Segura de la Sierra

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Segura de la Sierra

A candle set upon an oak table, an inkwell, a quill and a piece of paper half-covered with writing: one figure, Jorge Manrique, dominates the chamber dedicated to the Manrique family on the second floor of keep of Segura de la Sierra Castle. He is a poet, and intimately tied to Segura de la Sierra. If you picture him sat in front of the piece of paper, it is possible to imagine that the text will begin as follows: "I now recall, my dear Brother, that I once told you in jest that I would, if you so wished, write something on the subject of Hunting".

These lines are taken from the Tratado de la Montería (“A Treatise on Hunting”), a document that was studied by the Duke of Almazán and which some researchers attribute to Jorge Manrique. To speak of the 15th century in the Segura mountains is to speak of the Manrique family and the “frontier period”, a time in which attacks and counter-attacks upon one another's territories were common between Christians and Muslims. Evidence of this dangerous environment, in which borders were constantly shifting, is immediately obvious the moment you step into Segura de la Sierra and observe the remains of defensive walls, towers, fortified gateways and, looking down from the brow of the hill, the ever-watchful castle.

The Libros de Visitas (reports on the condition of property and assets) of the Order of Santiago describe Segura de la Sierra Castle at the end of the 15th century as a military post sufficiently well-armed to withstand a siege, or if necessary to prepare a force to attack the enemy. It should be remembered that in 1434 Rodrigo Manrique gathered a force in order to conquer Huéscar, a town situated on a high plateau in the province of Granada.

Jorge Manrique was born and raised by his mother, Mencía de Figueroa, behind the protective walls of the strategically located town of Segura de la Sierra. The house he lived in still stands today, some 500 years later.

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