The Castillo de Guzmán el Bueno (“Castle of Guzmán el Bueno”), in Tarifa, was built in the middle of the 10th century by order of Caliph Abd al-Rahman III.
Its strategic position had been used by earlier buildings, such as the remains of Roman structures, which can be found inside. Its mission, predominantly military, has remained so until today.
This fortress had a very important role during the reconquest, the defense of attacks by Barbary Pirates in centuries after and the War of Independence.
Today, the Castle of Guzmán el Bueno is owned by the Ministry of Defense. However, in 1931 it was declared a Site of Cultural Interest.
The name of the castle is due to Alonso Pérez de Guzmán, then warden of the fortress. In 1294 the Muslims surrounded the castle. Having Alonso’s son, they urged him to deliver Tarifa or his son would die. Alonso Pérez de Guzmán preferred to sacrifice his son rather than surrender the population. What is more, he even threw his own knife from the tower!
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