Zorita Castle: A Glimpse of Medieval life in a Spanish stronghold
By Dionisio Urbina and Catalina Urquijo
Current World Archaeology, Issue 70 (2015)
Introduction: Amidst the olive tree-lined plains of central Spain is a remote Medieval castle overlooked by archaeologists until the arrival of husband-and-wife team Dionisio Urbina and Catalina Urquijo. What secrets are emerging from this bastion of history?
Zorita Castle perches on a plateau overlooking the village of Zorita de los Canes, a community of just 85 inhabitants in the heart of Spain. But between the 9th and 13th centuries this site was a thriving hub of commerce, and hotly contested during the wars that raged between Muslim and Christian forces battling for control of Spain. Eventually, the castle became the property of the Spanish crown and subsequently passed into the hands of various noblemen. But by the end of the Medieval period, its glory days were over, and it slowly fell into ruin. By the 20th century it was badly neglected and, though declared a site of national cultural importance in 1931, Zorita Castle remained largely forgotten or ignored. Until now.