Castle of San Servando

Stategically located between the city and the large lowland irrigated by the Tajo, above the bridge of Alcántara, it only has one exit towards the South peninsular, it was used as a checkpoint for this entrance and exit of Toledo. Its origins are Muslim, although it has been left in ruins and abandoned many times only to be revived by many restorations.

It housed a Cluniac monastic community that abandoned it before the Almoravid attempts to recapture the capital. This is where el Cid prepared himself for battle before his reconciliation with Alfonso VI in Toledo. It was then defenced by the Order of the Templar Knights and then lost its border and defensive importance after the battle of Navas de Tolosa in 1212 and fell into disuse. It began to be used again for the purposes of war by both groups in the war between Pedro I and his stepbrother Enrique de Trastámara, being rebuilt by the latter’s supporter, the archbishop Pedro Tenorio.

In the XVI Century it again fell into ruins until 1945, when it was rebuilt, preserving its exterior perimeter and medieval style, to house the Colegio Menor de las Juventudes (Secondary School) . With the creation of the University of Castile La Mancha it temporarily became a Hall of Residence and is now a Youth Hostel and a centre for different cultural get-togethers.

The base of the building is practically rectangular, facing North. It is crowned by battlements and has three hollow circular towers at three of its corners, one of them standing out because of its larger size. The main entrance opens into a type of tower of homage containing arrow slits and the customary machicolations.

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