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Women's route

For real equality among all people

We propose a route that has two women as protagonists and the fortresses and castles of Martos as the setting for the stories.

The first stop on our route takes place at the Fortaleza Baja de Martos and its protagonist is Isabel de Solís. Isabel was from Marten and daughter of the Commander of Martos Sancho Jiménez de Solís and she lived through a historical period marked by the confrontation between the two kingdoms and in a scenario of borderland where instability prevailed.

In the middle of the 15th century, when Muley Hacén reigned in Granada, in one of the skirmishes between the Nasrid and Christian troops, Isabel de Solís was captured and kidnapped by the kingdom of Granada. Her beauty made the Nasrid king fall madly in love with her and he showered her with riches. He kept her prisoner in the Torre de la Captiva of the Alhambra in Granada, which receives that name for such a circumstance, until she accepted her conversion and took the name of Zoraya, Lucero del Alba.

She became the favorite wife of Muley Hacén, which caused jealousy and disputes with her the first wife of the sultan Aixa. This relationship provoked the displeasure of the abencerrajes and internal disputes that ended with the abdication of the monarch in his brother, el Zagal, and later triggered the seizure of the kingdom of Granada by the Catholic Monarchs in 1492.

She had to go into exile together with her husband and her two sons Nasr ben Ali and Saad ben Ali. When she died, her husband converted back to the Christian religion, as did her children.

After ascending Calle Adarves, Paseo del Calvario, we take the path that takes us to Fortaleza Alta. The Castle of La Peña is a medieval Arab defensive construction with extension and Christian reconstruction in the s. XIV by the Order of Calatrava.

At the top of the imposing Peña de Martos, the heroic feat of Doña Mencía de Haro took place. Being the year 1212, in the pact of Las Navas, Al - Bayyasí delivered several towns to Fernando III, among them the town of Martos. The monarch appoints Alvar Pérez de Castro as mayor of the city, married to Doña Mencía de Haro, the granddaughter of King Alfonso IX of León.

Martos, a strategic city on the border between the kingdoms of Granada and Castile, was disputed and desired by King Aben Alhamar of Granada and he took advantage of the moment when the city was most unprotected and poorly garrisoned to try to recover it. The warden was in Toledo getting angry with the king, leaving Don Tello and forty-five men-at-arms in the hands of his nephew, who also marched on horseback against the Muslims.

The Nasrid king, knowing such carelessness in the guard of the town, surrounded Martos. Doña Mencía saved the situation with an ingenious and brave plan: the women of the castle disguised themselves as men-at-arms and placed themselves on the walls, towers and battlements of the city. In this way, she foiled the attempted assault on the castle and gave Don Tello time to return with his men.