La Mota Castle, San Sebastian

La Mota Castle, San Sebastian

La Mota Castle is a 12th-century military fortress situated at the summit of Mount Urguell in San Sebastian,. Built in 1194 by King Sancho VII of Navarre to protect the city from foreign attacks, the fortress has survived the test of time and remains intact to this day. Throughout history, the castle has been under the control of many monarchs, each of whom contributed to its evolution.

During the Franco-Portuguese siege in 1476, the fortress played a key role in providing shelter to the city's inhabitants. In the 16th century, Carlos V ordered several additional reforms, including the construction of a keep, a fortified barbican, and gallows, as well as the cutting down of all trees to thwart attacks from foreign troops.

The fortress was struck by lightning twice, once in 1575 and again in the 17th century. Despite these setbacks, it remained impregnable, enduring attacks and sieges during the Spanish War of Independence and the Carlist Wars.

In the 20th century, the fortress was abandoned and fell into disrepair until it was restored and declared a National Monument of Historical-Artistic Heritage in 1921. During the 1960s, it underwent a significant overhaul and was reopened as a cultural space.
Today, Castillo de la Mota stands as a testament to San Sebastian's rich history and the strength and endurance of its people. The fortress is a popular tourist destination and a must-see for anyone interested in Spanish history and architecture.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in San Sebastian. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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La Mota Castle on Map

Sight Name: La Mota Castle
Sight Location: San Sebastian, Spain (See walking tours in San Sebastian)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in San Sebastian, Spain

Create Your Own Walk in San Sebastian

Create Your Own Walk in San Sebastian

Creating your own self-guided walk in San Sebastian is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
San Sebastian Introduction Walking Tour

San Sebastian Introduction Walking Tour

San Sebastian has long been well-known as a popular tourist destination thanks to its beautiful crescent-shaped urban beach, delicious Basque cuisine, and lively nightlife. The scenic La Concha Bay is like a perfectly shaped spa sitting beside the city.

Named after the monastery of San Sebastian, the city traces its history back to 1181, when the King of Navarre, Sancho VI Garces, granted the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Mount Urgull Walking Tour

Mount Urgull Walking Tour

Mount Urgull is a promontory stretching out at the eastern end of La Concha Bay, surrounded by water on all sides, except the one linking it to the Old Town of San Sebastian. Historically, this mount, rising 123 meters above sea level, served as a strategic defense point for the city, attesting to which now are the remnants of old fortifications with cannons still in place.

From its elevated...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles