The Castle in Zamora is a landmark which has stood at the western end of the historical city for over a thousand years, with a wonderful lookout over the surrounding countryside and the River Duero.
A brief history
The castle was really a fortress in which to shelter, and from which to protect the city. Between the 8th and 11th centuries there were many battles between the Moors and the Christians in Leon and Castile so the need for a fortress was obvious.1
The Romans probably founded Zamora c. 180-139 BC). The Visigoths called it Semure, and the Moors called the town Azemur (“wild olive tree”) or Semurah (“turquoise town”). Almanzor sacked Zamora in 981 but it was retaken by the King of Asturias, Alfonso II. He built the first fortifications in 893 and resettled the town with Mozarabs from Toledo. Nothing remains of the castle from this time.
In the mid-11th century by Ferdinand I (1015-65) who was the first king of Leon, built over the foundations of the original building. When he died he divided his kingdom between his three sons and two daughters. Urraca received the city of Zamora. (She was buried in the Basilica in Leon.)
In the late 12th century there were further additions: the towers and the first perimeter wall. In 2009 the building was extensively restored.
Inside the castle
A park creates a relaxing green space between the castle and the cathedral.
The Castle in Zamora is interesting. It is a pity the inner buildings have disappeared.
The Walls of Zamora - London Traveller
[…] date from the 11th century in the reign of Fernando I. Inside these walls are the cathedral and the castle, as well as the Bishop’s Palace. And today there is a park between the castle and the cathedral. […]
Although it’s mostly just the outer walls standing, it’s still a lovely sight – like you said, it is after all more than a thousand years old!
Still loving it!