One of the most beautiful medieval castles in Spain, and a fine example of brick architecture of the 15th century.
The Castle of Coca is a castle located in the Coca municipality, central Spain. The castle was constructed in the 15th century and has been considered to be one of the best examples of Spanish Mudejar brickwork which incorporates Moorish Muslim design and construction with Gothic architecture. A scale model of the castle has been built in the Mudéjar theme park and another replica built at a ratio of 1:25 is placed in the Minimundus miniature park in Klagenfurt, Austria.
Coca Castle is located on the outskirts of the town of Coca, about 45 kilometers (30 miles) to the north of Segovia, on a slope. It overlooks the meander of the River Voltoya, a tributary of River Eresma. It is one of the few Spanish castles that have not been constructed on hilltops; rather it has been constructed on a steep esplanade. Coca is the birthplace of the Roman Emperor Theodosius I. The site has been inhabited since the second century BC when the Arevaci arrived and settled here. The castle is surrounded by a deep and wide moat that is one of the fortifying features as well.
The castle was constructed under the supervision of a Moorish architect and engineer. Such Moorish engineers were routinely commissioned to construct large buildings during the medieval times and were called “Alarife” (one who understand the art of construction). Brick has been used for most of the construction. However, the bricks used in the castle are different from ordinary bricks used to build houses. These are hardened bricks that are capable of withstanding enemy onslaught during sieges. The bricks have been laid smooth with the mortar, so the lines of the brickwork are clearly visible along with the mortar. This creates a distinctive pattern on the castle. The castle has been constructed in classic Mudéjar fashion. Brickwork and plaster work have been used to create geometrical patterns depicting a hybrid of Moorish Muslim and Christian Gothic architecture. While the main construction is of brick, limestone and plaster have been used in the balistraria, the embrasures. White limestone has also been used to decorate columns in the courtyard and the keep, as well as numerous other features on the facade of the keep.
There’s plenty of parking spaces around the castle. It’s around 2 hours away from Madrid and 1 hour from the capital of the province, Segovia. During weekends it can get a bit crowded, but it’s also when interior visits are allowed.
Peter Wouters says
It’s not a 15th century castle… You said so right in this article… You don’t even know what you wrote… “The Arevaci inhabited that area since the 2nd century BC”…
“Theodosius I, also called Theodosius the Great, was Roman emperor from 379 to 395.” wikipedia.org
The bottom of the castle is clearly visible and those acquainted with castles can plainly see it has Roman Gothic design… I venture to say it was built long before 1000 AD, which predates the 15th century by a long shot…
The top half of the castle was added much later and your comments of Moorish influence are correct as written…
“From Wikipedia: “…These would later culminate in 1453 with Coca being exchanged for Saldaña. Construction of the Coca Castle began as soon as the treaty was ratified by Juan II….”
Claudia Dulmage says
Wow, am definitely adding this place to my Bucket List!
Steve Carter says
Wish I had known of this castle on previous visits to Spain starting in 1969! Now on my bucket list for next visit!
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Karen K Stonestreet says
Amazing! I do wish you were able to post pictures of the interior living spaces. Can you do that, or is it not allowed?
“You said so right in this article… You don’t even know what you wrote… “The Arevaci inhabited that area since the 2nd century BC”…”
This is not at all the same as saying the castle was built in the 2nd century BC.
Carol Shier says
My husbands mother was a De Fonseca, and had ties to this castle. My husband was a great-great-great grandson of Juan de Fonseca. Both my mother-in-law and my husband are no longer living. She had done extensive research on her family name, but sadly I did not get to have her research.
So this article means a great deal to me and the photo’s are extraordinary.