Castle of Turón, Ardales (Unique Site)
Recommended month to visit it: June.
Perhaps we should listen to Pliny speak of the city of Turobriga or Turó Briga to understand that this name is the shortened form of Turón, the name of the castle and the river that bathes this landscape. Because of this, we must imagine the fortress as a defensive structure of the Iberian city. In the year 713 its is taken by the Muslims. Later on it will become part of the defensive walls of the fortress of Bobastro built by Omar Ben Hafsun.
The Nasrid of Granada would renovate it to confront the Christians. They suffered a first great attack in 1333 and finally fell in 1433 to the Adelantado de Andalucía [an official in the service of the Crown of Castille].
History aside, the Castillo de Turón was an extraordinary fortification, with two gates and an alcázar [Moorish castle] whose tower keep controlled the entire valley.
- Trail start: 335240 / 4083273
- Parking: 332176 / 4081989
- Castle of Turón: 332505 / 4082062
One of the most unknown medieval fortresses of Málaga, the Castle of Turón, is three kilometres away from the town of Villa de Ardales. If you go up the River Turrón, you follow the paths on its left side, and go over the Roman Bridge La Molina, you will see it rising on the top of a mountain.
It was built in the 13th century as a military building, almost six hundred metres high, and turned into a very important historic point during the war over the borders between Castile and Granada.
Its construction was ordered by Muhammed V as a stronghold in his second Nazarite reign in 1936, and was used as a defense shield in the attacks against the Castilian army based in Star Castle (Castillo de Estrella) in the Town of Teba.
During an excursion to Granada that started at the Turón River, Sir James Douglas, his six knights and twenty squires lost their lives while transporting the heart of the King of Scotland, Robert Bruce. Their aim was to start their own crusade against ‘infidels’ with their refulgent armours and in traditional way. The adventures of this historical figure are internationally famous and some of them have recently been recognized.
The castle is historically important as an extraordinary fortification that had two gates and one fortress (alzázar) with a tower, out of which the whole valley could be controlled. There were more than six large fortified towers, an additional wall or barbican that defended an almost unassailable chalky buttress. It was a real fort.
The castle had been used in battles for the Emitrate of Granada until 1433 when it was conquered by Gómez de Ribera ‘el Adelantado’ in the name of Castile. Due to this sudden change, many inhabitants abandoned the place and it went into decline.
This is how this land became part of the fortification Peña de Ardales (the Cliff of Ardales) and the Town of Ardales, and the castle started protecting them at the end of the 15th century. At the boundary line with Álora, Teba and Casarabonela, this castle lies over the surface of more than 100 square kilometres and at an altitude of more than 400 metres.
Turón Castle is there to shelter the small town of Ardales, which is famous for its almond cakes and lamb or kid goat dishes.