Re: Visigothic castles
- If you could be so kind to mail me the pictures, I'll be very
Also, do you know of any surviving vandalic or suebic buildings?
Thanks for yer post, it was very informative.
--- In gothic-l@y..., Friþunanþs Ximeneiks <jimenezf@a...> wrote:
> Bertil Häggman wrote:
> > F.X. and Alberto,
> > Thanks for this interesting exchange on Visigothic castles. I
> > my main source on this, Luis Monreal y Tejada's fine medieval
> > of Spain_. If I read the author right Spanish castles in general
> > no uniform architectural style. Closer inspection can show
> > Roman and Visigothic foundations (in the later case with ashlars
> > icorporated in the masonry). Of course we have to differ between
> > Visogothic influence and the later Gothic style influence from
> > Can anybody provide a castle with predominating
> > Visigothic foundations or walls?
> > Visigothically
> > Bertil
> Hello Bertil,
> I side with Luís Monreál who agrees with the great majority of
> when he says that there is no uniform standard layout to Spanish
> castles. The latter is due to the fact that most fortifications in
> have always been under some sort of construction, re-construction or
> alteration by a long succession of occupiers who had little or no
> congress with one another as concerns a uniform standard in castle
> construction. Thus, many castles today are the result of the
> of such modifications and have very few cohesive elements.
> As concerns the Visigoths:
> The Visigoths built their own fortifications, and they also (
> built-over and/or modified existing ones), and that, throughout the
> Spanish Gothia. Thus, some were built (in-toto) by the Visigoths.
> fortifications were built over existing Roman, Hispano/Roman or
> structures. It became a matter of resourcefulness, strategy and
> There are a few castles that come to mind as concerns your question
> about providing an example of a castle having a predominance of
> Visigothic elements- that is, (foundations, walls etc...). I will
> one having a predominance of Visigothic elements, then a variant,
> finally castles of Visigothic provenance having discernibly, no
> The first is The Castle of the Priory of St. John, close to Toledo.
> was originally a Celtic stronghold, it then became a Roman
> and underwent several modifications; thereafter, it was annexed by
> Visigoths who made (in light of my sources) extensive alterations
> additions (I believe they moved the entranceway to a more secure
> position and expanded the site's volume); thereafter, it was
> the invaders of 711. --- The latter event (and castle) is
> mentioned in (Las Leyendas de la Pérdida de Espña), "The Legends of
> Loss of Spain". The site underwent further alterations after the
> Spanish Nobles defeated the stronghold and re-occupied it a few
> years later in their push southward during the Reconquest. At
> it serves as a museum.
> I am not certain if we can attach graphic files to our emails, but
> should anyone want a photo, let me know. (((Perhaps Maþþaius can
> something here...)))
> A variant:
> The second example is Zorita Castle. It was built by the Occupying
> Moorish forces after 711; the interesting thing is that in order to
> build it they used stones from the structures of a nearby Visigothic
> settlement (Recopolis) founded by the Visigothic King Leovigild. In
> case, an assessment of the stonework might have probably concluded
> Visigothic workmen were at work on some of the elements, leading to
> incorrect conclusion. Luckily, the aforementioned documentation led
> the correct one.
> I also have a photo of this castle.
> In the case of more northerly castles, occupation by the invaders
> relatively brief, and it was sometimes only a matter of a few years
> before the forces of the reconquest; [(interestingly) A majority of
> Nobles directly related to the Visigothic Kings and minor nobles ]
> re-took the fortresses and settled in. Thus, slowly The reconquest
> gained back the prior holdings.
> Castles in the extreme north were never breached by the attacks of
> stated invaders, thus, the latter Castles tend to have undergone
> relatively less or few alterations (if any). One in particular The
> Castle of Loarre in Huesca, seems to have remained much the same as
> it was first built. Its origins "seem" to be Visigothic since it
> elements of Visigothic-type Architecture; ashlar walls, multiple
> ceilings and roofs, same volume of spaces, partitioning of spaces,
> buttresses and other items found in the well documented Visigothic
> architecture of Asturias. Unfortunately, no document has yet been
> to authenticate its origins. Its highest parts are the oldest and
> evidence its alleged Visigothic roots. It seems to have undergone
> minor additions along the bulwarks. This is one of the most visited
> castles in Spain. Its emplacement is awe inspiring- high in the
> de Loarre; its towers are over 22 meters high. Perhaps ongoing
> excavations will decipher its origins.
> There are other Castles of Visigothic origin in the extreme north,
> were never breached by the invading forces, and are obviously
> since they were
> built by Visigothic nobles during the early years of the Asturian
> Kingdom. --- Here are a few:
> One is The Castle of Clavixo in Rioxa- under RamiroI. - Another is
> Monzón de Campos in Palencia under Ramiro II. (This one is
> late) (1075-1157) - Yet another, is Castillo Del Rey in San Vicente
> la Barquera; of Celtic origin and later reinforced by Alfonso I
> king of Asturias (739757), son-in-law of the first Asturian king,
> I have photos for these also.
> Friþunanþs. X.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]