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Castles in Cordoba

Montilla Castle

Castles in Cordoba

Montilla Castle

The Montilla Castle is located at the highest point of the town, on the edge of a cliff and a few meters from the impressive Santiago Church, in the province of Córdoba.

Archaeological site´s location

Our site is located on an elevation around 400 meters above the sea level. Cerro del Castillo will be chosen as a Habitat location, principally thanks to the main factors below:

  • The panoramic position with dominant views over the landscape makes this hill a strategic location in regards to defense and visutal control over the surrounding area.
  • Its important geospatial position, standing in between the first small uneven areas of the Subbéticas mountains range and the rich lands of the Andalusian countryside, allowed important growth in agricultural and farming activities since the very beginning of settlement.
  • The presence of wáter, with severeal Wells and small sreams in the surrounding hill have historically guaranteed a constant wáter supply to the population as well as encouraging the presence of animals approaching these Wells to quench their thirst, inevitably making themselves vulnerable to hunters.

Main entrance to the fortress

Main access to the medieval fortress would be located quite closet o the current entrance of the site; in fact, we can contémplate that the tower would be entered from this point.

The upper level of the attached defensive wall would work as a parapet walk (wall walk), creating a leophole as a defensive element from where the soldiers could attack the enemy. To climt it, there were steps that would communicate with the opening, giving access to the internal part of the  tower.

The Iberian settlement

A strong occupation of the hill took place during the 5th century BC, right in the middle of Iberian Turdertan period. As evidenced on the Eastern slope and other parts of the hill, this occupation materialised with an important settlement, probably fortified (oppidum), holding an urban plant distributed on raked terraces where their architecture seemed to follow similar building techniques of their predecessors, although these more sophisticated and diverse.

Along with these domestic buildings, some storage structures that have been dug into the land have been discovered. These can be interpreted as grain storage rooms, plust two clay ovens, probably used to bake bread or cood food.

Montilla Castle

The pyro-ballist tower

Already in the lat 15th century, and imposing tower was erected and leaned firmly against the wall, being reinforce to resist the increasingly strong attacks by firearms. It can be accessed through a narrow staircase; once inside you enter a chamber with four defense loopholes, although just one of them is entirely preserved, showing and evolved cross and orb slit.

In 1508, King Fernando the Catholic ordered t orear the fortress down, even though a royal lletter from Mrs. Juana licensed the Marquis to rebuild it in the year 1510. It appears that these reconstruction Works were never carried out, since the place was already being used as a granary in 1563.

Montilla Castle

The Ducal barns (Alhorí)

Towards the year 1722, the Dukes of Medinacely and Marquis of Priego commissioned the constructiton of some majestic and imposing barns, putting the renowned architect Juan Antonio Camacho of Cordoba in charge of the work. This edification would materialise by taking advantage of the old fortress foundation and elevated standing remains, recreating a somewhat defensive aesthetic, whilst rebuilding upon the nine towers that once existed in the surroundings of the castle fortress.

The building itself was built using ashlars, rough Stone and bricks, it has a basilica shaped ground plan and tow levels, each of them with five naves with a capacity to store up to 148.940 Fanegas (235.325,20 Bushels).

Ducal Barns at the Montilla Castle

Montilla Castle

Second period of the fortress: 14th century

A new construction of the fortress tood place during the reign of Henry II of Trastámara, built upon the Works carried out thoughout the previous period. A mud wall was reinforced by a number of circular towers buit at the corners of the complex, plus some additional semicircular ones attached intermediarely across the stretch of the wall.

In addition to this, reliable written sources from this period tell us about the appearance of a settlement located in between the interior and exterior walls of the castle.

Montilla Castle

Tourist Office

Montilla Tourist Office - Montilla Castle

Montilla Town Hall


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