Vélez-Blanco Castle, locally known as Castillo de Vélez-Blanco, lies on a hill in the town of Vélez-Blanco in the province of Almería in Spain.
Vélez-Blanco Castle was built between 1506 and 1515 by Don Pedro Fajardo y Chacón, following his appointment as the first Marquess of Los Vélez. It was built on the site of an earlier Arab fortification dominating the town below. A short time later Don Pedro also had Mula Castle and Marquis de los Vélez Castle built.
Building of the castle first started in Gothic style. But after the Marquess had visited La Calahorra Castle in Granada, owned by a relative of his, he changed his mind. Then the style was changed to that of the Italian Renaissance. This resulted in a magnificent Renaissance courtyard with lavishly decorated marble facades. The castle consists of two parts; the main castle and a barbican with two big arches that protected the drawbridge and the way leading up to it.
The Fajardo family resided in Vélez-Blanco Castle until the end of the 17th century. After that it was only sporadically inhabited until it was in a dilapidated state at the end of the 19th century.
In 1904 its owners started to empty the castle of its valuables. The great facades of the courtyard, complete with doors, windows and a balcony, were then sold, by the then Marquess of Los Vélez, Joaquín Álvarez de Toledo, to a French antiquarian, J. Goldberg. The facades were carefully removed from the castle and went to Marseille and later to Paris. In 1941 the facades were acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. They were then installed in the museum where they are currently displayed.
In 2005 Vélez-Blanco Castle was bought by the Andalucía Government for 3 million euros from the Marquis of Valverde, Salvador Fernandis Álvarez de Toledo.
At present Vélez-Blanco Castle can freely be visited during visiting hours. The interior of the castle however was quite a deception. Of course because of the removed facades of the courtyard but I could only visit the courtyard and 2 rooms. Too bad, but its exterior is wonderful.