Located in a secluded place in the municipality of Campillo de Dueñas, in the province of Guadalajara, the Zafra Castle stands imposingly on a large rock. A XNUMXth century fortress that played an important role during the Spanish Reconquest as it was halfway between the kingdoms of Aragon and Castile.
However, the general public knows it thanks to the series "Game of Thrones" as it was the location chosen to represent the Tower of Joy, the birthplace of Jon Snow.
Either because you love this fantasy series, because you like medieval castles or for both reasons, below we will learn more about the history of one of the most beautiful castles in Guadalajara.
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What is its history?
Although there are prehistoric remains, it can be said that the history of the Castle of Zafra dates back to the Visigothic invasion of the Iberian Peninsula, when a Gothic military man took this square away from the Romans and later built this fortress in the middle of the Sierra de los Castillejos.
Later the construction fell into Muslim hands and when it was recovered by King Alfonso I the Battler, it was when it had its time of splendor. Since the 500th century it has its current appearance and it is thought that it hosted up to XNUMX soldiers during the Middle Ages.
The Castle of Zafra participated in important chapters of Spanish history such as the siege of Gonzalo Pérez de Lara, Lord of Molina, by the troops of the King of Castile Fernando III el Santo, who had rebelled against the monarch. Since it was impregnable and they could not take the castle, the king had to agree on the "Concordia de Zafra", by which on the death of Don Gonzalo the town of Molina de Aragón would become part of the crown of Castile.
After the union of the kingdoms of Aragon and Castile, the castle of Zafra lost strategic importance and fell into oblivion for centuries. This meant an enormous deterioration for its structure that ended with its original image until in 1971, with the effort of a single neighbor, Antonio Sanz Polo, it was possible to rebuild part of the wall, the Homage tower and the Poniente tower embedded in the rock, thus returning this imposing castle to its times of splendor.
It is currently one of the best examples of rock castle preserved in all of Spain, but the interior cannot be visited as it is owned by the grandsons of Antonio Sanz Polo.
How to get to the Castle of Zafra?
Zafra Castle does not have easy access as it is done through agricultural roads that are not signposted and full of stones where only a car usually crosses from time to time. GPS is needed to locate and get to the castle with relative ease.
There are two ways to get to the Castle of Zafra. From the GU-417 road that connects Pobo de Dueñas with Campillo and from the town of Campillo de Dueñas.
What other visits to do in the Molina-Alto Tajo region?
Although many people come to this place to see the Castle of Zafra exclusively, since the trip is long and it is difficult to access, I recommend that you complement the visit with some treasures that this region has in the surroundings.
Molina de Aragon
It is one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Spain with its old bridge, its churches, its Jewish quarter and good restaurants where you can enjoy Castilian-La Mancha cuisine. In addition, it also has another of the most impressive and largest castles in Spain known as the fortress of Molina de los Condes. Do not miss it!
The Barranco de la Hoz
It is a fluvial canyon carved by the Gallo River at the height of the small town of Corduente, which is part of the magical Alto Tajo Natural Park.
The Alto Tajo Natural Park
In the Alto Tajo Natural Park you will find that unknown Spain with amazing landscapes with bridges, lagoons, gorges, monoliths, viewpoints, hiking trails and rural houses in charming towns such as Cobeta, Poveda de la Sierra, Checa or Zaorejas.)