The Castle in Zamora

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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.

Cathedral Museum in Zamora
View of Zamora in the Cathedral Museum

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.

Castle in Zamora
Castle in Zamora
View over the countryside from the castle walls
Castle of Zamora
The view from below and outside the castle walls

Inside the castle

Castle in Zamora
The ruins of the barracks inside the walls (R) and the chapel with the altar table (L)
The gate of St Columba, 12th century, the outer perimeter wall and the inner wall

The park

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.



3 Responses

  1. wetanddustyroads

    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!

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