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Fortress of Sarria

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

The Fortress of Sarria is a medieval fortification that currently only preserves a flank tower, popularly known as the "Battalion Tower." It is located in the historic town of Sarria, province of Lugo, Spain on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela by the Camino Francés.


In the highest part of the village of Sarria, part of the remains of a military fortress of the fifteenth century are preserved, although its origins probably date back to the 12th century, in the days of [[Gutierre Rodríguez de Castro | Gutierre Ruiz de Castro] ] and Elvira Osorio, gentlemen of Lemos and Sarria, when the Castro house enjoyed great power in Galicia.

The documentation that is conserved of the time does not allow to establish an exact date on the year of its construction, but it is known that it rose in the thirteenth century on a hill from which dominated the so-called at that time Vila Nova de Sarria, probably In a place formerly occupied by a hillock. From 1325 to 1430 it was a possession related to the life and non-hereditary title of "count of Trastámara, Lemos and Sarria ", a nobiliary title that together with the large associated income served the kings to loyalty some nobles . Some of the noble celebrities of the fortress were, among others, Álvar Núñez Osorio | Álvar Núñez de Osorio, the infant gift Enrique de Trastámara, Fernán Rúiz of Castro and Bertrand Duguesclin.

The fortification was almost completely destroyed during the Irmandiña Revolt between 1467 and 1469, in a conflict known as the Irmandiña Great War. Subsequently, the vassals who were then subject to their control of the Osorio house were forced to rebuild it k by order of Pedro Álvarez Osorio, Conde de Lemos with hereditary character. In order to lift the fort again the vassals needed the help of oxen to carry the heavy stones, being the tasks carried out at the expense of the vassals of the "Five Tests" that later would integrate the Marquesado de Sarria: A Pobra de Sarria, Sato Estevo da Pobra de Neira de Susao (Baralla), A Pobra de Adai (Corgo | O Corgo), San Xillao da Pobra (Láncara) and A Pobra de Triacastela.

The building was the subject of several sieges at the end of the fifteenth century during the wars between the Count of Trastámara, that of Lemos and Marshal Álvaro González de Ribadeneira, which caused the Catholic Kings to take it under their protection and avoid Its demolition, while others from Galicia were completely demolished. The reason was its situation near the pilgrimage route Camino de Santiago. The Catholic Monarchs granted to the counts of Lemos, already of the second branch of the Castro and the Osorio. Later on May 1, 1543, Fernando Ruiz de Castro and Portugal, from the III Countess of Lemos and future IV Count of Lemos, was favored by the Emperor Carlos I of Spain with Carlos V Marquesal title on the town and the Mayorazgo of Sarria. During these years Isabel and Fernando [Fernando II de Aragon]], Carlos I and Felipe II of Spain | Philip II ]] spent the night in this fortification.

The fortress was inhabited until about 1730 living in it the Corregidor, Mayor Justice or [Merino | Merino Mayor] of the five "poor". It was until this time the seat of the Regiment and Justice of the Villa and Marquesado de Sarria.

It belonged to the Casa de Castro until Joaquín López de Zúñiga y Castro | Joaquín López de Zúñiga Sotomayor y Castro (1715-1777), XIII count of Lemos, X Marquess of Sarria, great of Spain dies without descendants, reason why the County of Lemos passes next to the Marquesado de Sarria to the nearest parental branch, the House of Berwick. James Francis Edward Fitz-James Stuart and Ventura Colón de Portugal (1718-1785), XIV Count of Lemos, XI Marquis of Sarria, III Duke of Berwick and great of Spain; inherits the title being the fourth grandchild of Fernando Ruiz de Castro and Portugal (brother of the VII and VIII count of Lemos).


Originally the fortress had a wide fence, four towers, two homage (one of them known as the market) and two flank. In addition it counted on a thick wall, drawbridge, basements, pits, counterfeits and had several houses in his interior. In these homes, the merino, jail officers and the so-called men of arms resided, as well as a camera reserved for the count.

In spite of being in a state of abandonment since the end of the 18th century, it was standing until 1860, when, when the plot was destroyed by the Duque de Alba de Tormes, the land was acquired, by halves, by Manuel Batallón-Pérez Batallón and the municipality of Sarria, while the stone walls and towers were bought by several families of the villa. The municipal officials of that time decided to devote half of the land that corresponded to them in extending the field of the fair and leaving it almost as it is today.

Only a slab flank tower and granite stone, covered with a mortar, that is 15 meters high, is conserved, from where you can contemplate a splendid landscape of the Veiga de Sarria (Monte Santa Cristiña, Cha de Santa Marta, Serra Illoá, Monte Meda, Serra Oribio).

At its top it is reached by an open staircase in part of a walled canvas, and retains shields with arms of the Castro, Enríquez and Osorio. On the wall near the farm there are several crosses of a "virocrucis" from the s. XVIII. Inside the tower is covered seven meters high by a weakly pointed vaulted vault, and to its top there is a modern staircase. Your entry is not allowed because it is still owned by the Pérez-Batallón family today. Currently the city council manages the acquisition to be part of the municipal heritage.


  1. La Fortaleza de Sarria cumple 250 años en manos privad - La Voz de Galicia
  2. Casi 800 años como símbolo de Sarria - La Voz de Galicia
  3. Recorriendo Sarria. Oficina municipal de turismo.
  4. Guía turística y patrimonial de la Comarca de Sarria. Pedra e Auga.
  5. BOGA MOSCOSO, R.: Guía dos castelos medievais de Galicia. Ed. Xerais, 2003, pax. 182-183. ISBN 84-9782-035-5


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