Discover Murta Castle: Legends and ruins of an ancient fortress

Discover Murta Castle: Legends and ruins of an ancient fortress.

Discover Murta Castle: Legends and ruins of an ancient fortress. Image: Castillos de España.

Murta Castle (El Castillo de la Murta) is situated about seven kilometres from the Alicante town of Agost, in the region of L’Alacantí.

It perches atop an isolated hill at the entrance to the Barranco de la Murta, nestled between the Castellar and Ventós mountains.

The remnants of the castle are part of an ancient Muslim fortification with a history closely tied to Agost’s own castle.

Murta Castle was likely constructed to secure the communication route from the upper mountain area to the coast.

Arab Military Structure

Its construction dates back to the 11th or early 12th century, contemporaneous with Agost Castle and possibly the Walled Town of Castellar, marking it as an Arab military structure.

A local legend, known as “El Tesorillo de la Murta,” tells of a treasure hidden by the Arab inhabitants of the castle.

As Christian troops besieged the castle and were about to conquer it, the Arabs reportedly hid a bull skin filled with gold coins from the Denia mint in a nearby chasm or cave to prevent the treasure from falling into Christian hands, with hopes of retrieving it once the castle was regained.

Hidden Treasure

However, this never happened, and despite many attempts by local residents to find the treasure, it has never been discovered.

Since its abandonment, Murta Castle has fallen into significant disrepair, resulting in the collapse of much of its structure.

The remaining ruins are scarce and bear the marks of time and neglect.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.