Fortification: defence for the population against Berber attacks or the stopover accommodation for the Marquis. Throughout its history the Los Vélez Castle has been adapted to the needs of the people and their leaders.

The first carts of alunite, a stone used for extracting alum, were already passing through when the Los Vélez Castle was being constructed. Initially this enclave was conceived for the control and production of alum, one of the most sought after products in the 16th Century, applied to clothes dye and even medicine. With this new industry and the refuge of the castle the first inhabitants began to arrive to a land until then uninhabited.

It has a purely defensive role with military architecture: built on high ground, with a wall and a defence wall in the coastal area due to Berber incursions at the end of the 15th Century and 16th Century, and with a water deposit in case the sieges lasted. It is also one of the first testimonies of a fortification defended with fire balls in Murcia Region.

There were soon necessary reforms. Until then it had only had a fortification and an arms square, but no inhabitable area. And so the south-east tower staircase arrived and a number of more noble additions on the upper floor. To this was added the necessity of adapting the structure to the artillery, the use of firearms being known but not generally used until the 16th Century. From thereon, the grand canons were present and also the rounded towers, in order to not offer corners to projectiles.

From the historical point of view, this reform just a few years after its construction makes the castle a unique example of the passage from the Middle Ages to modernity. To the austerity of a building planned only for defensive purposes were added the necessary luxuries and comforts in order that the Los Vélez Marquis could occasionally stay overnight or to be used as the governor’s daily home.

Today itsincalculable historical and cultural value have meant it’s been declared of Cultural Interest.



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