When the king’s not home
On a first glance the place looked ghosted as there were almost no people at all when we arrived at the noon time. Might have been the siesta or simply the strong cutting wind that wasn’t quite inviting you to go out of the house, even so we were determined to reach its highest peak, the castle. Welcome to Sagunt!
On the way though, it was nice to walk through the labyrinth-alike cobbled streets, with small colourful 2-floors houses above which, from place to place, you can see raising up to the sky a church tower. As any other coastal settlement, as higher as you climb, as better view you have to the infinite blue sea.
Sagunt or Sagunto may be famous for its castle, but I wouldn’t ignore the theatre at its foot of the hill nor the remaining of the Iberian and Roman city of Saguntum. The theatre, built in the 1st Century in Roman style, was cleverly carved in the mountainside managing to offer a tremendous acoustic that you can feel even by being inside with no particular high sounds. It was partly restored quite recently and now it is used to host shows and performances of local, national and even international sizes, yet I have to say that many of the ancient parts are barely noticeable nowadays.
The castle, in fact a fortress, overlooks the entire settlement from above, from the crest of Sierra Calderona for more than 2000 years. Its length is on 1 km and needless to say that from down bellow it seems enormous on its length. It has seen many battles and leaders, and has benefit from different architectural adding by the Romans, Goths, Moors or Christians, influences that are still visible on the ruins of today as well.
The castle is divided into 7 areas or plazas: Plaza de Armas, Plaza de Almenara, Plaza de los Nueve Pilares, Plaza de San Fernando, Plaza de los Estudiantes, Plaza de la Ciudadela and Plaza del Espolon. The most visible ruins are from the Muslim era with the later Christians (Gothic and Renaissance) modifications.
image source: wikipedia.org
You would definitely have how to spend 1 day in Sagunt as the place is filled with history and stories from ancient times to present.