CASTLES OF THE WORLD - SAN MARCOSID92930056
€14.00 (Taxes not incl.)
The Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre presents a new series of collector coins dedicated to the "Castles of the World". It has been difficult to make the selection, taking into account that in Spain alone there are more than 10,000 castles registered, so we have had the collaboration of the Spanish Association of Friends of the Castles for an appropriate choice of castles to represent.
The collection is made up of sixteen coins, which can be purchased individually, as a complete collection and in sets of four coins each.
The obverse side features a colourful reproduction of the castle of San Marcos, located in the town of El Puerto de Santa María in Cadiz, whose final appearance is the product of several construction phases throughout its long history. The essence of the building is shared by Romans and Andalusians, as well as by Christian kings and dukes, making the place a marvellous mixture of styles.
On the reverse (common to all the coins), within a central circular area, the value of the coin 1.5 EURO appears; to its right, the mint mark; at the bottom, the legend CASTLES OF THE WORLD. An allegory of the structure of the castles surrounds the legends in the central area.
|Series||Castles Of The World|
|Face Value (Euro)||1.5|
|Maximum Mintage (units)||5,000|
San Marcos Castle
There are very few ribats, or fortified convents, from the Moorish period remaining in Spain, such as one close to the town of Denia, now in ruins. San Marcos Castle, standing in the heart of the city of El Puerto de Santa María, in the province of Cádiz, is built on the site of a former Moorish mosque dating from the 10th century.
There is evidence that the area was already inhabited in the period of Roman rule, and even earlier, in the time of the Phoenicians, owing to its proximity to the ancient city of Gadir, modern-day Cádiz. Vestiges of that remote period can be seen in the shafts of columns attached to internal structural pillars and in the foundations of the castle.
After the Moorish invasion of the Iberian Peninsula, the mosque was built on the banks of the River Guadalete, in a village called Al Qanatir – later renamed Santa María del Puerto – over which a fortress church was built in 1264, after the Christians under King Alfonso X of Castile, called the Wise, took the town, events recounted in the devout collection of poems Cantigas de Santa María, attributed to him.
The newly occupied site was quickly fortified, given the importance of its location and the constant threat of Moorish attack, resulting in a rectangular sanctuary flanked by four crenellated towers, the interior layout of which consisted of three naves divided by horseshoe arches. In the latter years of the 15th century, with the town under the rule of the House of Medinaceli, Luis de la Cerda undertook the remodelling of this Alphonsine-style (in reference to Alfonso X) fortress church by adding new buildings, raising the height of the towers and installing a portico in the courtyard.
According to local historiography, the castle’s chambers provided lodgings for important historical figures, especially those related to the Age of Discovery: the seafarer and conquistador Alonso de Ojeda; the cartographer Juan de la Cosa, who is said to have composed his famous world map there, the oldest map preserved to date that includes the Americas; and Christopher Columbus himself; and later, the writer Fernán Caballero, who used it as inspiration for one of his novels.
This castle, declared a National Monument in 1920 and later declared an Asset of Cultural Interest, currently belongs to the wine merchants Grupo Caballero, and hosts cultural and tourist activities.