Molina de Aragon Castle
Molina de Aragon Castle lies in the town with the same name in the eastern part of the province of Guadalajara in Spain.
A fortification has been standing on this site since celtiberian times due to its strategic position above fertile ground and next to the river Gallo. The castle was built in the 10th and 11th centuries by the Moors although it was smaller and less strong then. The town of Molina de Aragon became the capital of the area. In 1129, during the Reconquest of the area, the castle was taken by King Alfonso I; the Fighter. This was followed by a territorial dispute between the kingdoms Aragon and Castile over this strategic castle, which by then was situated in a cold and almost completely depopulated highland. This dispute was won by Castile.
During the 12th and 13th centuries the castle and the town enjoyed a relative independence and were known as Molina de los Caballeros. They were progressively strengthened with walls and towers until they got their present appearance. In the 14th century, following a revolt of the molinese people for wanting to maintain their independence, the castle and town were for six years property of the kingdom of Aragon. It returned into Castilian possession in 1375 and received its present name from that period.
During the following centuries Molina de Aragon Castle remained quite intact. In 1810 the town was torched was the French general Roquet and in 1875 the castle served as a refuge for the townspeople from attacks of troops of 'Carlistas' led by general Vallés. Molina de Aragon Castle emerged out of the 19th century completely empty and without any function.
The castle is a typical early medieval fortress. The 80x40 meters dimension of the inner strength shows us that the castle not only served a military purpose but also a residential one. There were stables, a jail, a palace, kitchens, guardhouses and several military buildings.
Outside the castle walls, higher up on the hill, stands a peculiar building called the Tower of Aragon. It served as a kind of watchtower for the castle but is a castle in itself. It was connected to the castle through an underground, zigzagging tunnel and its course can still be seen today.