Nogalte Castle (Puerto Lumbreras - Murcia)

History of Puerto Lumbreras

The history of Puerto Lumbreras goes back to prehistory, as evidenced by the vestiges found in the area of Argaric culture. Vestiges have also been found in other parts of the provinces of Almeria, Albacete, Jaen and Murcia. Its location in the middle of the Rambla de Nogalte, which was a strategic point due to the water resources provided, contributed greatly to the occupation of the site.
Cabezo de la Jara (Puerto Lumbreras - Murcia) 
Archaeological works confirm a high population density as early as the Bronze Age (between 1800 and 1100 B.C.), locating sites in the Barranco de la Peñas Blancas, Cerro de las Viudicas, Cabezo del Asno, Cañada del Alba, Peñas de Bejar and Cerro de la Cruz, all located in the ravines and at the tops of the mountains that border the Guadalentin Valley.

Despite having been very populated during prehistory, the area was practically depopulated during the Roman period, probably due to its distance from the Via Augusta, which linked Velez-Rubio with Lorca. However, there is some evidence that Puerto Lumbreras witnessed battles between the Carthaginians and the Romans.
In the 8th century, the Arabs used the architecture of the Romans as a base, modifying and recovering much of the infrastructure. At this time, some new works were built, such as settlements in isolated places that served as farms, and which, after their development, became the current population centers.

These new Muslim settlements could be medinas or Hisn. The latter were castles with military, commercial and administrative tasks that played a leading role against the Christian kingdom on the borders.

The Alcazar of Puerto Lumbreras stands out, located on the top of Cerro del Castillejo and dominating the landscape on the Nogalte Ravine and the Sierra de Enmedio. It is a castle that, together with the Tirieza fortress in Lorca, protected the limits of the kingdom of Granada and constituted the second defensive barrier after the fortifications of Xiquena and Los Velez.

The castle had seven defensive towers connected by a triacodated door - a construction system based on techniques from the 12th and 13th centuries of Al-Andalus. Some of the towers still hold cloths over five meters high.

After the Christian reconquest, the Aragonese and Castilian troops carried out the distribution of the occupied territory through the signing of the Almizra Treaty. The Crown of Castile appropriated the lands corresponding to the kingdom of Murcia, and the Castle of Lorca was occupied by the troops of Alfonso X when he was still a prince. Simultaneously, the Muslims abandoned the Castle of Nogalte and moved to Nasrid land in Granada.
Our Lady of the Rosary Church (Puerto Lumbreras - Murcia) 
In 1392 one of the most outstanding battles in the area took place - the one known as the Battle of Nogalte. In this battle, the warden of Lorca Alonso Yañez Fajardo faced and defeated the troops of King Muhammad VII of Granada, who was returning from Velez-Rubio along the path of the Nogalte Ravine, loaded with riches.

At the beginning of the 14th century, the confrontations were continuous between the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon, with the latter incurring in the Murcia kingdom, which was heroically resisted. As a reward for their fidelity to the Crown of Castile after the attack, several fortresses were ceded to the Lorca Council, highlighting that of Nogalte.
After the reconquest, Puerto Lumbreras remained sparsely populated until the 17th century, at which time the population began to settle down regularly until its urban development occurred in the 18th century. Puerto Lumbreras was finally established as a municipality of Murcia on July 7, 1958, after being independent from Lorca.

Puerto Lumbreras today

In recent years, Puerto Lumbreras has made a very important effort to recover its historical and archaeological heritage, highlighting the restoration of its castle and the creation of thematic routes such as the astronomical and botanical itinerary.