El Castell de Guadalest Spain

A Family's Visit to This Historical Town


El Castell de Guadalest existed during the Muslim age, after the Christian conquest in the XIII century Guadalest still had a very large muslim population under the dominion of different Catalan-Aragonese noblemen.

King Jaime II gave the castle of Guadalest to Bernardo de Sarrià in 1293 which started a 42 year period in which the castle and all the county belonged to the Sarrià family.

In 1335 the castle became part of the royal crown who sold the property to the prince D. Pedro, and after him to his son the royal Duke of Gandía. After the last Duke of Gandia the castle became part of the Cardona family. The Cardona family became Admirals of Aragón, and in 1543 the king and queen D. Carlos and Dª. Juana gave D. Sancho de Cardona and his descendants the permanent title of Marquis of Guadalest.

The last Cardona, Marquis of Guadalest, died in 1699 without any descendants, this provoked a series of problems that ended leaving the rank of marquis to fall on the Marquis of Ariza. The marquisate continued and its power declined in the XIX century.

During the Cardona age another family gained importance, the Orduña family. The Orduña family’s relation to El Castell de Guadalest appeared in the XVI century. They were Mayors from 1669 and reached nobility in 1756 when D. Pedro Antonio Buenaventura de Orduña y García joined The Santiago Order.

With the abolition of the feudal estates in the XIX century, the Orduña family gained power and influence in La Marina county and they even took part in the political decisions. In 1934 the last Orduña died without any descendants and his possessions went over to distant relatives.

While these two families became part of El Castell de Guadalest other important facts changed the territory of this municipality.

In 1609 the muslims, the majority of the population of the valley, were forced to abandon El Castell de Guadalest. This produced an enormous demographic void which was meant to be filled with the Carta Puebla of 1611.

The 22nd of July 1644 an earthquake destroyed the Castle, and in December of that same year another movement destroyed part of the town.

In 1748 and 1752 other earthquakes took place in the town although the intensity of these two was smaller.

During the Succession War in 1708 the Castle of San José suffered a bombardment and was destroyed on its western part, and the Orduña house was burnt down.

During the XX century, El Castell de Guadalest suffered a series of important changes:

  • The building of the dam began in 1953 and finished in 1971.
  • Tourists began to visit El Castell de Guadalest.
  • In 1974 El Castell de Guadalest was given the title of historcal-artistical town.
  • The enclosure walls came under the protection law of the 22nd of April 1949 for Spanish castles.
  • In 1980 El Castell de Guadalest received the bronze plaque for tourist merit, and in 1981 received the third prize of National Tourism for the improvement and embellishment of the Spanish towns.
  • In 1994 the Orduña house was bought by the town hall in order to refurbish it and make it into a Municipal Museum.

Further information on Guadalest

Guadalest Boat
Guadalest Photos
Guadalest Tourist Information
Guadalest Valley
Guadalest Videos
Guadalest Culture
Guadalest History
Guadalest Travel
Map of Guadalest

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