The castle of Jérica

Location:

Calle del Castillo, s/n. Jérica

Phone:

964 129 177 - Jérica Tourist Info

The castle is built on a crag called Peña Tajada, looking out over La Alcudia valley and offering a defensive position and excellent views. The region has been inhabited since Antiquity. The Muslim castle on top of which a fortress was built in the 13th and 14th centuries must have been unassailable.

Around 1087, El Cid received a plea for help from al-Mustain, the taifa King of Zaragoza, following which he launched several raids into the territory of Jérica with the intention to besiege Murviedro (Sagunto). Late in 1090, Rodrigo defeated the count of Barcelona, Berenguer Ramón II, who handed over to El Cid several Muslim territories, including the castle of Jérica.

Therefore, the real, historical El Cid did not conquer the castle. Yet, it is evident that the poet of El Cantar de Mío Cid distorted the military heroism tied to El Cid. As a matter of fact, the poem describes that El Cid, who set up garrisons as he went because he did not trust Muslim garrisons, conquered Jérica and other towns before laying siege to Valencia.

The castle was conquered in 1235 after a harsh siege by Guillem de Montgri ordered by Jaime I. Although the castle is now in ruins, it is still possible to see some of the traces of the old walls. The castle used to have a walled enclosure, which surrounded the chapel of San Roque. The Homenaje tower, also known as "la Torreta", is the best preserved part of the castle: it has a square base, its walls are 1.5 metres wide and it has rib vaults on the ground floor. The third storey was knocked down during the Carlist Wars.

Visits: Free admission. Check the tourist office for information about guided tours.

Rev. PAB 26.12.18