Jadraque Castle lies next to the village of the same name, in the valley of the river Henares, somewhat in the middle of the province of Guadalajara in Spain.
Jadraque Castle dates back to the 10th century when it was built by the Moors who named it Xaradraq. Maybe this castle was preceded by a Roman fortification as the valley of the river Henares was part of the 'Via Augusta', a Roman road leading from Mérida to Zaragoza. The castle is also known as 'the Castle of El Cid' as tradition has it that it was conquered by El Cid; the Castilian knight Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar. If this really happened is unknown but the castle certainly existed in his times as it was taken from the Moors by Christian forces in 1085. After that it fell under the jurisdiction of the Lords of Atienza.
In 1434 however, Jadraque Castle was ceded to Dona Maria de Castilla ,granddaughter of king Pedro I ("the Cruel one"), by King Juan II. In the second half of the 15th century the castle got its shape we see today. Until the end of the 16th century the castle changed hands several times after which it deteriorated. Its last owner sold it to the town council of Jadraque in 1889 for 300 pesetas. After that a 30-year restoration followed.
Jadraque Castle is built on a plateau on top of a high, steep hill. And although it has undergone such a long restoration its walls are still deteriorating because of the weather. Some years ago one of the towers near the entrance collapsed. The interior of the castle is now completely empty and freely accessible.