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Vélez Blanco Castle

The Vélez Blanco castle is a Spanish castle situated in Almería.

It is one of a series of fortresses built at the beginning of the 16th century by Pedro Fajardo y Chacón, first Marqués de los Vélez and Governor of the kingdom of Murcia.

The fortress has an elongated ground-plan and is crowned on the north front by a keep.

Vélez Blanco History

According to an inscription in the courtyard, the castle was built between 1506 and 1515 after Fajardo received the lordship of the town from Ferdinand II and Isabella, took up residence there and was given the title of Marqués (1507) by Ferdinand, who was then regent. The heraldry of the principal areas of the castle, including the coat of arms of his second wife, Mencía de la Cueva, belongs to this period.

The fortified areas of the castle, particularly the defences and the Late Gothic east gallery of the courtyard, are examples of late 15th-century Spanish art.

Attempts have been made to link this building with the chapel of the Vélez family in Murcia Cathedral (completed in 1507), which is also Gothic. By contrast, the three other galleries of the courtyard have columns, arches and windows with Italian Renaissance detailing and sculpture.

The Velez Blanco Castle  was one of the first buildings in Spain to present this style, which reflected the Italianate education of the Marqués de los Vérez (a disciple of the humanist Pietro Martire d’Anghiera), who is portrayed in a frieze as accompanying the Emperor Titus on his triumphal entry into Rome.

All of these elements were carved in local marble, and each of the three decorated galleries has a different composition. The gallery at the south entrance, beside the staircase which leads up two flights, has two levels of arcading.

The castle itself has been implausibly attributed to Lorenzo Vázquez de Segovia on the grounds that both La Calahorra Castle and Vélez Blanco Castle derive from models in the Codex Escurialensis, but Vázquez de Segovia’s use of Italianate elements in La Calahorra differs considerably from Velez Blanco.

At La Calahorra the detailing of the windows and the incorrect mouldings and curves of the arches indicate the presence of Italian craftsmen working under a Spanish architect unused to the contemporary forms of architecture in Rome.

Like La Calahorra Castle, though less perfectly, Vélez Blanco Castle is a good example of the early application of Italian stylistic elements in Spain at the beginning of the 16th century. They are subordinated here to Spanish structural traditions without really transforming them, at the instance of a member of the Spanish nobility with humanist and antiquarian interests.

Velez Blanco Map&Location

Address: C/ Corredera, 38, 04830 Vélez-Blanco, Spain. Get help with directions using the map provided below:

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 Vélez Blanco Photos

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Velez-Blanco Castle © Alexandre López
Velez-Blanco Castle © Víctor Sánchez Alcázar
Photos © Juan Heredia
Castillo de Velez-Blanco
Velez-Blanco Castle Bridge
Velez-Blanco Castle Church
Velez-Blanco Castle Hall
Velez-Blanco Castle - Mirador
Velez-Blanco Castle Tower Interior