Almodovar Castle (Spain)
Andalusia See list of castles in Spagna
The town of Almodóvar del Río, located in the province of Córdoba, was very important in the defense of this city due to its strategic location, since it is located on a hill of about 252 meters along the Guadalquivir River, which was navigable in that epoch for small boats. Traces of multiple cultures, including Muslim and Christian, have been marking the architectural style of this incomparable building. In the 9th century, Almodóvar del Río is known as Almudawar Al-Adna. During the tenth century was totally linked to the Caliphate of Cordoba, going to belong in the eleventh and twelfth centuries to the Taifa of Carmona, later to the Taifa of Seville, and finally to the Almohade empire.
The Moro King Abed Mohammed de Baeza dies at the gates of the Castle in 1226, the year in which the fortress falls into Christian hands to be delivered to Fernando III "El Santo". Since then the castle will be subjected to successive extensions by the Castilian Kings D. Pedro I of Castile and Enrique II of Trastamara. Both Alfonso XI the Justiciero, and Pedro I the Cruel, also intervene in these extensions.
The castle of Almodóvar has witnessed many events throughout its history.
Its walls have served as a prison to Doña Juana de Lara (wife of the Infante D. Tello, stepbrother of King Pedro I), custodian of the treasures of Castile, and their dungeons have witnessed the agony of illustrious prisoners as the I Duke of Benavente.
D. Rafael Desmaissières and Farina, son of the VIII Marquesses de la Motilla, D. Miguel Ángel Desmaissières and Fernández de Santillán and Dña. Josefa Farina Plasencia, was born in 1853 and inherited the County of Torralva at the age of 29, becoming the XII count in holding the title.
His curiosity and concern led him to make a trip around the world at that time knowing destinations such as New York City, or countries like Japan, of which, he made countless notes in his travel notebooks, as well as taking pictures of all its corners
He would also acquire completely novel artifacts of the time, such as a velocipede, and all those inventions that aroused his constant interest.
Of varied concerns, he managed to organize the first rowing club on the Guadalquivir River, which alternated with the theater.
At the end of the 19th century, the Count of Torralva made the first visits to the fortress of Almodóvar together with his good friend and prestigious architect D. Adolfo Fernández Casanova. Impressed by the deterioration and state of ruin that this wonderful fortress presents, and being aware of the importance represented by being part of the history of Andalusia and Spain, they decide to undertake the biggest project of their lives, to which they would devote all their time and money to turn it into the impressive monument that today crowns the watchtower of the municipality of Almodóvar del Río.
The works begin in 1901. The first performances were based on the construction of a road using drill and dynamite, since the Castle had no access. It is the first step to start moving the huge blocks of stone that would serve to restore walls, battlements and towers. About 6,000m3 of different quarries were used throughout the restoration. Thus begins the work that would last until the outbreak of the Civil War in Spain. Some 800 workers worked to rebuild this monument for 36 years. In spite of the economic crisis that the country was experiencing, the First World War and the continuous political changes, the Count of Torralva contributed during the reconstruction period many years of economic stability to the town of Almodóvar through the almost 240,000 wages that they invested in the works. For more than a quarter of a century, almost all the town of Almodóvar participated in the reconstruction and recovery of the province's heritage and history.
Adolfo Fernández Casanova, architect of the reconstruction of the Almodóvar Castle was born in Pamplona on January 14, 1844 and died on August 11, 1915
Among its main architectural works was the restoration of the Cathedral of Seville,
The work and technical experience of the architect was key piece together with the Count of Torralva in the restoration of the Castle of Almodóvar.
Without their knowledge, it would not have been possible to carry out the recovery of this imposing work of military architecture.