El Alcázar


Placed on a high and strategic hill, this is the reason that has justified the existence of a more or less important fortress in this same place since remote times. According to the remains we can confirm this assumption from practically Roman times. This fact does not go unnoticed for the reconquistador Alfonso VI, that taking advantage of the remains of an Arab castle raised a fortress entrusting the vigilance to Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar “the Cid Campeador” . The building should have special importance, since it was the place chosen as a residence by the monarchs during their stay in Toledo.

In the sixteenth century, with Charles V occupying the throne, came the summit of the Alcazar, since the king wanted to reform it creating a palace worthy of the Emperor. Alonso de Covarrubias was in charge of the traces in 1537, design that was followed by Francisco de Villalpando, Juan de Herrera and more builders of reputed size. A century later, with the transfer of the capital to Madrid, the building lost the main function for which it had been destined and began a period of decline, suffering different uses: block, barn, jail, etc.

In 1710 it was burned down by the troops of the archduke Carlos, being restored in 1774 by Ventura Rodríguez to turn it into Real House of Charity by order of the cardinal Lorenzana. Another fire, provoked in 1810 by the Napoleonic troops, again demolished the building, that was not redone until 1867 to be used like Academy of Infantry. This was not the last fire suffered, since in 1887 the building was again grass of the flames, being later repaired with more remarkable aspect.

The great building was again the protagonist of the disaster, since in 1936, because of the Spanish Civil War, the building was practically reduced to rubble. Fortunately it was rebuilt by the Army Ministry and Devastated Regions. In order to do this, they used as a model photographs and existing plans, giving the Alcázar an aspect similar to that which it presented before its destruction.

At present the building houses dependencies of the Military Government, the Library of Castilla la Mancha and the Museum of the Army, extended with funds brought from Madrid.

Source: Jesús-José Cerdeño Vozmediano