Santiponce Itálica

Heritage

An immense legacy waiting to be discovered

Arab Fortress of Alhonoz

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The fortress is located between the municipalities of Ecija and Herrera. Its dominant position with respect to the surrounding territory led to the existence of a major urban settlement in its surroundings during the Moorish period that survived until the reconquest. It is the most important rural archaeological site in the area due to the quantity and quality of the material remains preserved. 

Built between the 14th and 15th centuries, the Alhonoz fortress has reached our days as a witness to a time when the border with the Nasrid kingdom of Granada was barely 50 kilometres away. During the 15th century it lost part of its surrounding settlement and became reduced to a defensive compound that, due to its strategic value, kept a garrison and was repaired at the expense of Ecija's Town Council.

Its compound is square, about 24 metres on each side, and is built on a plateau slightly inclined in a west-east direction. It is flanked at the corners by four square section towers. At the centre of the western wall is the keep, with a rectangular floor plan and imposing walls that stand out from the perimeter of the compound. The barbican is not preserved. 

The importance of Alhonoz in the war with Granada was such that it even served as a camp for Prince Fernando in the days before the conquest of Antequera in 1410. The capture of this city meant a move away from the border with Granada and a reduced defensive role for Alhonoz. Finally, with the disappearance of the Nasrid kingdom in 1492, the castle ceased to be used for military purposes, which led to its subsequent neglect.

It has been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC).

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