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Must-see castles in the Valencian Community

The 9th of October, 1238, the newly re-conquered Valencia by King James I of Aragon was an event that would be chosen for many years (and centuries) later to celebrate the Day of the Valencian Community. Despite the efforts made by King James I to surrender the newly formed independent capital, the most picturesque Valencian fortresses were (and are still found) in its territory. Today we offer a tour of the most spectacular castles in the Valencian Community.

Starting our tour in Castellón, partially emulating the route followed by King James I of Aragon, we reach Castillo de Morella. Declared to be a site of Cultural Interest, the fortress was claimed by the Muslims just a few years before it was surrendered to the Christian troops. Its exceptional state of preservation and considerable size (the walls practically surround the entire old town) make it one of the most important historical monuments in the province of Castellón.

Quite different circumstances accompany the celebrated Peñíscola Castle, since the most memorable events that took place inside this fortress happened long after the arrival of King James I. In 1411, Pope Benedict the 13th moved from his previous headquarters in Avignon, France, to hide in this castle under the protection of King James I. Known as Papa Luna because of his melancholic character, the castle also bears the same name today. 

Valencia - castillo_peñiscola.jpeg

To the south of the province of Castellón stands the Castillo de Onda, one of the oldest among the large, well-preserved Valencian fortresses dating from the 10th century. Not surprisingly, the fortress was even temporarily conquered by Cid during his clashes with the Muslim aristocracy in the region. To the historical attractions we must also add the natural landscapes, while from the battlements of the castle you can enjoy exceptional views of the Sierra de Espadán.

But if there is a castle that King James I found great difficulty in surrounding and blockading, it has to be Játiva. Located among the mountains, the fortress resisted a siege for 5 months before surrendering. After its entire re-construction, the Castle of Játiva is now included within the different historical tours that can be enjoyed in the southern municipality of Valencia province.

And to conclude, we can only refer to one of the most representative fortresses in Alicante. We have chosen the unique Castillo de Santa Bárbara, in the provincial capital. This is an unspoiled region that has been inhabited by different civilisations since the Bronze Age.

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