At the northern end of the Senorio de Molina, in the Spanish province of Guadalajara lies this small castle in a very quiet and sleepy countryside village by the same name.
Establés Castle belonged to the Senorio de Molina and so, because its position near the Duchy of Medinaceli, it was the witness of numerous battles between these two political institutions.
The village of Establés is situated in a narrow valley that waters to a little stream flowing from the heights of the Aragoncillo Mountain to the river Mesa. Its strategic importance, because located in a natural route that goes from Aragon, and the river Mesa valley, towards the center of the Senorio de Molina, caused that already in the beginning of the repopulation of the territory, in the first half of the 12th century, a watchtower was built on a hill in the valley. At its feet the small village that progressively was growing in importance and inhabitants. In 1432, Don Alvaro de Luna, Chancellor of King Juan II, ordered the repair of the exterior of Establés Castle.
In that same 15th century, the historical destiny of the village abruptly changed, when it was violently conquered by Don Gaston de la Cerda, for the Dukes of Medinaceli, along with other villages in the area. The Senorio de Molina repeatedly demanded back its possessions after which the Catholic Royal Couple ordered the return of the possession of Establés Castle and the village. However, the lord residing in the castle, Don Pedro de Zurita, a Medinaceli supporter, disregarded this royal order and so only the village was returned. In 1541, after several skirmishes between troops of the Senorio commanded by a Don Luis Fernandez de Alcover, and the then lord residing in the castle, Sancho Diaz de Zurita, Establés Castle again became property of the Senorio de Molina, which it stayed from then on.
Establés Castle, as seen today, was constructed on the order of the Dukes of Medinaceli, in 1450. A certain Gabriel de Urena was ordered to build the castle but he used so much cruelty in obtaining building materials for the lowest prices that the castle was nicknamed "Castle of the Black Shadow" by the locals.
Establés Castle is a typical fortification of its era, consisting of strong walls forming a square shape with towers at its corners. The entrance of the castle, at the northeast, is guarded by a tower and a turret. It's now a private property and its interior can't be visited. I saw a modern construction inside when I looked in probably to make it suitable for private habitation again, although work seemed to have stopped a long time ago.