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Friday, 11 June 2010

The Castle at Chinchón, Spain

After hiking near Chinchón in the Comunidad de Madrid, we stopped at Chinchón's local castle. Actually it's technically a fort since it's made for artillery, but that's splitting hairs. This castle is a replacement for one destroyed by an artillery bombardment in 1521. The early 16th century saw the destruction of a lot of older castles that weren't designed to deal with modern artillery. The designers of this new castle, built between 1590 and 1598, kept the artillery threat in mind. Note that the bottom part of the wall is sloped with a glacis, to make cannonballs bounce off. There's also a drawbridge to stop people from charging inside.
The bridge brings you towards the main gate, which was sadly closed when we visited.
The escutcheon of the builder, Conde Diego Fernández de Cabrera y Bobadilla.
With the drawbridge up, attackers would only be able to get to the castle by crossing this dry, exposed moat.
Round towers helped deflect cannonballs, and those big windows allowed the castle's cannons to shoot out.
A view from the distance, showing one of the ruined towers. In 1808 during the Napoleonic Wars, the Polish Brigade attacked Chinchón and set off a giant explosion inside the castle. This is an interesting fort that shows how builders adapted to the artillery age. To see a more traditional castle, check out my post on the El Castillo de Aulencia.

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