Since ancient times Castril has been of great strategic value, especially in the Nasrid period when it controlled the Pasillo del Guadiana Menor. This was the route that joined the important cities of Baza and Guadix with other parts of Andalucía. It was also where the Castilian armies of northern Guadalquivir and the Nasrid troops frequently met.
In the mid-13th century, after the Christian conquest of Murcia, the Muslims who protected heavily guarded the border of the Nasrid kingdom with a network of defensive structures. The Castillo de Castril was a key part of this line of defence.
The Castillo is of Almohad origin, and was one of the best defensive forts. This majestic building was perched on the Peña at the edge of the steep and impassable canyon of the Río Castril, so it immediately discouraged any potential invader. It is a fantastic example of Islamic military architecture in Spain. In 1488 the castle fell into Christian hands when the last Arab governor had to surrender to the Catholic Monarchs.
The enclosures that made up the fortification are adapted to the geography of the place, of which very little remains today. In the late 1960s some additions were incorporated and underwent restorations that did not respect the original design and marred the image of the fortification. To adapt a building to a rock or headland was quite common in military constructions. However, the level of unity found here is unsurpassed – the rock and the fortification are perfectly intertwined.
The fortress has two levels. The top level was devoted exclusively to military purposes (divided into the part for the aristocrats and the part for the soldiers), and the lower level was for the civilian population. Different towers served as protection and lookouts for possible attacks. The complete restoration of the castle took place in 2013 during which some interesting things such as cisterns, ruins of the mosque, ruins of towers, walls, pipes, pavements, walkway, stairs, rooms were all discovered.