Castle of Simancas

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Castle of Simancas
A fortress with an outer wall, a bridge to an inner wall and a tower.
Castle de Simancas
General information
Town or citySimancas, Province of Valladolid, Castile and León
Coordinates41°35′31″N 4°49′44″W / 41.59194°N 4.82889°W / 41.59194; -4.82889Coordinates: 41°35′31″N 4°49′44″W / 41.59194°N 4.82889°W / 41.59194; -4.82889
Current tenantsArchivo General de Simancas
Construction startedlate 15th Cent

The Castle of Simancas (also known as Simancas Castle) is a fortified complex in Simancas, central Spain. The castle stands in the center of town and houses the current Archivo General de Simancas.[1][2]


The site of the castle was at one time a Moorish fortress. In the 15th century the House of Enríquez constructed a new fortification on top of the existing ruins, restored the Moorish walls, and added a chapel. The new castle was seized by the Spanish Crown during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs and turned into a prison. In 1540 the Archivo General de Simancas was established in the castle, the first official archive of Castile. Felipe II transformed the castle into General Archive of the Kingdom, which housed one of the most important archives in Europe with 35 million documents. The castle was put under the protection of the Spanish government in 1949. In 1952 renovations were enacted to reduce risk to the archives.[3][4] The castle is now open to tourists and researchers.

Fortification and structure[edit]

The castle's foundation, walls, battlements, gates, and bridges all date back to the late 15th century, mostly attributed from 1467 to 1480. The end of the Reconquista in 1492 ended the immediate need for a large defensive fortification, and as such the castle's various reconstructions moulded it into an administrative building. Later additions to the castle incorporate aspects of the Herrerian style of architecture.[1] The current archive housed within the castle has been protected with fireproofing measures, and the 15th-century chapel built by the Enríquez has been restored.[5]


  1. ^ a b "Castle of Simancas". Official Portal of Tourism. Junta de Castilla y Leon. Retrieved 2017-05-20.
  2. ^ "Home Page of the Archivo General de Simancas (General Archive of Simancas) - General Archive of Simancas - Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-05-20.
  3. ^ GONZÁLEZ AMEZÚA, Agustín, "The General Archive of Simancas and the history of Spain" , in National Education Magazine nº 54 , 1945, pp. 11-30
  4. ^ Francisco Rodríguez Marín, ed. (1916). "Archivo General de Simancas". Guia histórica y descriptiva de los archivos, bibliotecas y museos arqueológicos de España (in Spanish). Madrid: Tipografia de la Revista de archivos, bibliotecas y museos. pp. 129+.
  5. ^ "Decreto de 22 de abril de 1949 sobre protección de los castillos españoles". Archived from the original on 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2017-05-20. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)