The Almonecir Castle

18th of October

The route begins and ends in Vall de Almonacid. During the hike we will cross irrigated farmlands and an extensive olive grove, and visit the ruins of the Almonecir Castle, undoubtedly one of the most important castles of Sierra de Espadán.

Difficulty: medium (12km with 350m of elevation gain).
Technical level: medium (there is a short descent with a rope).
Bring at least 1l of water, lunch, warm clothes and hiking shoes.

The Castle

Almonecir Castle was built in the early 12th century by Muslims. After the reconquest by the troops of Jaume I, the castle passed into the hands of the Christians and over time was losing its military function, being abandoned from the sixteenth century. King Jaume delivered it as a reward for the help he received when he conquered Valencia, to the royal chancellor Berenguer de Palou, who was bishop of Barcelona.
In the Middle Ages, the name ‘castle’ did not only refer to the defensive construction, but also the territory surrounding it. The area protected by the castle of Almonecir was formed by the current municipalities of Algimia de Almonacid, Matet, Pavías and the Vall de Almonacid. The territory is full of archaeological remains of Moorish origin since the administrative and government functions of the castle were actually carried out in the palace-house built in the Vall de Almonacid, a more convenient and easily accessible place…

The Route

The route will have two very distinct parts: the first one through typical Espadán forests, very green and full of cork trees, while the second part will be done mostly along the top of several hills giving great views of the valley and Sierra Calderona on one side and highest peaks of Sierra Espadán (La Rapita, Pico Espadán) on the other.
There is one short descent which can be done with or without the help of a rope (check the photo above), so take that into account.

The Villages

There are two villages in the vicinity and a clear view from the castle – Algimia de Almonacid and Vall de Almonacid.
The origin of Algimia de Almonacid is Muslim; the name, its architecture, the tradition that is breathed makes us think of the time when the lands of our province were under Arab rule, and so it was until the expulsion of the Moors in 1609. In 1610 Algimia was repopulated by Pedro de Urrea with 27 families of Christians from Navarra and Puebla de Arenoso, after violent clashes during the Moorish rebellion…. Algimia de Almonacid
Vall de Almonacid is also of Muslim origin being reconquered by Jaime I in 1238 who donated it on May 22 of the same year to Berenguer de Palou, bishop of Barcelona. Later, the possession came at the hands of Sancha Ferrandis, as the successor of the first owner of the town, who married Jaime Pérez, son of Pedro IV, for whom he had created the manor of Segorbe so that both manors were united… Vall de Almonacid

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