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Quiz about Castles in Spain
Quiz about Castles in Spain

Castles in Spain Trivia Quiz


Castles in Spain are not mere daydreams. I've chosen fifteen examples to prove they are tangible realities.

A photo quiz by wellenbrecher. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Time
4 mins
Type
Photo Quiz
Quiz #
413,645
Updated
Sep 17 23
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
11 / 15
Plays
138
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: mandy2 (10/15), matthewpokemon (14/15), malama (12/15).
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Question 1 of 15
1. The year 1474 saw an event take place at the Alcázar de Segovia that had a significant impact on the future history of Spain. What event was this? Hint


Question 2 of 15
2. The massive Alhambra complex is probably one of the most famous castles in Spain. It perches above a city in the south of the country. What is the name of this city? Hint


Question 3 of 15
3. Situated in northeastern Spain, Loarre Castle is approximately a two-hour drive from Pamplona. Can you identify the mountain range that provides the backdrop to the castle? Hint


Question 4 of 15
4. Look at the picture of Coca Castle. Which architectural style characterizes this castle located in Segovia? Hint


Question 5 of 15
5. The Royal Palace of Olite is located in the north of Spain. Which historical entity was it a part of? Hint


Question 6 of 15
6. Bellver Castle is one of the few circular castles in Europe. On which island, a hotspot for European tourists, is it located? Hint


Question 7 of 15
7. What is the distinctive architectural feature that gives Peñafiel Castle in Valladolid its unique appearance? Hint


Question 8 of 15
8. Another castle in Valladolid is Castle of La Mota. What is the name of the town that this castle overlooks?

Hint


Question 9 of 15
9. The Alcazaba of Málaga was originally constructed under the rule of the Hammudid dynasty and the reign of Yahya I. In which century did this occur? Hint


Question 10 of 15
10. Peñíscola Castle is named after the town of Peñíscola in the Valencian Community of Spain. What does this name refer to? Hint


Question 11 of 15
11. What was the original purpose of the New Castle of Manzanares el Real when it was built in the late 15th century? Hint


Question 12 of 15
12. What river was Burgalimar Castle strategically guarding, the very same river that later winds its way through Córdoba and Seville? Hint


Question 13 of 15
13. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista. What somewhat surprising structure was located within its walls? Hint


Question 14 of 15
14. Thanks to its classic look, Alcazaba of Almería has served as a filming location for several movies. Which of these films was partially shot there? Hint


Question 15 of 15
15. Ponferrada Castle was built by Knights Templar to protect a famous pilgrimage route in Northern Spain. What is the name of this route? Hint



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Most Recent Scores
Jul 03 2024 : mandy2: 10/15
Jul 01 2024 : matthewpokemon: 14/15
Jun 26 2024 : malama: 12/15
Jun 23 2024 : psnz: 15/15

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The year 1474 saw an event take place at the Alcázar de Segovia that had a significant impact on the future history of Spain. What event was this?

Answer: The coronation of Queen Isabela I

The Alcázar of Segovia, situated on an elevated hill, is a historic fortress and palace complex that dates back to the 12th century. It was originally designed to serve both as a defensive stronghold and the royal residence of King Alfonso III. It is located in the city of Segovia, which is nestled in the heart of Spain, roughly 90 kilometers away from Madrid.

The Alcázar features distinctive conical roofs and turreted towers, contributing to its recognition as one of the architectural inspirations for Cinderella's Castle at Disney World. Throughout its long history, the Alcázar underwent numerous modifications and expansions, including its use for notable events such as the coronation of Queen Isabela I in 1474 who later became the first queen of united Spain.

One of the Alcázar's prominent features is the Torre de Juan ("Tower of John II"), which is the tallest section of the fortress. This rectangular tower is decorated with a dozen ornamental turrets, and those who are willing to climb its 156 steps can enjoy stunning panoramic views from its roof. Another noteworthy area is the Sala de Galera ("Hall of the Galley"), which provides scenic views of the surrounding valley through its tall windows. Internally, the Sala de los Reyes ("Hall of the Kings") stands as an elaborately adorned room, known for its decorative elements and a frieze portraying 52 monarchs.

Segovia itself is renowned for its well-preserved medieval architecture and rich history, making it an ideal setting for the Alcázar.
2. The massive Alhambra complex is probably one of the most famous castles in Spain. It perches above a city in the south of the country. What is the name of this city?

Answer: Granada

The Alhambra, a majestic complex that presides over Granada, is a jewel of the Andalusian city. Its history dates back to a Roman fortress and a ninth-century fortification. However, the Alhambra, as we know it today, began taking shape in the 13th century under Moorish Nasrid Sultans. Although it eventually fell to Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492, much of the palace has retained the opulent decorative details of Moorish styles, making it one of the world's finest examples.

Just beyond the entrance to the complex but outside the main walls lies the Generalife area, once a recreational spot for the residing sultans. Here, you'll find beautiful buildings, the expansive Jardines Bajos ("Lower Gardens") and the Escalera de Agua ("Water Stairs"), an impressive feat of engineering that provided irrigation.

As you move towards the heart of the citadel, you'll come across the Palacios Nazaries ("Nasrid Palaces") and the Palacio de Carlos V, a massive square structure with a colonnaded circular courtyard at its center. Today, it houses the Museo de Alhambra, the Museo de Bellas Artes ("Fine Arts Museum"), and various temporary exhibits. The three Palacios Nazaries, including the Palacio de Comares ("Palace of Ceremonial Rooms"), Palacio de los Leones ("Palace of the Lions"), and the Palacio Real ("Royal Palace"), follow a similar Andalusian architectural layout, with main rooms opening onto central courtyards. The most famous of these courtyards is the Patio de los Leones ("Patio of the Lions"), featuring a fountain with a dozen marble lions and 124 arcaded columns.

In addition to numerous rooms, patios, and fountains, the citadel is guarded by multiple towers. The largest among them is the Torre de Comares ("Comares Tower"), which houses the Sala de los Embajadores ("Hall of Ambassadors"). This room is arguably one of the most stunning in all of Europe, featuring tall windows and an intricately carved wooden dome.
3. Situated in northeastern Spain, Loarre Castle is approximately a two-hour drive from Pamplona. Can you identify the mountain range that provides the backdrop to the castle?

Answer: Pyrenees

Loarre Castle ("Castillo de Loarre" in Spanish) is located in northeastern Spain and overlooks the Pyrenees mountain village of Ayerbe in the province of Huesca. Its distinctive features include a series of cylindrical towers that appear to ascend the hill towards the central castle, remnants of a defensive structure once safeguarding the now partially ruined outer wall. These towers have decorative walls with rectangular shapes on top evoking the imagery of medieval fairy tale castles.

Originally designed to serve both as a military stronghold and a royal residence, the castle benefits from the protective qualities of the limestone bedrock forming its foundation, effectively preventing sneak attacks from possible underground tunnels. The castle was constructed during the late 11th century for King Sancho Ramírez I of Aragon and saw an expansion in the subsequent century with the addition of the Romanesque Church of Santa María. In later years, the castle served as a residence for an Augustinian monastery.

Unlike many other Spanish castles that exhibit Moorish architectural elements due to the country's long history of Islamic rule, Loarre Castle stands out for its absence of such influences. The castle appears as a location in the 2005 movie "Kingdom of Heaven" starring Orlando Bloom and Jeremy Irons.
4. Look at the picture of Coca Castle. Which architectural style characterizes this castle located in Segovia?

Answer: Mudejar

Coca Castle ("Castillo de Coca" in Spanish") is renowned for its Mudéjar brick architecture, which blends Islamic and Gothic styles. It is considered one of the finest examples of Mudéjar castles in Spain. The castle was constructed in the 15th century during the reign of Alonso de Fonseca, Archbishop of Seville. It was built as a residence and hunting lodge rather than a defensive fortress, which is why it has such an ornate and intricate design. The location was chosen for its proximity to the agricultural lands and forests.

The castle is located in Segovia in the central part of the Iberian Peninsula, a region known for its rich history, heritage, and cultural attractions, including landmarks like the Segovia Aqueduct and the Alcázar of Segovia.
5. The Royal Palace of Olite is located in the north of Spain. Which historical entity was it a part of?

Answer: Kingdom of Navarre

The Kingdom of Navarre was a medieval realm situated in the Pyrenees region, spanning parts of present-day Spain and France. The Royal Palace of Olite was originally built as a castle for the Kings of Navarre in the 13th century. Its origins date back to the reign of Sancho VII of Navarre, and the palace saw subsequent extensions by Theobald I and Theobald II. The latter used it for significant events, including the consent letter for the wedding of Blanche of Artois and Henry I of Navarre. Throughout history, it intermittently served as a royal residence, hosting kings like Charles II of Navarre.

During the 14th to 16th centuries, it became the seat of the Navarrese court, but its decline began after the annexation by the Crown of Castile in 1512. The palace endured fire during the Napoleonic French invasion in 1813 but was meticulously restored in 1967.

The Royal Palace of Olite is known for its stunning Gothic and Mudéjar architectural styles and is considered one of the most important examples of civil Gothic architecture in Spain. The palace complex is quite extensive and includes various courtyards, gardens, towers, and halls. Some notable features include intricate Gothic windows, decorative arches, and beautifully landscaped gardens. The palace also has a maze-like layout with numerous chambers, making it an interesting place to explore.
6. Bellver Castle is one of the few circular castles in Europe. On which island, a hotspot for European tourists, is it located?

Answer: Mallorca

Bellver Castle, known as "Castell de Bellver" in Catalan, is a unique historic fortress located on the island of Mallorca. One of the most distinctive features of Bellver Castle is its circular design, which is quite rare for European castles. It was constructed in the 14th century during the reign of King James II of Mallorca as a royal residence and a defensive stronghold.

Initially built as a royal residence for the Kings of Mallorca when they were away from mainland Europe, it later served as a sporadic residence for viceroys in the 17th century. The castle's fortifications successfully withstood sieges during the Middle Ages, notably during the campaigns of Peter IV of Aragon in 1343 and an anti-Semitic peasant revolt in 1391. It fell to enemy hands only once in 1521 during the Majorcan second Revolt of the Brotherhoods. Over time, parts of Bellver Castle transitioned into a prison, housing various political and notable figures, including supporters of different royal claimants, prisoners from the War of Spanish Succession, and political dissidents and leaders.

Bellver Castle exhibits a blend of architectural styles, including Gothic and Romanesque elements. It is organized into three main levels. The lower level contained the prison, while the middle level was a residence for the monarchs. The upper level houses a central courtyard and a prominent circular tower. One of the highlights of visiting Bellver Castle is the panoramic view it offers of the city of Palma de Mallorca and the surrounding landscape. The castle's hilltop location provides breathtaking vistas.
7. What is the distinctive architectural feature that gives Peñafiel Castle in Valladolid its unique appearance?

Answer: It resembles the bow of a ship.

Peñafiel Castle, known as "Castillo de Peñafiel" in Spanish, is renowned for its distinctive shape, which resembles the bow of a ship being more than 200 metres (660 ft) long and about 35 m (115 ft) wide. The castle's unique design includes a large, round tower that dominates its appearance. It is primarily built of stone and reflects the architectural styles of the medieval period.

The fortress located in the town of Peñafiel, in the province of Valladolid, in the Castilla y León region of Spain. It was built atop a hill overlooking the surrounding landscape. Its strategic position offers commanding views of the town and the nearby Duero River Valley. The castle's origins can be traced back to the 10th century during the Moorish rule of the Iberian Peninsula when it was erected as a frontier outpost in defense against the Moors.

Today, Peñafiel Castle houses the Provincial Wine Museum of Valladolid, making it a unique and popular attraction for wine enthusiasts. It often hosts cultural events, exhibitions, and festivals, making it a vibrant hub of activity within the town.
8. Another castle in Valladolid is Castle of La Mota. What is the name of the town that this castle overlooks?

Answer: Medina del Campo

The Castle of La Mota ("Castillo de La Mota" in Spanish) is a historic fortress in Medina del Campo, Spain, originally constructed in the 11th and 12th centuries using concrete and a brick façade. The holes in its walls, remnants of timber framing, are often mistaken for battle scars. Extensive renovations took place in the 15th century. The most prominent feature of the castle is the Torre del Homenaje ("Homage Tower"), a 40-meter-tall rectangular tower in the northeast corner, with a crenelated keep and four smaller turrets. It's often called the Great Tower of Castille.

The Castle of La Mota is a classic example of a medieval Spanish castle with a large central keep, high walls, and defensive towers. It features a mix of architectural styles, including Gothic and Renaissance elements, due to the various phases of construction and modifications it underwent over the centuries.

The castle is associated with notable historical figures such as Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon, who stayed there. Christopher Columbus also visited the castle after his first voyage to the Americas.
9. The Alcazaba of Málaga was originally constructed under the rule of the Hammudid dynasty and the reign of Yahya I. In which century did this occur?

Answer: 11th century

The Alcazaba de Málaga ("Citadel of Málaga") is a historic fortress and palace complex located on a hill overlooking the city of Málaga in Southern Spain and the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the most well-preserved examples of Moorish architecture in the region and holds significant historical and architectural importance.

The Alcazaba was constructed during the 11th century when Málaga was under Moorish rule of the Hammudid dynasty. It was initially built as a defensive fortress and later expanded into a palace complex. Its architectural style reflects Moorish and Islamic influences, characterized by its intricate stucco work, horseshoe arches, and decorative tiles. The architecture is also notable for incorporating elements of earlier Roman architecture, including some reused Roman columns and marble. This blending of architectural styles reflects the region's diverse history.

The fortress consists of two walled enclosures, with the inner enclosure containing the palace buildings. Within this enclosure you can find the Nasrid Palace, which features beautiful patios, fountains, and chambers adorned with intricate Islamic art and design. The palace was used by Moorish rulers for both residential and administrative purposes.
10. Peñíscola Castle is named after the town of Peñíscola in the Valencian Community of Spain. What does this name refer to?

Answer: Its coastal location

Peñíscola Castle, known as "Castillo de Peñíscola" in Spanish, is a historic fortress located in the town of Peñíscola, in the province of Castellón, halfway between Valencia and Tarragona. The castle is perched on a rocky promontory on the Mediterranean coast, making it a prominent coastal landmark overlooking the beach from a height of 64 meters above sea level.

It was originally constructed by the Knights Templar in the early 13th century during the period of the Christian Reconquista. The castle played a significant role in defending the region against Moorish and pirate attacks. One of the most notable historical events associated with Peñíscola Castle is its connection to Antipope Benedict XIII, also known as Pope Luna. In the 15th century, during the Western Schism, Benedict XIII chose the castle as his papal residence, making it the center of the Avignon Papacy. His presence in Peñíscola gave rise to its nickname, the "Pope's Palace." Over the centuries, the castle played roles in various military conflicts, underwent upgrades in line with evolving military technology, and eventually served as a filming location for the movie "El Cid" in 1961.
11. What was the original purpose of the New Castle of Manzanares el Real when it was built in the late 15th century?

Answer: a residential palace

The New Castle of Manzanares el Real, also known as the "Castillo de los Mendoza", is a stunning medieval palace located in the town of Manzanares el Real, in the Community of Madrid in Central Spain. The lands bordering the upper reaches of the River Manzanares, rich in pastures and forests, were the subject of frequent disputes between different powers that emerged after the Reconquista. The communities of Villa y Tierra de Segovia and Madrid had several disputes, which were resolved in the 14th century by King John I of Castile with the donation of the comarca to his steward, Pedro González de Mendoza.

The eldest Mendoza son, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, Admiral of Castile, is credited with building the first fortress, now known as the Old Castle of Manzanares el Real. In the last third of the 15th century, the House of Mendoza decided to build a new castle-palace, larger and more luxurious, in accordance with the remarkable economic and political influence achieved by this family.

Its construction began in 1475 in a Romanesque-Mudéjar style. The role of the castle as a palatial residence lasted only a century. With the death in 1566 of Íñigo López de Mendoza y Pimentel, 4th Duke of the Infantado, the castle ceased to be inhabited, as economic problems and disputes arose between the heirs of the House of Mendoza. Today the castle a museum dedicated to the history of Spanish castles.
12. What river was Burgalimar Castle strategically guarding, the very same river that later winds its way through Córdoba and Seville?

Answer: Guadalquivir

Burgalimar Castle ("Castillo de Burgalimar" in Spanish) was built as a garrison to defend the Guadalquivir River, which is one of the major rivers in the Iberian Peninsula. This river plays a significant role in the geography and history of southern Spain, flowing through cities such as Córdoba and Seville, and has been vital for trade and transportation over the centuries. Castillo de Burgalimar is located in the town of Baños de la Encina, in the province of Jaén.

It dates back to the 10th century during the period of Moorish rule in the Iberian Peninsula. It was constructed under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba as a defensive fortress, and its architecture reflects the military and architectural influences of the time. The castle is a prime example of Islamic military architecture, characterized by its defensive double walls, fifteen fortified towers, and strategic location on a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside. It features elements such as crenellations and battlements. As a fortification, this castle was among the strongest in Southern Spain.

However, it came under Christian control in 1225 during the period of the Reconquista when Christian forces sought to retake the Iberian Peninsula from Moorish rule. Some significant additions were made during the 15th century, such as the Christian Torre del Homenaje ("Tower of Homage"), one circular tower and a Gothic keep.
13. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista. What somewhat surprising structure was located within its walls?

Answer: a Jewish synagogue

Situated in the Murcia region of Spain, Lorca Castle ("Castillo de Lorca" in Spanish) commands a view of the Guadalentín Valley. It is 640 m long and 120 m wide, and one of the largest castles in Spain. The site has a history that spans millennia. Archaeological excavations have uncovered evidence of habitation since Neolithic times. They revealed an Argaric town that extended from the castle to the present town site, uncovering funerary sites, homes, and a wall.

The castle's exact origins are uncertain, but the first written documentation referring to a castle in Lorca is of Muslim origin from the 9th century when Lorca was ruled by Visigoth count Theudimer. During subsequent Moorish rule, the castle was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. When the town of Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso (the future Alfonso X the Wise) in 1244, the castle became a key defense point against Granada during the Reconquista. For 250 years, it served as a border watchpoint between the Christian Kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

The Jewish Quarter of Lorca dates back to the 14th century and was separated from the rest of the city by walls. It extended over 5,700 square meters and included 12 homes and a synagogue. The synagogue is the only one found in Murcia and is central to the layout. It also includes a matroneum for women.

As the frontier disappeared after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle's significance declined. The expulsion of Jews further depopulated the castle, which was almost in ruins by the 18th century. In the 19th century, it was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence, undergoing changes like the installation of cannons. The wall of the castle and the Espolón Tower were seriously damaged during the 2011 Lorca earthquake.
14. Thanks to its classic look, Alcazaba of Almería has served as a filming location for several movies. Which of these films was partially shot there?

Answer: "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"

The Alcazaba of Almería seems to be the quintessence of a Spanish castle for Hollywood location finders, since it played a supporting role in several major films like "Never Say Never Again", "Conan the Barbarian", "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade", and "Wonder Woman1984" as well as several episodes of "Game of Thrones".

The castle is located in the city of Almería, in the Andalusia region of southern Spain. It is one of the most significant and well-preserved Islamic fortifications of the Iberian Peninsular. It was originally built by the Moors in the 10th century during the rule of the Caliph of Córdoba Abd ar-Rahman III. It served as a defensive fortress and a seat of power for the local Muslim rulers and is strategically situated on a hill overlooking the city of Almería and the Mediterranean Sea.

One of the distinctive features of the Alcazaba is its double walls, a design element intended to enhance its defensive capabilities. The inner and outer walls provide multiple layers of protection. Within the fortress, there is a complex with beautiful gardens, reflecting pools, and ornate architecture. The Nasrid Palaces, part of this complex, exhibit exquisite Moorish craftsmanship.

Over the centuries, the Alcazaba witnessed numerous historical events and changes in ownership, including the Christian Reconquista in the late 15th century when it came under Christian control.
15. Ponferrada Castle was built by Knights Templar to protect a famous pilgrimage route in Northern Spain. What is the name of this route?

Answer: Camino de Santiago

The "Camino de Santiago" or the "Way of St. James" encompasses various routes that lead to the city of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain, where the remains of the apostle Saint James are believed to be buried. The Camino de Santiago attracts pilgrims from all over the world, and it has been a significant pilgrimage route for centuries.

The Ponferrada Castle ("Castillo de Ponferrada" in Spanish) served as a strategic fortress along the Camino de Santiago and played an important role in protecting pilgrims on their journey. It has its origins in the 12th century when it was built by the Knights Templar. The castle is strategically situated at the confluence of the Sil and Boeza rivers, providing control over important river crossings and trade routes. Its location made it a key defensive point in the region and was part of a network of Templar fortresses in the region. After the suppression of the Templars in the 14th century, the castle passed into the hands of the Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, also known as the Knights Hospitaller. It underwent further modifications and renovations over time.

In addition to its architectural features, Ponferrada Castle is renowned for its extensive library collection of rare manuscripts and books. Among its treasures is a dedicated room housing religious codices and historical documents, including a copy of the Book of Kells, a manuscript dating back to the 9th century.
Source: Author wellenbrecher

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