Castle of Villel de MesaVillel de Mesa (Guadalajara)GPS: 41.12689971923828, -1.9892799854278564
Two elements make this fortress interesting. One, its layout, which is formed by two towers joined by a wall, which didn’t become a castle until it had to become the support of the fortress of Mesa. And two, the stucco technique with which its Arab builders constructed it: forming its walls with a base of lime and stone cement, which were moulded in slabs, letting them dry.
HISTORY AND DESCRIPTION
Its rectangular enclosure houses two towers, with some of the battlements still preserved. The South tour has two stories, and a postern that allows access to the rocky platform. In the tower keep, with three floors of a single room, we can observe an addition, of ashlars, done in the gothic period. In the parade grounds we can see a cistern.
Historically, the steep crag on which it was built, and its role as a watchtower of the valley, explains why its Arab builders made it of tapial and not tabiya ,since in the 10th and 11th centuries it would have been inaccessible for assault equipment. Once the Christians were in power, its possession alternated between Aragón and Castile, passing to Mesa in the 13th century, and therefore to the Lords of Molina.
Rui González de Fune, original knight of Navarra, remained as lord of Villel in the 13th century. His successors, the Funes, would maintain the same frontier condition as the castle: in different centuries they participated in the wars between Castile and Aragón, declaring themselves subjects, as it interested them, of one or the other monarch.
Pedro I of Castile occupied the castle in his attacks against Aragón, and the Funes declared themselves his faithful subjects. Just as later they were faithful to his assassin and brother Enrique. With Juan II of Navarra, in the 15th century, the Funes declared themselves Aragoneses. When the Aragonese king signed a peace agreement with Enrique IV of Castile, the Funes returned to being Castilian, and in the accord it was written that their estate would be respected. The lordship was turned into a marquisate in the 17th century, but they had died before that time.