Morella

The finest walled cities in Spain 

About -Spain.net 

Discover the real Spain

About-Spain.net How to travel What to see Where to stay
SpainAbout-Spain.net
on your mobile
By theme ►  Roman Spain
Moorish heritage
Walled cities
Natural heritage Churches & cath­edrals Top Spanish museums Castles and fort­resses

The finest walled towns and cities in Spain

Spain's remarkable fortified towns and cities

Roman walls of Lugo
The roman walls of Lugo, Galicia  -  Photo J.M.Lage
    There is something special about a walled city; a connection with the past, that remains only in a few of the towns and cities of the modern-day world.
     Yet there was a time when all major towns and cities were surrounded by city walls or ramparts. From pre-Roman times until the Renaissance, city walls were often a vital barrier for townsfolk against attack from marauding invaders. Urban historian Lewis Mumford saw walls as the vital expression of urban unity and superiority; yet from the sixteenth century onwards, with growing wealth and populations, most towns and cities in Europe began to expand beyond their old walls, to the point at which they became redundant and in most cases - sooner or later - torn down.
    Yet in places off the beaten track, towns and cities that grew little between the 16th and 20th centuries, or places that continued to need fortifications, or that lost an importance they once had, city walls remained in place. There are walled cities all over Europe and the old world; there are even three walled cities in north America; but of the walled cities that remain to this day, some of the finest and most intact are to be found in Spain. Some are well known; others are small, off the tourist track, and pretty well unknown except to locals..   
   
The best preserved and most impressive walled cities and towns in Spain.
Fully walled and almost fully walled cities
  • The ramparts of Avila
    The southern ramparts of Avila
    Avila (Castile & Leon) : Generally regarded as the finest walled city in Europe - Avila is the largest city to have conserved its mediaeval town walls completely intact. Visitors can walk along a good proportion of the sentry path on top of the ramparts - a unique experience. The walls of Avila are 2500 metres in length, and boast no less than 87 towers.
  • Ciudad Rodrigo (Castile & Leon) : another city that has a full set of walls; though these are seventeenth and century military fortifications. Visitors can walk round the walls
  • Segovia (Castile & Leon) : the city of Segovia is surrounded by city walls - a fact that is often overlooked since they are less impressive than some of the city's other monuments, notably the Roman aqueduct, the churches and the castle.
  • Lugo (Galicia) . The only city in the world with an almost complete set of Roman city walls. These massive military fortifications were broad enough to drive a chariot along the top, Today the walls are popular walkways.
  • Plasencia (Extremadura). The walls and city gates of Plasencia are still almost complete, and can be admired in many parts; however in other parts they have been incorporated at a later stage into buildings on either side, and are no longer visible. Nearby are Galisteo and Caceres (see below).
Fully walled  and largely walled small towns - mostly off the tourist trail
  • Niebla (Huelva, Andalucia) . *** With over 2 km of walls, 50 towers and five gateways, Niebla is one of the most completely walled towns in Spain. Built in Moorish times, the walls are made with reddish clay from the local valley, giving them a particularly Moroccan look
  • Morella (Valencian Community) . ***  Almost complete 14th century fortifications - built on top of earlier Arab ramparts, surround this small and attractive hilltop town, some 50 km. inland from Peñiscola. Fine walls and city gates. Castle. Visits. It's a good climb to the top of the castle - but views from the top and near the top are fantastic
  • Galisteo (Extremadura) *** Far off the tourist trail, and in sparsely-populated western Spain, few visitors reach the little town of Galisteo, still fully enclosed within its mediaeval ramparts, originally built by the Moors. Three narrow gateways are the only ways into the town. Free access to the ramparts.
  • Albarracín, (Teruel, Aragon) *** A hill town, clinging onto steep slopes, and almost fully surrounded either by ancient ramparts or by the river below. A very attractive small town, located 30 km west of Teruel
  • Palazuelos (Guadalajara, Castile la Mancha). **  Not much more than a fortified village, and well off the normal tourist trail; but Palazuelos, near Siguenza, 120 km northeast of Madrid, is a gem
  • Peniscola (Valencian community) : the old town stands on a rocky outcrop jutting into the Mediterranean sea, but the landward side of its isthmus is protected by defensive walls.
  • Buitrago del Lozoya (Madrid community) * Located 80 km north of Madrid, right beside the (free) A1 motorway from Burgos, the old part of this small town, encircled by mediaeval walls, is in a loop of the river Lozoya. There is a small Picasso museum here.
Some other Spanish towns and cities with interesting walls or city gates
  • Caceres (Extremadura) - The old city - a UNESCO world heritage site - is largely encircled by substantial walls dating in part from the Moorish period.
  • Carmona (east of Seville, Andalucia) - Part of the old city is still protected by the remains of impressive Moorish walls, and a fine Moorish horseshoe arch city gate.
  • Cuenca (Castile - la Mancha) -  Largely protected by the cliffs on which it stands, and famous for the houses that hang over them, Cuenca also has sections of town wall and gates.




En français:Tourisme en Espagne



Best rates on hotels in
and near Spanish walled cities
Booking.com offers unbeatable online rates for hotels. Check out the following areas :

 Segovia
 Ciudad Rodrigo
 Lugo
 Plasencia
 Avila 
 Peniscola
 Morella
 Niebla

 Other areas
About-Spain.net is partnered with Europe's leading hotel booking portal, Booking.com, to bring you the best online prices
The ramparts of Caceres
View out from the ramparts of old Caceres




Photo: The small city of Morella
Bookmark or share


Ramparts of Galisteo
The small town of Galisteo, Extremadura, completely enclosed by its ramparts

►► Spain -
a thematic guide
:
Spain - the country  Essential information about Spain.
Travelling in Spain
Getting round in Spain  - by car, by coach by train, or on foot 
Tourism in Spain
Where to go and what to see
The coasts of spain
Top attractions in Spain
Andalucia
Eastern Andalucia
Western Andalucia
Asturias
Castile y Leon
Castile La Mancha
Extremadura
Valencia
Undiscovered Spain
Map of the Spanish regions
Accommodation in Spain
 Where to stay, and the different options available
The Spanish way of life
Spain is different; all you  need to know about Spanish habits, including
Spanish food and eating

Text  and photos copyright © About-Spain.net 2012 - 2017,


Other countries
Best walled cities in France

More places to stay
 in Spain:









  <title>Top tourist attractions in Spain</title>


About-Spain.net uses cookies, and by continuing on our site, you accept this. To remove this message click   or otherwise click for more details