Countries<Spain<Comunidad Valenciana<Beniatjar< Castillo de la Carbonera

Castillo de la Carbonera(Beniatjar)

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It is located on a hill -called Cerro del Castillo- in the Sierra de Benicadell, on the border between the municipalities of Beniatjar and Otos.

Of great importance in the 13th century when the different castles of the Albaida Valley exercised their dominion over different farmsteads: Bélgida, Otos, Beniatjar, Ráfol de Salem or Salem, among others, belonged to Carbonera.

People specialized in the subject think that although its origin is Islamic, it may be older, because it was already used in the early days of the Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, and if it was, it will be because there was a previous occupation. Then it had a great importance for the inhabitants of the farmhouses of the area, and because of its privileged situation it was the center of the fortifications of this territory. As it was a border location between the taifas of Valencia and Denia, it was the target of numerous armed conflicts prior to the Christian Reconquest. It is worth mentioning those of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (1091-1099), Pedro I of Aragon (1094) and Alfonso I of Aragon (1126), and after the Christian occupation it continued to maintain its importance. Carbonera Castle is located on the so-called Camino del Cid and, according to the Cantar del Cid, was conquered by the Cid from the Muslims. It was the center of battles in the 13th century between King Don Jaime and the Muslim warlord Al-Azraq.13

The castle had a stable military endowment because it was on the border and it is possible that it formed part of a defensive system together with other large fixed defensive elements with towers and walls, such as those of Carrícola and Rugat.

The Bellvís family received the land in 1288, and the castle became their feudal property. Its deterioration began with the relocation of the new lords to the palaces located in the urban centers of the valley. Its defenses, like other similar fixed defensive elements, were intentionally left out of service beyond any simple repair, so that they could not be of use to rebels or invaders, increasing its deterioration.

In 1339 the castle was in a state of uselessness beyond any simple repair, as it happens to be at present and to what has contributed the difficult terrain in terms of transport and its distance from significant human groups economically, militarily or demographically. Built mainly of rammed earth and masonry, it must have been an imposing fortress of great dimensions, with almost 300 meters of wall. Its enclosure was elongated, double and polygonal, leaving standing several stretches of its walls in which rectangular towers alternated. The access gate was oriented towards the west. It has an enormous cistern. In the interior, except in its central core, there were few constructions, which according to experts reinforces the theory that it served primarily as a shelter or refuge.

At present, the only remains of the castle are the walls, a tower that served as a buttress and a cistern. The best preserved walls are on the north side.

Image of Castillo de la Carbonera