Castle of Orihuela


Monte de San Miguel. Orihuela


96965 304 645 - Orihuela Tourist Info

The castle, which used to be very large and of great strategic importance, is situated on one of the slopes of Sierra de Orihuela. From the castle there are stunning views of the left bank of the river Segura and of the valley of Orihuela.

The important role played by the castle in the past can be seen in the wall and turret remains. The main alcazaba consists of three turrets and a walled enclosure that contained five defensive structures. The remains of most of these structures (as well as other of the elements of the castle, including the tank) are still visible.

Its origins date back to the late Middle Ages, as can be inferred from the fact that there are documents that include references to this castle at the time of the noble Visigoth Tudmir and the Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. The castle continued in use after the Christian conquest. Yet a gunpowder explosion during the War of the Spanish Succession, which took place in the 18th century, damaged the castle, destroying it almost completely.

The climb to the top of the castle of Orihuela can be taken to signal the end of The Way of El Cid, which for some travellers may have started in Vivar del Cid; that is, 2,000kms away from Orihuela. The views from the castle are stunning. The landscape is very different from the distinctive Castilian landscape in which Rodrigo was brought up. The differences seem more striking if considered in relation to this character’s history.

It is not clear whether El Cid reached Orihuela, though it has been historically proved that he was in the taifa of Denia, which was part of Orihuela, and that he plundered the region around Denia. Information about the castle has been included in this itinerary because it is the southernmost point reached by El Cid and it is, therefore, an excellent point to finish the trip. Its history dates back to the year 1090: after defeating the count of Barcelona, Berenguer Ramón II, at the battle of Pinar de Tévar, El Cid was given command of the vast protectorate that extended from Tortosa to Orihuela. He obtained a great wealth in tribute, which would for a time make him a rich man.

Rev. PAB 27.12.18