Frias Photo Gallery
Frias is a well preserved and fascinating medieval village in the northern province of Burgos in Castilla Y Leon. The castle at Frias overlooks the village from its rocky outcrop above and forms part of a fortified ensemble that incorporates the village and the fortified bridge crossing the river Ebro far below.
The main keep or torre del homenaje is situated on a spectacular rock pinnacle towering above the main street of Frias and forms one of the most dramatic castle sites in Castile.
Although of 10th century origin, the present structure has the earliest masonry dating to the 12th century. Further developments and modification have taken place within the castle in subsequent centuries so the castle as we find it today is an amalgamation of building phases from 12thC to the 16th century.
The entrance to the castle is obtained from the market square within the walled precincts of the town across a wide rock-cut ditch by means of a drawbridge. Once across the bridge the visitor has to negotiate the well defended entrance door and into the Patio de Armas or main bailey of the castle. There is a cistern in the centre of the courtyard below the ground and accessible via a well.
Towering over the inner bailey is the keep or torre de homenaje, that is independently defended. To access the keep the visitor has to climb a rock-cut staircase carved into the living rock on which the tower is built, and through a series of doorways before entering the upper tower building.
The present structure on the rock outcrop is of 15th century date but some of the lower courses of this tower are of 12th century. This indicates the tower has been rebuilt several times throughout its working life. There is the remains of a further cistern within the basement of the keep.