Tuesday, 26 April 2016
Travel Tuesday: El Castillo de Aulencia, Spain
My wife works about 15 miles outside of Madrid and this castle is right next to her research institute. Spring has finally sprung here in Spain and she took this amazing photo. It the winter this castle looks completely different, dark and brooding on its bare hill.
This is the Castillo de Aulencia, which guarded the confluence of the Aulencia and Guadarrama rivers. It started as an Arab castle until it was captured by the advancing Christian armies in the 14th century. They rebuilt the castle and most of what you see today dates to the 15th century. After the Reconquista pushed the Moors further and further south, this castle became less useful, especially after the Moors were kicked out of Spain entirely in 1492. Then it was allowed to slowly decay.
It took a few hits during the Spanish Civil War when the Battle of Brunete raged around it in 1937. It had a good view of the surrounding countryside so a unit of Russian volunteers on the Republican side held it for a time. The fascists pummeled the walls with artillery fire, forcing the Russians to withdraw.
Unfortunately this castle is not open to the public. This is the closest I've ever been!
Photo courtesy Almudena Alonso-Herrero.