The Heart of Scotland in Spain

Black Douglas

The Black Douglas

In the small Andalucian village of Teba , visit the Castle of the Stars, ( El Castillo de Estrella ), where King Robert the Bruce of Scotland's commander-in-chief at the Battle of Bannockburn was slain, whilst carrying his sovereign's heart to the Holy Land, for burial in the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.  

Visit the Castle of the Stars and the monument to Black Douglas

This trip is a must, for those with a drop of Scottish blood in their veins. Your guide will take you through the life, and often violent times, of the young James Douglas. From the day he swore allegiance to Robert the Bruce, stood shoulder to shoulder with him at the decisive Battle of Bannockburn , this most loyal and constant companion became an incredibly talented military commander and the scourge of his enemies, who bestowed on him the title of Black Douglas.

You will hear how, before he died in 1329A.D., King Robert the Bruce made it his last request that Douglas, as his oldest and most trusted companion-in-arms, should cut out his heart, embalm it in a silver casket, carry it to the Holy Land, and deposit it in the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem.

Douglas's journey brought him to Seville, and across Andalucia to TEBA, where he joined forces with King Alfonso XI of Spain, who, in 1330 A.D., was attempting to remove the Moorish garrison from the Castle of the Stars. The Christian army lay siege to the Castle, but were engaged by a Moorish army, led by Osmyn , a notable soldier, who had come to relieve the Castle. In the battle that ensued, Black Douglas and almost all of the men who fought by his side were slain. The remaining Scots searched the battlefield and retrieved the body of Douglas with the silver casket containing his King's heart, beneath him.

The trip will include a visit to the ruins of this substantial Castle, and a visit the monument erected to Douglas by the people of the village, forever grateful to this great Scottish warrior for his contribution in their struggle against the Moors.

This little known, but extremely important episode in Scottish history, took place in TEBA, just over an hour from the coast.

Teba as seen from the Castle of the Stars

From Fuengirola our air-conditioned people-carrier will take you above the lovely white village of Mijas giving breath-taking views of the coastline, and, weather permitting, across the Mediterranean towards Gibraltar and the African Coast. Onwards via Alhaurin el Grande to another gem in the Andalucian crown, Alora , said to be the birth place of the Malagueño flamenco.

Next stop is El Chorro situated at the mouth of Desfiladero

de los Gaitanes (The Gorge of the Bagpipers). The site is remembered as the final resting place of Frank Sinatra in the film “Von Ryan's Express”. This magnificent natural structure provides you with some of the best photographic opportunities in the Malaga region. The Rio Guadalhorce flows through this breathtaking gorge, which is considered   to be of immense ecological importance. Between 1901 and 1905 a passageway know as El Caminito del Rey , was built onto the cliff face, and, although not now in use, can be clearly seen from El Chorro . This area is an El Dorado for rock climbers, where enthusiasts from around the world arrive to test their skills.

As we pass through the Ardales natural park, our guide will point out the ruins of the ancient 9 th century town of Bobastro , from where the Muladi rebel, Omar Ben Hafsun once controlled an area the size of the Malaga region. Just beyond are the beautiful Malaga Lakes. Noted for their deep turquoise colour, they provide a further excuse to get that camera out!

We then head for Teba , where after a leisurely tour of the Castle and town, a typical Spanish lunch is provided in Rancho el Mirador , which offers further stunning views of the rolling Andalucian countryside and of the Castle itself. At the end of the day you will have experienced an unique piece of 14 th century Scottish history here in 21 st century Spain, and in doing so, will have enjoyed visiting the REAL Spain.

Viva Escocia ! Viva España !

The monument to Robert the Bruce, with Stirling Castle in the background.

If you would like to book this tour or if you require additional information,

  Telephone 952 46 33 38 or 664071237

More information about Teba CLICK HERE


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© Crann Tara 2006