Castle of Bayrén or Bairén, Gandia


Camí de la Banyosa. Gandia


962 959 490 - Gandia Tourist Info

Remains of one of the most important castles within the region of Safor have been found on top of the hill of Sierra de Montdúver and in the wetland of Marjal de Gandia, from where there are spectacular views of both the sea and the interior.

Gandía developed in the Medieval period thanks to the importance of the castle of Bayrén, which is also known as castle of San Juan and is situated around 3kms away from the city. This castle, which was constructed by the Muslims on the ruins of an old Roman fortress, became a site of key geostrategic importance, since it allowed controlling passes through both the mountains and the coast.

In January 1097, El Cid, Pedro I of Aragón and the brother’s king, in due time Alfonso the Battler, stayed over at the fortress of Bairén in their way from the castle of Peña Cadiella. They had been at the castle, situated on the slopes of Benicadell range (in between Beniatjar and Otos), to garrison and stock the castle with an ample supply of arms and food. A powerful contingent of Almoravids, which had taken Xàtiva, had moved towards this point and fell upon them, laying an ambush in the narrow pass between the mountain and the sea. El Cid found himself in a difficult situation: the Almoravid army, under the field command of Muhammad ibn Texufin, was very powerful, showering El Cid and his men with arrows from barges in the sea. In such a critical situation, El Cid and his Aragonese allies had to fight the Almoravids: El Cid’s presence turned what should have been a sound beating of his own army into another defeat for the Almoravids.

Because of the heavy damage caused by the Civil War, the remains of the castle are spread across a surface area of 9 hectares. Remains of the walls (especially the parts overlooking the sea, which were restored), of an arched gate and of several towers are still visible today.

Rev. PAB 27.12.18