8 monumental walled enclosures in Andalusia (I)

As we indicated in previous posts, the region of Andalusia was an area of ​​passage and establishment of different cultures. For centuries these cultures have protected their cities and towns from their enemies with walled enclosures and had a purely military character in defending themselves.

These walls were initially of coarse form created with wooden structures to evolve to other structures more elaborated with materials like adobe, stone, mortar or brick and that usually surrounded the cities with a series of watchtowers and access and exit doors.

These structures have maintained their function over the centuries and were impregnable in many cases keeping their citizens protected and creating security in the urban area. This defensive function was lost from the fourteenth century, since with the use of gunpowder and artillery, the walls became more vulnerable.

Today, the walls of numerous localities in our region have reached us in a better or worse state as a monument, witnessing a time in question since probably many buildings contemporary to its construction disappeared due to the monumental progress or insensitivity that made They will reach our days.

The walled enclosures indicate not only how the civilizations that passed through were defended, but also what form they had to build and what materials were used for them. Many of them, great builders with very advanced techniques for their time, which has allowed us that these structures arrive in good condition to our time.

We will mention some of the walled enclosures located in our region for centuries and that constitute a monumental and artistic resource.

1Muralla Almohade de Sevilla: this wall surrounded what today constitutes the historic center of the city of Seville. It was built in the 12th century, by the Almohad dynasty, in the last years of the Muslim domination of the Iberian Peninsula. This wall was one of the extensions of the original Roman wall of which we have left vestige today. Initially it surrounded all the old helmet but today only we have arrived a part that begins in the Arc of the Macarena, surrounding the historical round until the Gardens of the Valley, another part of the wall that is in good state is located in the Royals Alcazars and the Jewish quarter.

muralla de la macarena

The wall, is formed by a series of lookout towers in very good condition but vulnerable to weather and weather. This type of colossal construction, last part on the part of the almohades, shows how was this town from North Africa, because although it was austere and conservative in its religious beliefs, at the time of building, it showed buildings and structures at a certain point megalómanas as the case of the Giralda and the materials used for the wall, a kind of mortar similar to concrete that has reached our times almost a thousand years later and that has only suffered the destruction on the part of the human being. The legend tells that Julio Cesar sacrificed a son to the gods and with his blood he made the mixture to create the wall. A fact that is historical was that in 1936, the wall was used as a firing squad in the Civil War.

Wall of Carmona: The city of Carmona, located on the top of a plateau that rises over the countryside at almost 250 meters high with a privileged view, has a wall with great history. The section that has arrived is located in the Puerta de Sevilla, near its Alcázar, and we can see a structure with stone ashlars whose origin is Carthaginian, although the subsequent Roman reforms and extensions by the Islamic civilization has led to to the rest of the structures where we can contemplate the different square structures, battlements and fortress towers although the most impressive part is its entrance door with a half point arch and the use of stones with mortar, typical of the Almohads.

Muralla de Carmona

Wall of Palma del Rio: The Cordovan town located at the confluence of the river Genil and Guadalquivir, also has an Almohad-style wall that would not have been preserved had it not been for the European FEDER funds that have allowed its restoration. The town is already mentioned in the time of the Caliphate, specifically mentioned by Bishop Eulogio back in the ninth century. The wall is of almohade invoice probably of century XII and five towers defined a pentagonal space, united by the walls. Its structure is similar to that of Seville and the materials used are practically the same. We have remains of what could be a citadel or castle of this era with a plaque that recalls that in the fourteenth century, after the conquest of Andalusia by Christians, was created in that same enclosure, a brotherhood to protect Andalusia from the Islamic attacks.

muralla de Palma del rio

Muralla de Marchena: Located in the countryside in the direction of the southeast, we find another town with a wall of Almohad origin also and that surrounded what was known as the ancient city or Medina. These walls had a defensive part for the city and also for the precinct of the Alcazaba. From this wall came the Morón Tower, square in shape, with a horseshoe arch and from which part was torn down to give access to a street, the Arco de la Rosa, a very beautiful and restored archway that leads directly to the Alcazar, and the semicircular tower of the Puerta de Sevilla. In worse conditions but also as a vestige the remains located in the Ducal palace have arrived.

muralla de marchena

Wall of Cabra: The city of Cabra, which is part of the Route of the Caliphate, naturally has its wall and medieval Islamic type. The situation of the city in the upper zone that dominates the entire Córdoba subbetic sierra, forced to wall the city and protect it not only from the Christians but from the internal revolts within the different regimes that governed Al-Andalus. The function of the wall was to protect especially the palace -Alcázar. The part of the wall that has arrived in good condition today is the one next to the Church of the Assumption and Angeles, with a tower the massive cylindrical tower and the remains of another destroyed by an earthquake in the seventeenth century.

muralla de cabra

Niebla: located in the Condado area, in Huelva, a wine region par excellence, whose walls are also a vestige of the Andalusian domain of the region, specifically from the Taifa era. It is one of the best preserved of its time, built by sillarejo for the walls in the form of slope and ashlars for the corners. It has five accesses in good condition such as Puerta de Socorro, Puerta de Sevilla, or Puerta del Agua. The wall has suffered many ravages in time, such as the War of Independence against the French at the beginning of the 19th century, however, today this marvel of recognition has arrived.

Wall of Medina Sidonia: The city, which is part of the route of the White Villages and witness of the battle of the Guadalete, back in the early eighth century, also shows another walled enclosure of equal beauty. The city founded in Phoenician times on a hill that dominates, the region of La Janda, has a walled enclosure whose origin is from the Caliphate period in the 10th century. It stands out for this wall with remains of battlements, the Arch of the Shepherdess, with two horseshoe arches, one supported on Roman columns and the other on stone berroqueña. His name comes as there is an altar dedicated to the Divine Shepherdess. Another door or Arch of is the Bethlehem, due to the invocation to this virgin but of this door it is not clear if its origin is Muslim.

muralla de medina sidonia

In this small route of the walled enclosures, we will not forget one of the most remembered and famous in Andalusia. Its origin is also Islamic, it is also due to its foundation probably and it is neither more nor less than the wall of the City of Almeria. The city was founded in the year 955 by Abderraman III as an annex neighborhood of Pechina that came to have its own independence. It is at this time that his citadel and wall began to be built, known as the Caliphal wall. From this time of most and the most important area is located in the area of ​​the street of the Atarazanas. The wall closed the medina, and came down from the Alcazaba to the sea, protecting it from attacks by the Normans. Although there are also taifa remains, the most important part is the caliphal that has been included, together with the Alcazaba, as an archaeological site as a cultural asset.

muralla almeria

With these eight spaces, we closed the first part of a post dedicated to the walled enclosures and their history. In a future post we will report other known sites with history and legend, which constitute a vestige of past civilizations.