El Castell de Guadalest (Valencian pronunciation: [el kasˈteʎ de ɣwaðaˈlest]) or simply Guadalest (Spanish pronunciation: [ɡwaðaˈlest]), is a Valencian town and municipality located in a mountainous area of the comarca of Marina Baixa, in the province of Alicante, Spain. Guadalest has an area of 16 km² and, according to the 2002 census, a total population of 189 inhabitants.

 View of the castle nowadays with a part of the fortifications still visible.

The medieval castle overshadowing the Guadalest valley was originally built in the 11th century, during the Muslim rule over the Iberian Peninsula. It served to control the valley, as infighting between the smaller kingdoms left by the disintegration of the Caliphate of Córdoba was constant.[1]

In the 13th century, after the Christian conquest of the region, the castle and the town were incorporated into the Kingdom of Valencia by James I of Aragon. As Christian colonization was anecdotal, Muslim inhabitants of the region were allowed to remain in the valley and work its land until the expulsion of the Moriscos.[2] The site then changed hands over the centuries.

On June 22, 1644, an earthquake partly destroyed the fortress. In 1708, during the War of the Spanish Succession, a mine blew up its western aisle during a battle.[2] Nowadays, only a small, ruined, portion of the castle still towers over the valley.[1]

^ a b "Los dominios del castillo de Guadalest". www.nationalgeographic.com.es (in Spanish). National Geographic. 2013-05-17. Retrieved 2020-12-22. ^ a b Sanchis, Carmen (2018-06-01). "Castell de Guadalest, naturaleza e historia en la joya esmeralda de Alicante". Levante-EMV (in Spanish). Levante El Mercantil Valenciano. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
Photographies by:
Joanbanjo - CC BY-SA 4.0
Mfiskum Marius Fiskum www.fototopia.no - CC BY 3.0
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