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Atienza is a clear example of a rock castle built on a tall abutment of rock, the site of earlier Roman and Visigothic fortifications, it acquired great strategic importance when it became an important link in the chain of Moslem defenses along the Duero river to the eleventh century.
The castle was formed of two walled precincts The upper walls, fairly low, circled the edge of the rock and was reinforced at the south end by a square tower. The second wall took advantage of a lower cliff cut artificially in places, and formed a circular area extended at the northeast to make a court of arms.
The historical importance of Atienza is underlined by
the reference made to it in the Poem of My Cid where it is
a very strong rock [That the] Moors have .“
Its excellent strategic enclosure retained its importance throughout the Middle Ages after its occupation by the Christians, and during this period the original Islamic fortress received successive additions and alteration,. It was from this castle that the muleteers of Atienza liberated Alfonso VIII when as a young boy he was unprepared by his pacts, Ferdinand 11 or Leon
The only parts of the castle that remain today are the partially restored principal tower, two large cisterns cut into the rock, one of the gates called Arrebatacapas and a few fragments of the outer wall.