Celtiberia soriana
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El Castillo (El Royo)

El Castillo (El Royo)

How do you get?

From el Royo go through the road SO-821 towards Sotillo del Rincon to be about to crown the port at the 19,2 km branch off to the left side through a track and once covered around 3km arrive at the chapel of La Virgen del Castillo, inside the fort.

Works of research

This fort was known thanks to Blas Taracena in 1929 and to the exploration that he realized. He found the hovel bottoms of the forts but also some meager ruins of an older occupation and of other more modern of late Roman epoch. Later, in 1978 and 1979, Jorge Juan Eiroa carried out excavations giving new information about the life of this village. It is important to highlight the checking realized by Fernando Romero on this site in 1991.

Situation and siting

This fort is located in a spur, leaned against the foothills of Cebollera at 1356m above sea level. Later the chapel of La Virgen del Castillo was built inside the fort.

Defensive system

It is triangular shaped and has a surface of 14,000m divided into two stair-shaped terraces limited in the South by the imposing natural cut and towards the Northern zone that having a easier access are protected by a powerful city wall that has a collapse which is 1,8m thick, 5m high outside and 2,50m inside.

The inner space

The first excavations in this site were realized by Blas Taracena (1928) who found bottoms of hovels but the ones realized by J.J. Eiroa in 70s (1978-79) gave information about two levels of occupation, the first make reference to the 6th and 4th centuries (dates C-14: 530 BC) and the second to the 4th century (dates C-14: 320 BC). He discovered the division of the house in two rectangular floors made of stone and clay casts of foundry to make bronze tools and a circular structure that without much sureness was identified as a smelting furnace.

Contacts and visiting hours

The path is signposted, has explanatory sign and the access is free.

Basic bibliography

  • Taracena Aguirre, B. (1941): Carta Arqueológica de España. Soria, Madrid.
  • Romero Carnicero, F. (1991): Los castros de la Edad del Hierro en el Norte de la Provincia de Soria. Studia Archaeologica, 80, Universidad de Valladolid, Valladolid.
  • Benito, J. P.; Tabernero, C.; Sanz Aragonés, A.; Guillen López, R. (2006): Pelendones. Castros célticos en la serranía norte de Soria. Soria