Castillo de los Luna, Mesones de Isuela





The fortress in Mesones de Isuela is constructed almost entirely of limestone. The archbishop Lope Fernández de Luna had it built around 1379 in the Felipe Augusto style, in which the interior is divided into courtyards with rooms arranged around them. It has a rectangular floor plan bordered by six circular towers, four at the corners and two in the middle of the longer sides divided into two stories and standing on round arches over corbels. The interior of the fortress is divided into two courtyards and has two main parts. On the one hand, the eastern end held the defensive rooms, arranged around one of the two courtyards. To the south was a portico resting on arches featuring corbels with decorative plant and anthropomorphic motifs. The western end housed the square-shaped residential area with service rooms opening onto the interior of the courtyard. They are open to the exterior through surbased arches. The room known as the ‘Sala Mayor’ is rectangular in shape and large in size, covered with round arches and beveled vaults resting on corbels. Two doors framed by a surround with sculpted decorative motifs lead to the interior. The rooms of the palatial residence are located on the south side of the compound. There is a trapezoidal main room covered by a barrel vault resting on transverse arches that opens onto the courtyard through a simple entryway. The tower in the southwest corner must have been used as the keep, as it houses a square chamber with Gothic details and a private chapel or oratory. Keeps were an essential component of castles, given that they were fitted out with everything needed for use as a shelter during times of war. In Spanish, they are referred to as towers of homage, as this was where the ceremony of homage to the lord and knight would take place. One of the most important areas in the compound is the castle chapel, located in the northeastern corner and first documented in 1680, in the Baroque era. Ashlars and masonry from the castle were reused here. The interior features a single nave with three bays covered by an underpitch vault with an entablature that has decorative cycles with plant motifs. The expansion contains plasterwork done in the Mudejar style decorating the lunettes, transverse arches, doorjambs and the intrados of the arches.
The interior has a hexagonal plan and is covered by a wood ceiling with a moamar (paired beam hips) structure. It consists of six trapezoidal slopes that come together in a hexagonal horizontal piece in the center. The exceptional nature of this ceiling structure is seen in the Mudejar carpentry work, with paintings decorating the joists and the friezes around the base of the ceiling. The decorative pictorial motifs include anthropomorphic figures alternating with heraldic motifs around the ceiling structure. Mythical animals with a certain symbolic meaning are also depicted. The heraldic motifs include the coat of arms of Lope Fernández de Luna: a white moon on a red background edged in white and coats of arms of the Vidaurre family with a gold ground and a blue band in the center. The panels of the ceiling structure feature horizontal edging decorated with an interlacing design housing an octagonal piece with a gold gadroon shape. The spaces between the trusses also have arrow-shaped decorative elements on the underside depicting plant motifs on blue and red backgrounds. The joists in the spaces between the posts of the roof structure are covered in paintings showing a clear Italian Gothic influence. There were originally 96 in all, divided into two rows of eleven with five on each side of panels. These paintings depict human figures carrying large candles, dressed in loose- fitting tunics tied at the waist and falling to their feet; they have folded wings and a golden halo above their heads. Some scholars have identified them as wise or foolish virgins. Others believe them to represent retinues of angels and seraphs bearing candles.


Restoration, 20th to 21st century In 1997, the Government of Aragon commissioned a project for the restoration of the Mudejar ceiling. In 2000, the restoration was carried out in light of the imminent risk of the polychrome decoration becoming detached. The restoration and general cleaning of the paint work and carpentry of the ceiling took place. After the work was completed, integrated lighting of the ceiling and chapel was installed. The budget for these activities amounted to 192,720 euros. Between 2005 and 2006, the Government of Aragon performed a series of restoration and stabilization tasks on much of the compound, as well as rebuilding some parts that were in very poor condition. Between 2008 and 2009, a collaboration agreement was drawn up by the Ministry of Public Works and the Government of Aragon to resume restoration work on the castle, focusing on the southwest tower in particular. The total budget for these activities amounted to 463,421 euros.

Projects and interventions

Projects and interventions, and the driving forces behind them, define the history of monumental buildings and how they are perceived.


Declaration, 21st century Castillo de los Luna in Mesones de Isuela was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest under the Ministry of Public Instruction and Fine Arts Decree of June 3, 1931 published in the Madrid Gazette on June 4 1931. The Official Gazette of Aragon dated October 23, 2002 published the Department of Culture and Tourism Order of September 30, 2002, whereby the original declaration of Castillo de los Luna as an Asset of Cultural Interest is supplemented pursuant to Transitional Provision One of Aragonese Cultural Heritage Act 3/1999, of March 10, which defines the property and its protected environment. This castle is also included in the list of castles considered Assets of Cultural Interest in accordance with the terms of Additional Provision Two of Aragonese Cultural Heritage Act 3/1999, of March 10. The list was published in the Official Gazette of Aragon on, May 22, 2006.


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Castillo de los Luna

Diseminado Afueras, 15
50267 Mesones de Isuela

Visit Mesones de Isuela

City Hall: 976 605 877


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