I visited this castle in 2001.
At the northern end of the Senorio de Molina, in the Spanish province of
Guadalajara lies this small castle in a very quiet and sleepy countryside village
by the same name.
The following historical info is taken from a very nice Spanish booklet called:
Guia de Campo de los Castillos de Guadalajara. My Spanish
translation skills aren't great so forgive any mistakes that may occur.
Estables Castle belonged to the Senorio de Molina and so, because its position
near the Duchy of Medinaceli, it was the witness of numerous battles between
these two political institutions.
The village of Estables is situated in a narrow valley that waters to a little
stream flowing from the heights of the Aragoncillo Mountain to the river Mesa.
Its strategic importance, because located in a natural route that goes from Aragon,
and the river Mesa valley, towards the center of the Senorio de Molina, caused that
already in the beginning of the repopulation of the territory, in the first half
of the 12th century, a watchtower was built on a hill in the valley. At its feet
the small village that progressively was growing in importance and inhabitants.
In 1432, Don Alvaro de Luna, Chancellor of King Juan II, ordered the repair of
the exterior of Estables Castle.
In that same 15th century, the historical destiny of the village abruptly changed,
when it was violently conquered by Don Gaston de la Cerda, for the Dukes of Medinaceli,
along with other villages in the area.
The Senorio de Molina repeatedly demanded back its possessions after which the
Catholic Royal Couple ordered the return of the possession of Estables Castle and
the village. However, the lord residing in the castle, Don Pedro de Zurita, a
Medinaceli supporter, disregarded this royal order and so only the village was
returned. In 1541, after several skirmishes between troops of the Senorio commanded
by a Don Luis Fernandez de Alcover, and the then lord residing in the castle,
Sancho Diaz de Zurita, Estables Castle again became property of the Senorio de Molina,
which it stayed from then on.
Estables Castle, as seen today, was constructed on the order of the Dukes of Medinaceli,
in 1450. A certain Gabriel de Urena was ordered to build the castle but he used
so much cruelty in obtaining building materials for the lowest prices that the castle
was nicknamed "Castle of the Black Shadow" by the locals.
Estables Castle is a typical fortification of its era, consisting of strong walls
forming a square shape with towers at its corners. The entrance of the castle, at
the northeast, is guarded by a tower and a turret. It's now a private property and
its interior can't be visited. I saw a modern construction inside when I looked
in probably to make it suitable for private habitation again, although work seemed
to have stopped a long time ago.
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