The history of Guadalest « Euro Weekly News

El Castell de Guadalest castle.
Credit: El Castell de Guadalest Council, X.

The village of Castell de Guadalest is a hidden gem amongst Benidorm and its coast with a unique and expansive history.

Originating as an Islamic region, Guadalest used to be a border of the ancient Almohad Caliphate before its collapse.

During the Medieval times the town used to be hidden by wild vegetation, with the only access through a tunnel. Up to this day, there is a tunnel in place, although renovated and elevated, allowing access to the medieval part of the town through the Arrabal. The town remains rich in historic houses, unique plants and artisan shops. 

In the 13th century, the Castell de Guadalest was conquered by Jaime I and granted to the Vidal de Sarria family until it was awarded to Prince Pedro of Aragon in 1335.

The change in the local religion has greatly affected the architecture of the town and to this day, there is a standing church, Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion Parish Church, which was built in the 18th century after the Christian conquest of the island. 

The still-standing castles, San Jose Castle and Alcozaiba Castle were constructed in the 11th century when the region was still Islamic and were positioned on a corner with the Christian Kingdom. 

The San Jose Castle used to function as the official residence of the Guadalest rulers. Due to sequential earthquakes in 1644, 1748 and 1752, the castle was damaged and became even more affected as a result of the Spanish Succession War. 

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