Castle of Los Zúñiga

Cartaya

Located in the center of the town, it sits on a very compact red clay soil. Declared in 1985 Well of Cultural Interest and restored in the late 1990s.

It was built in the fifteenth century by D. Pedro de Zuñiga. Its objective was to defend the passage of "Barca del Río Piedras", the surveillance of the lands that limited the dominions of Lepe and Gibraleón, and it was an unsafe area to be attacked by Berber and Norman pirates.

Its structure is rectangular in shape and consists of a wall circuit with seven square towers at the corners and on the front and side canvases. The most important towers are the bell tower and the homage tower. In addition to these towers, there was a second outer low wall, already disappeared.

In him it emphasizes his courtyard of arms and the walls of eight meters of height, with a total length of 130 meters.

In the S. XVI was fortified and put in a state of defense. Barbican was added, which was specially conditioned.

It was an ideal refuge for citizens before the attacks of the Portuguese occurred in the seventeenth century and ended up consolidating the current town.

In the 18th century, it was planned to convert it into a barracks for the guard corps but discarded the project ended abandoned in 1812.

In 1815, the Duke of Béjar transferred the property to the Villa. In 1817, it was disarmed and adapted for cemeteries, dismantling the barbican and building barracks of vaults attached to the walls inside. He kept this use up to 1,872. Then it was destined to deposit coals and wood, after its desacralization.

In 1880 the file for the demolition is instructed, for its state of ruin, which is understood to threaten to collapse, and the corpses that are still preserved in the vaults, not those on the ground, are exhumed. As on other subsequent occasions, the demolition was not carried out due to the difficulties involved, acting simply to consolidate the most dangerous.

Later it had several uses: bullring, stallion stop of the State, warehouse of the National Cereal Service and municipal warehouses.

In 1985 a restoration program was started, financed by the organization of the V Centenary of the Unit of Spain, of which the first phase was carried out and which was later completed with the restoration carried out in the 1990s, providing the Castle of its original appearance. The last action taken has been the construction of a park on its slopes.

As regards the current use of this fortification, they have all been related to leisure-culture. It is used to celebrate festivals, shows and civil issues among others.