Saturday, 14 February 2009
Tomorrow, we have to retrieve our mothers from East Midlands Airport at the end of their holiday in Fuengirola. We were in Fuengirola ourselves last year at about this time and spent a lovely time taking in the sights. Among the best of them is the Castillo de Sohail.The present building dates from the 12th century and was built by the Almoravides - a Berber dynasty from the Sahara that spread over a wide area of Northwestern Africa and the Iberia during the 11th century. It has eight walls, reinforced by the same number of towers. In 1485 the castle was occupied by the Christian army which was fighting against the Nazari Kingdom of Granada. In the 16th century the entrance to the enclosure was in the north wall, not the main tower. One of the east towers was demolished to build a platform for cannons. In 1730 the Count of Montemar carried out new improvements in order to quarter a cavalry unit. Stables, stores and new quarters buildings were added. During the War of Independence, in 1810, the castle was occupied by the French army but was abandoned two years later in the retreat. A few years later the castle lost its military function and was sold in auction. It began to fall into ruins until the 1950's.The current restoration began in 1989 when it was incorporated into the Municipal Heritage. It was to incorporate a large centre where artistic shows could be held as well as being open to the public. A large amount of external lighting has also been added and the effect at night is beautiful.