The current aspect of Cortegana’s Medieval Castle is the result of an ongoing historical project which includes renovations, restorations and modifications at various times in its existence.Its long period of deterioration culminated in the Portuguese earthquake of 1681, which severely damaged the castle. In 1970 a great restoration was carried out which returned it to its former splendour. It appears that it was first built in the XIII century, although the Keep dates from the end of the XV century, during the time of the Catholic Kings.
It forms part of the Banda Gallega, military fortifications which were constructed to protect Seville from Portuguese incursions.
It is one of the most visited monuments in Huelva province and has great national heritage protection as it was declared a Place of Cultural Interest by the Junta de Andalucía on 29th June, 1985.
The Castle grounds are composed of two sectors:
- The outer wall, first line of defence of the area and within which possibly developed the first urban nucleus of Cortegana. It is formed of a strong wall protected by square and rectangular towers in one of which was the original access gate, now disappeared. However, there are still some sections and even ruins of the original towers such as the one in the north-east section.
- The Fortress, the most significant and recognisable element in the grounds. It has an inner bailey with a well and a compact keep for accommodation.
Our Castle (the Keep) has a single access point in its walls, reached by a staircase taking you into the inner bailey.
Here, below ground level can be seen the well, a domed water reservoir which provided for the occupants of the castle: the governor and his servants.
The eastern face of the bailey is flanked by the façade of the keep, a collection of adjoining rooms on two floors.
On the ground floor is the reception room of the castle and other rooms such as the chapel and the prison, today set up asa showplace for various archaeological pieces and other items of historic-artistic interest.
On the top floor is the room fitted out as the Governor’s Hall.
The keep is dominated by four towers at the corners and two intermediate ones on its longer sides. These are joined to each other by an adarve or patrol walkway, which is accessed by a staircase from the bailey.. Nowadays, the patrol walkway is not continuous, as the ramp which joined the northern section of the walkway to the upper terrace was removed during the restoration in 1971. The terrace consists of an open space that acts as a transit to get into the Homage Tower, the largest in the building and dated to the end of the XV century, during the time of the Catholic Kings.
All the towers and walls of the keep are currently surmounted by a line of battlements and merlons, with the exception of the borje, a semi-circular tower on the west face, and its adjacent walls.
Nowadays, our castle has become a tourist enclave. It has new uses, principally cultural, such as the celebration of the JornadasCulturales de la Asociación Amigos del Castillo de Cortegana (Cultural Days of the Association of Friends of the Cortegana Castle) and the JornadasMedievales.(the annual Medieval Festival). We also organise guided tours, dramatic historical representations and beautiful weddings.
Management of the Castle:
Tuesday to Sunday 11.00 to 14.00 and 16.00 to 18.00 (Winter)
and 17.00 to 19.00 (Summer)
Mondays closed, except if Monday is a public holiday, when the Castle will be closed on Tuesday