The visit of Peñíscola takes us back in history and enters the late Middle Ages.
Since time immemorial, the city has been a crossroads of all the Mediterranean civilizations that navigated this prosperous sea that brought together different cultures. After the Phoenicians and the Greeks came the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Byzantines and the Arabs … All were aware that Peñíscola enjoyed a privileged situation, that its irreducible fortress brought a great security and that its position offered assets such as the climate or an abundant spring of fresh water springing from the entrails of the rock in the heart of the citadel.
Already in the time of the Christians, the mythical and enigmatic Knights of the Temple settled on the tombolo, where already stood an Arab fortress. They quickly became aware of the unique features of the place that made it an impregnable fortress.
Between 1294 and 1307, the current Templar castle was built on the remains of the Arab Kasbah. Frey Berenguer de Cardona, the Master of the Order of the Temple in Aragon and Catalonia, and Frey Arnaldo de Banyuls, commander of Peñíscola, were at the origin of its construction. Their respective blazons, such as heraldic fess, remain engraved in the stone and are located above the gateway to the Castle and the door of the Basilica.
The exceptional robustness of its slightly pointed ogive walls and vaults, its stone masonry construction as a whole, as well as the nudity and austerity of the ornamentation, form the imprint of an extremely massive military architecture. and sober whose style is between late Romanesque art and the birth of Gothic art.