Countries<Spain<Comunidad Valenciana<Corbera< Castillo de Corbera

Castillo de Corbera(Corbera)

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On a hill overlooking the current town of Corbera that extends on its northern slope, stands the castle of Corbera. It is a strategic point between the foothills of the Murta mountain range and the great almarjal of the coast.

This castle has an elongated plant of a major north-south axis, which is accessed from its eastern front by an access defended by the impressive mass of its coracha.
The superior enclosure is formed by an enclosure in zipper developed by means of curtain walls, on masonry base and tapial flight, finished off by a cornice with battlements aspilleradas. At the present time in this enclosure two areas are distinguished: one of the north flank without any rest of housings and separated from the south flank by a construction of noble character that could very well be an old church of a single ship supported on buttresses. This building is closely related to an adjoining one in perpendicular disposition, with a single nave, covered with a barrel vault and that could have several floors. This complex seems to respond to the noble area of the castle that would settle on the housing area, possibly from the Islamic period.
The enclosure is accessed by means of a ramp entrance with an angled layout and defended by two cubes, locating the entrance door on the south flank, now disappeared.
This entrance is defended by a constructive structure added later, and that by its formal characteristics we can call it coracha or a special conjunction between tower and coracha.

This coracha descends from the upper walling to practically the base of the mountain in a West-East disposition and has a rectangular plant, emptied in its interior and finished off in its east end by a great tower, not appreciable to the outside, of about 16 meters of height that welcome three superimposed plants; the whole set is finished off in battlements to which it is acceded by a narrow parapet whose thickness is that of the own wall; the work is all it made in tapial with boxes of height of 0.90 meters. This defensive structure, which could be considered as a precedent of the modern "ravelin", was linked to the upper enclosure by means of a large opening, in the form of a porticoed passage, covered by a half-barrel vault of plementery.
The oldest known news of this castle is provided by Ibn al-Khatib, who in 1229 points out that it is a castle belonging to Alzira (C. Barceló, 1982, p. 144).
After this date we have to wait for the vicissitudes of the Christian conquest, and so we find in the "Llibre de Repartiment" the first mention of this place on July 28, 1238 in which Jaime I grants Zayd Abu Zayd, inheritances that belonged to his father in Cullera and Corbera (Ferrando i Francés, 1979). However, according to the documentation, it seems that the definitive conquest of the square was somewhat later, almost 10 years later, until March 15, 1248, when this castle was given to D. Ramón de Rocafull, plus 500 sueldos for its maintenance. A year later the monarch proceeds to the Repartimiento of Corbera and its district, which included the farmsteads of El Raval de Corbera, Fortaleny, Alcudia, Nacla, Signén, Llaurí, Matada and Beniazir; Curiously, the layout of the Fortaleny farmhouse confirms the existence in the Islamic period of a narrow pass between Corbera and Cullera that we find described in the "Llibre dels Feits", when Jaime I wants to leave Cullera to reach the Vall de Alfondech and is forced to cross the almarjal through this pass because everything else was covered with water and could not be crossed on foot but by boat.
The first would include the upper enclosure, a clear example of the Islamic tradition of enclosure with walls that take advantage of the natural structure of the terrain, and that in its layout does not have any tower; this arrangement, very similar to the castle of Sagunto could lead us to consider the enclosure as from the 11th century.

The construction of the coracha, all of it in mud and with a structure of advanced castellological design and strategic value, we can compare it with the novelties introduced in the defense of castles in the Almohad period and therefore it can be framed between the end of the XII century and the first quarter of the XIII century.
According to data we can affirm the existence of this fortification at the beginning of the 13th century, confirmed by the text of Ibn al-Jatib.

During the late Middle Ages this castle would undergo a series of reforms in order to condition it to the needs of feudal society, adding the noble complex, as well as reinforcing the entire upper enclosure with a battlement provided with loopholes and protective parapet; this work must have been executed at the beginning of the reforms that the use of gunpowder forced to do in the Valencian castles.

Image of Castillo de Corbera