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Berlanga de Duero Castle

Berlanga De Duero Castle.

I have my computer set up to change images every day & it uses images from Microsoft Bing. One morning the image shown was this marvellous castle. As it is in Spain there is a very good chance that when we are allowed to travel I will be able to visit it & to take it off of my bucket list. 

The Berlanga De Duero Castle was built in 1527 & is in the Castile & Leon area of Spain.

The building consists of two fortified enclosures of different historical & constructive stages, one from medieval times, the other from the Renaissance period. The origin of the medieval castle of Berlanga is unclear, but archaeological excavations place it around the 10th to 16th centuries as an Islamic fortress from which there are hardly any visible remains. It played an important role on the border with the Christian kingdoms. In 1059 Ferdinand I of Castile managed to take Berlanga, which led to the first work repairing & reforming the castle.

In 1370 Berlanga, passed into the hands of the Tovar family. Juan Fernández de Tovar made further modifications to the castle, although it is not known exactly which parts. Late in the fifteenth century Louis de Tovar, together with his wife Isabel de Guzmán, made the last major changes in the medieval castle. They mainly affected the palatial area & the homage tower, in which they placed eight coats of arms corresponding to the lineages of their ancestors.

After the death of Luis de Tovar, his only daughter Maria de Tovar inherited the entire 'majorazgo of the Tovars'. With his death, many great changes transformed the whole village of Berlanga, including the castle which gave it its name, the appearance that it has today. Between 1521 & 1522 María de Tovar and Inigo Fernández de Velasco began the construction of a new fortress around the old medieval castle, which they planned to demolish.

The new Marquis of Berlanga, Juan de Tovar, decided to stop all work on the gunnery fortress that his parents had begun years earlier by retaining the old medieval castle. Throughout the 16th & 17th centuries, the fortress lost its military function & became a prison & an arsenal. By the end of the 17th century, it was continuously being looted by the people of the village & being dismantled by the Marqueses de Berlanga themselves. This was aggravated by the fire that occurred in the castle on April 20, 1660, to the point that at the end of the 18th century the building only retained its walls. At the beginning of the 21st century, the City Council of Berlanga de Duero acquired the entire monumental complex of the castle, walls, palace & gardens. They then began the restoration of the monument that can be visited today.