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L'Atzúbia Forna

Castell de Forna

The Castle of Forna is in Forna, a village located 240 metres above sea level and an annex of the municipality it shares with L’Atzúbia since the beginning of the 20th century (1911). It has less than 100 inhabitants. The building is a noble palace fortified in civil Valencian Gothic style in the shape of a castle, dating back to the 15th century.

Its location allows it to control the little fertile valley enclosed between the spur of the Almirant mountain range, the entrance to La Vall de Gallinera and L’Atzúbia, while totally open towards the sea in the east. The small valley of Forna is located between the region of La Safor (in the settlement of Oliva) and the interior valleys of La Marina on the way to Alcoi through La Vall de Gallinera. This, together with its mild microclimate, its fertility due the impact of the sea and its accessibility from the east, helped render it —despite its limited terrain— a very strategic and interesting spot in terms of productivity and politics during the era of the creation of the new Christian kingdom.

The first Christian accounts regarding Forna have reached us thanks to Jaume I, who founded the barony of Forna in order to hand over its corresponding administration,  in 1282, to Bernat de Guillem, the leader of the archers (who fought against the revolts of Al-Azraq).

Over the years and with the arrival of the Cruïlla family in Forna, a mansion was built within the castle, typical of the last two thirds of the 15th century. There, the Cruïllas spent long periods of time as well as their holidays. They were a noble, well-off family from the city of Valencia.

The castle is organised around a central courtyard and is protected by towers in its four ends. Some authors mention an original tower of the Almohad period (from the 12th century to the 13th century). As can be observed, it is a two-floor quadrangular construction formed around this central courtyard. The communal quarters are concentrated on the ground floor (stables, kitchen, prison, gatehouse and oil press),  while the second floor is private to the nobles.

The great treasure of the castle-palace of Forna are its graffiti, some of them engraved (with the sgraffito technique), others painted, and with such a variety that they allow the visitor to observe the marks of the construction or of the master builder. Others are decorative in the form of trimmings, some have naval themes and others are legendary with dragons, mediaeval games or various types of vessels.

* Currently, only the exterior of the castle can be visited and seen due to repair and restoration work in its interior.

info L'Atzúbia Forna

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