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Perching atop San Cristóbal hill is Castillo de Atalaya, a fortress with an impressive nine centuries of history.

Castillo de la Atalaya is an impressive Almohad fortress that perches above Villena, affording incredible views over the surrounding landscape. The castle was built in the late 12th century to provide shelter for the Muslim residents of the town and is still in an excellent condition. Restoration work has conserved large parts of the structure, including beautiful vaults that are unlike any other found in castles in Spain, an inner wall and the first two floors of the keep.

The castle has played a fundamental role in a number of wars, namely the Revolt of the Brotherhoods, the War of Spanish Succession and the Peninsular War. The marks in the walls bear testament to these battles. You can also see inscriptions on the prison walls, made by those kept captive, as well as the results of artillery fire throughout the fortress.

Atalaya castle is also home to Treasure of Villena, a collection comprising 59 gold, silver, iron and amber pieces that date back to the Bronze Age. It is the biggest gold tableware finding in Spain and the second biggest in Europe.

Speaking of its great historic importance, Castillo de la Atalaya has been listed a Site of Cultural Interest and an Historic and Artistic Monument. And if all the history and artistry weren’t enough, the castle affords the most spectacular vistas. We highly recommend you come and take a look around, and if you’re keen to see some more impressive castles, that you visit Castillo de Xàtiva and Castillo de Cofrentes.