Santiponce Itálica

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Castillo de Hierro

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The name "Castillo de Hierro" (Iron Castle) refers to the difficulty involved in conquering it, since its double wall, the thickness of its walls, the absence of a gate, two cisterns and the steepness of the rock made it impregnable. The building, which served as a refuge for the citizens of Pruna, is located on the highest part of the rock and this gives the town its name.

Oral legend, passed down from generation to generation, tells how it was one of the conquests of the town belonging to the Nazarí Kingdom by the Kingdom of Castile. It is said that the King of Castile, possibly Alfonso XI, seeing the impossibility of conquering El Castillo de Hierro where the citizens of Pruna were sheltering, ordered his soldiers to capture some billy goats, which have long and twisted horns, which were grazing in a nearby cork oak grove. He waited for a moonless night, ordered his men to tie torches to the goats' horns, light the torches and send them running up the rock towards the castle. When the townsfolk saw the lights approaching, they thought that a powerful army was attacking them and decided to throw themselves off the cliff on the west side of the rock rather than surrender to the Castilian king. So much blood was spilled that it reached a nearby stream that has since become known as Arroyo Sanguino (Bloody Stream).

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