While Chapala Fortress is first mentioned in historical sources beginning in the 17th century, objects found in the region during archaeological digs (including glazed and clay pottery, Qvevris, furnaces, and glass bracelets) indicate that the area was inhabited as early as the 12th century.
Chapala Fortress’ hilltop location was enhanced by a number of defensive fortifications, including a number of round towers and the three-metre-high wall that surrounded it. The fortress was terraced, with the heights of battle and signal towers strategically chosen.
Three large water reservoirs would have provided water to the fortress’ inhabitants via clay pipes, with a bath of stone and brick, a furnace, and a wine cellar all on site to service the inhabitants even during a siege.
The ruins of a village also lie nearby, speaking to the thriving community that must once have called this place home.