Iznájar Castle, locally known as Castillo de Iznájar, lies in the center of the village with the same name, surrounded by the Iznájar reservoir, in the province of Córdoba in Spain.
Iznájar Castle was built in the 8th century by the Umayyads, most probably on the ruins of an earlier fortification of Visigothic or Roman origin.
In 886 AD Iznájar Castle, having sided with the Mozarabic rebel leader Umar ibn Hafsun, was taken by troops of the Emir of Córdoba. Two years later, after the death of the Emir, Iznájar again sided with the mozarabic rebels and was attacked several times by the new Emir. These attacks must have been harsh as in 912 AD the inhabitants of Iznájar murdered their governor and sent his head to the Emir as an act of obedience. Later in the 10th century Iznájar Castle was rebuilt.
In 1010 Iznájar became the capital of a small taifa. In 1080 the castle was strenghtened by ′Abd Allah, Emir of the Taifa of Granada, fearing invasions from Almoravids and Christians.
In the second half of the 12th century Iznájar Castle was described as a well–fortified castle by the Muslim traveller Al Idrisi.
During the 13th century nearby territories were conquered by Fernando III of Castile but Iznájar Castle, now on the border, stayed in the hands of the Kingdom of Granada. In February 1362 Iznájar Castle was taken by King Pedro I of Castile with the help of the deposed Nasrid Sultan Muhammad V. In 1366 however, when Muhammad V had regained the position of Sultan, he took the castle back for the Nasrid Emirate of Granada. The castle was subsequently rebuilt and strenghtened.
In 1434 Iznájar Castle was finally taken for the Christians by troops led by Pedro Fernández de Córdoba after a hard battle with the Moors who were guarding the castle. After the castle had been rebuilt Pedro Fernández de Córdoba was appointed as custodian of the castle by the Castillian King.
Since 1991 Iznájar Castle belongs to the local community after they bought it from the Counts of Revilla.
At present Iznájar Castle can be visited fo a small fee. Admittance to the castle is through the local Tourist Information Office. A very nice castle although it did suffer somewhat from that wide spread ugly Spanish restoration practice of rebuilding with some sort of concrete. Especially the accessible cistern is one of the highlights of the castle.