Castell de Santueri

A: Access to the Castle, Embrasure door and Guardhouse

The itinerary to the interior of the Santueri castle is via two sections: the first one is composed of two perpendicular walls with a series of loopholes (that is, the long and narrow rectangular openings in the walls to shoot) and stone lines aligned by Opus Spicatum, an ancient construction technique of Roman origin, —since it's shaped a wheat spike—, very used in medieval Christian and Islamic periods. This section ends in a rounded arch with an iron grate; after its passage we found the second section, and,  to the left, also a series of loopholes;  at right we found the remains of the first rampart, with some loopholes, that leads to the main front and to the castle's embrasure door. 

Note that loopholes were oriented strategically to cover the probable areas of attack, using  bows and arrows. This space has been consolidated recently. Also, it is believed that the first section probably  was closed, forming a tower.

In the main front, looking upwards, you can see the remains of the machicolation, one of the most important defensive elements of the castle, which consisted of a parapet-shaped structure, probably of stone —but perhaps made of wood— supported on brackets apart. The spaces between the brackets were utilized to attack with stones or liquids to enemy, once he was at the foot of the wall, and could not be reached by other defensive systems. The series of preserved brackets on the façade wall suggest the existence of an entire machicolation run in this zone, continuing in the outside of the Homage tower (see point B, next). As we mentioned, its exact material —stone or wood, or both— is not well determined.

The embrasure door, giving access to the interior of the castle, is composed of two archs, one of half point, at back, recently restored in 2011, and a previous one, of ojival typology, acting on the top as a parapet. Together they create a variant of machicolation called "overhead machicolation door'', because, as can be seen by looking up the empty space between the two arches, it served to defend vertically the access to the castle's entrance.

Once crossed the input archs we find a hall, covered with a barrel vault that leads into the castle. To his left there is a room that could correspond to the guard that controlled access to the site. This room is accessed through an arch and a linteled  doorway.