Castle of Chulilla

Img 1: Castillo

Castle of Chulilla. Declared Historical Artistic Monument (BOE 30-03-1981).

Origin: After the conquest and the wars with Castile in the XIV century, the fortress suffered important alterations that were to continue in the XV and XVI centuries with the use of gunpowder, but above all due to its use as a place of residence and later on as an ecclesiastical jail. During the XIX century it carried out important services for the Carlist cause, and it was precisely the siege by the government troops that brought it to be referred to as the castle of the Angels, which was definitively the beginning of the process of the ruin of the fortress.

Description: The castle is situated on the highest point of the mountain that crowns the village. The access to the fortress runs from south to north from the houses behind the church, and here in this fore-wall there are some twenty arrow embrasures. At the beginning of the balustrade that serves as an access to the castle is an Albarran tower. The second and more principal wall of the emplacement has an incline in order to reinforce this point against sap and underground passage. The ascending road turns towards the south and comes to a door, with a semicircular arch made out of brick on the outside, and in the interior a masonry arch. Behind there is a portcullis, drop hammer, jamb and wooden door. Over the lintel there is a crenulated matacan which was used for the defence of the portal, the same as the tower. After passing through the entry and at floor level, one will notice two alignments of earlier walls, probably Moorish. Towards the north, the wall that would reinforce the defence and which terminates with a corner tower continues. The tower has embrasures giving off to the north. Over the upper part of the wall there is a patrol path with parapets and at certain points it is crenulated. Towards the south the wall stretches out, almost in a direct line, and is made of mortar and rock. There are also the remains of the guard house structure, and over these remains, a cistern. This sector ends up with a wall that joins itself to the mountain with a circular bastion that is reached by means of four steps. The fortress did not need any construction of defences except on the eastern flank, because the natural ruggedness of the terrain made it impossible to attack from other zones. Further on there are remains of three masonry buildings with ceramic brick paving supporting along the wall of a room which is vaulted, in the first projection of the wall. Next to this room there is a large room which is reached from the extreme south, which must have been part of a building that was very important to the castle. Following the wall we reach the noble part of the castle, with a square tower, and above this tower and directly over the river, a corner tower with a lower vaulted floor. Joined to the rock there are three cob wall rooms over the masonry base with access by means of semicircular stone stairs. Under one of these rooms there is a tunnel that communicates with the outside and which would have provided a way out at any given time. Next to these there is a room to the south with two hollows that frame two reduced arches. The flooring is red brick and is subdivided into two buildings, the easternmost one with a vaulted chamber in its basement. This would have been a residential type of structure or guard-house. The rooms are plastered and there are remains of paint. The floor is red brick, made by hand. In the original structure, the wall was predominantly made of calyon and mortar finished off with rows of brick. All this area of the premises has been built up around what we could call a parade ground with large embrasures. When the restoration and consolidation of the castle was being carried out, in 1985 and 1986 urgent archaeological work was documented in different areas of the premises and the registry and cataloguing of engravings in three areas of the fortress was done. These engravings are of great iconographical interest, and are situated in the entrance, next to the guardhouse, in a vaulted room situated next to the stretch of wall and on the ground floor of the main building. These are engravings cut into the sand and lime mortar with a fine engraver’s chisel: only in one case have we observed the mark sculpted in rock . There are two types: the mark of the quarry in an ashlar block on the sixth row of the door jambs, of a geometric nature, with straight and simple lines and not very deeply etched; this was engraved with a chisel into the limestone. Another type of sign consists of vertical lines which are horizontally crossed by another, in the mortar. Behind a circular bastion, we find, coming out of the wall, a vaulted chamber on the walls of which various groups of signs were engraved, which today have suffered the vandalism of irresponsible persons who have brought about their practical disappearance.

  • Features:
  • Type: BIC Monumento
  • Season: Siglo XIV
  • Address:
  • Calle Venerable José Cervera
  • Chulilla

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