Castle of the Week 3 – Castillo de Guadamur

Guadamur is very close to the moorish city of Toledo in central Spain. It was built on a hill overlooking the town in the late 15th century by Don Pedro Lopez de Ayala (who became the Count of Fuensalida in 1470) and was much beloved by members of the Castilian Royal Family. Philip the Fair and Princess Joanna spent their honeymoon there and Charles V retired there to mourn his wife, the Empress Isabella.

It was burned down by French invaders in 1809 and remained a ruin until 1887 when it was restored by the Count of Asalto, a member of an old Catalan family remaining true to its original 15th century design. It was plundered during the Spanish Civil War of 1936 but has, once again, been restored and was declared a historical monument in 1964.

The castle is square but stepped with round towers at each corner and is surrounded by a wide moat with a drawbridge. There are 4 ‘steps’ with a low outer wall, then the main body and towers, then the keep, then the principal tower on one corner of the keep with more turrets sitting on decorative arches.

It’s likely that the different levels were built at different times as, because of the constraint of the outer walls, the only expansion could be upwards. The square keep has 6 round towers on the top and the outer wall alternates round corner towers and triangular buttresses. There are huge coats of arms along the walls and many windows with square arches.

Written by GillB. Colour photo courtesy of Castles of the World