the Hoya.
Path to the Puerta del Sol
This path leads to the “Puerta del Sol”, which is one of the two entrances to the walled of the ancient Andalusian Arsiduna, built on top of the Hill of Grace (Cerro de Gracia).
This road was one of the ancient gateways to what was called the “Villa Alta”. After the incorporation of the city to the Kingdom of Castle began a gradual abandonment process culminating in the sixteenth century, when the population finally settles on the slopes of the mountains, in what is now Archidona.
This space is located in Semiurban Park of the Virgen de Gracia Hill, a protected area where you can find typical examples of Mediterranean forests. In the restoration of the road has taken into account environmental reforestation, so all the way species have been planted as brooms or mastic. It is also easy to see birds such as finches, blackbirds and magpies.
In 1462 ocurred the conquest of the Moorish fortress and is told that the conqueror, the Master of Calatrava Don Pedro Giron, led the assault on the Tower of the Sun, was wounded in action. After the walls are the remains of the citadel and the current Sanctuary of Our Lady of Grace (Virgen de Gracia), which includes much of the structure of the former medieval mosque. From the road we can see also the inside of “La Hoya”, stunning natural area surrounded by the Archidona mountains and fortification line that runs the height of it.
Path to the Gate City
This path leads to the “Gate City”. It is one of the two doors, with elbow-shaped transit, that protected and allowed access to the fortified medieval Hill of Grace. In the place of such entry also found the remains of an older blinded.
Traffic on the road we can see, from the outside, the walls of the Arsiduna (Archidona) Andalusian, whose history would extend between the eighth and fifteenth centuries, although the wall that currently contemplated corresponds to the Moorish period, when which strengthens the above.
The roads, of which are unknown original paths, would be in use until the total city depopulation. The city held for decades a border area between the Christian kingdom of Castile and the Moorish kingdom of Granada. After the war period, the population begins to settle on the slopes of the mountains, around the church of Santa Ana, a more accessible area. From this moment begins the decline of the Villa Alta, until complete depopulation in the sixteenth century.
Today this road is in a protected area as Semiurban Park of Virgen de Gracia Hill. A space that may be interesting examples of Mediterranean forests as Aleppo pines, broom or rosemary, but also some fruit and almonds.
Itinerary for the walled enclosure
The walled Archidona (the Arabic Arsiduna) is one of the most interesting areas of Muslim Spain and has been declared of Cultural Interest (BIC). This space brings together archaeological remains grouped eight centuries of history. While there is some suggestion that the first Muslim settlements elsewhere would come within the set of the Archidona mountains. In any case, in this area took place historical events of great importance: here was proclaimed emir Abd-al-Rahman I, the city was the capital of the Kora of Rayya and was one of the main supporters of the revolt of Ibn Omar Hafsun between the ninth and tenth centuries.
From the viewpoint of Virgen de Gracia Hill you can make a walk through the points of historic interest Archidona walled. In the picture attached you are shown the recommended route. In each of the points of interest you will find information panels. Also, inside the sanctuary you can visit the mosque-shrine of Virgen de Gracia and the Interpretation Centre of Mozarabic Culture.