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Castle of La Mota

La Mota Castle is a fortress in Medina del Campo, in the province of Valladolid, Spain.

Castle of La Mota History

The origins of this castle, called ‘de la Mota’ because of its site on a small raised mound overlooking the town, go back to the 12th century, when it guarded a fortified town within the Kingdom of Castile, on the frontier with León.

Its present form, however, is the result of alterations carried out in the 15th century, from the reign of John II  onwards.

Some records indicate that Master Fernando Carreño participated in work done on the castle in 1440. In the reign of Henry IV (reg 1454–74) the castlebelonged to the Archbishop of Seville, Don Alonso de Fonseca, and was besieged by the townspeople. In 1475 it passed into the hands of the Catholic rulers Ferdinand and Isabella. During their reign new work was carried out under the direction of Alonso Nieto with the collaboration of Moorish architects such as masters Abdallah and Alí de Lerma. In the 16th century the fortress was converted into a state prison.

The deterioration of the castle already evident in 1592 was enough to cause concern about the security of the prisoners, and in 1646 some repairs were carried out by MasterManuel de Vega.

The irregular quadrilateral plan of La Mota Castle consists of an outer ward or enceinte and an inner ward concentric with the first. The most outstanding feature is the great keep inset in the north-east corner of the inner ward.

The castle was built with concrete walls faced with brick; on the outside of the building the holes for the timber framing used in the construction of the concrete walls are still visible. Restorations were carried out on the castle after the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), but some of the rooms were altered, making reconstruction of their original appearance difficult.

The monumental proportions of the keep, relate it to a series of majestic castles erected in Castile in the 15th century, like Torrelobatón Castle. In these castles it was usual to enter the keep from the parapet of the inner ward, but that of La Mota is now entered from ground level. The enceinte is similar to that at Coca Castle, which also has a ditch.

La Mota Castle also belongs to a small group of 15th-century Castilian fortresses built of brick instead of the more usual ashlar. Included in this group, as well as Coca Castle, are Arévalo y Castronuevo (Avila) and Arroyomolinos (Madrid).

La Mota Castle Map&Location

Castle of La Mota Address: Avenida Castillo, S/N, 47400 Medina del Campo, Spain. Get help with directions using the map provided bellow:

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Castle of La Mota Photos

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Castle of La Mota © Dmitry Shakin
Castle of La Mota (2) © Dmitry Shakin
Castle of La Mota detail © Jesús Trejo
Castle of La Mota courtyard © Raúl Hernández González
Main Entrance © Raúl Hernández González
Castle of La Mota interior © Rod RC
Castle of La Mota chapel  © Rod RC