Ponferrada Castle

Ponferrada, Spain

In 1178, Ferdinand II of León donated the Ponferrada city to the Templar order for protecting the pilgrims on the Way of St. James who passed through El Bierzo in their road to Santiago de Compostela. Their castle was originally a hill-fort and later a Roman citadel. Templar knights took possession of the fortress and reinforced and extended it to use it as an inhabitable palace.

However, the Templars were only able to enjoy the use of their fortress for about twenty years before the order was disbanded and its properties confiscated in 1311. Several noble houses fought over the assets until Alfonso XI allotted them to the Count of Lemos in 1340. Finally the Catholic Monarchs incorporated Ponferrada and its castle into the Crown in 1486. Most of the walls were removed and used in local construction projects.

The building has an irregular square plan and the outstanding features are, above all, the entrance which involves crossing the moat on a drawbridge and, further on, two large towers with crenellations joined by an arch. Its twelve original towers reproduced the shapes of the constellations.



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Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Spain

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Carlyn M (4 months ago)
Took a road trip from Madrid to Ponferrada. Wasn't expecting much from the Castle, but it was surprisingly expansive and well preserved. We enjoyed exploring all the nooks and crannies. The view of the city from the towers is beautiful. Expect a line, but it moves fast.
Linda Sawyer (4 months ago)
Amazing restoration work. Lots of stairs. Good to plan for 1 to 2 hours
Niall Smith (6 months ago)
If you like castles you'll love this. A proper fortress with great access to the various buildings and fortifications. Also a great collection of books in the library and on display. Clear information, helpful staff, clean toilets. No shop for the kids to pester you in which I loved. But also no cafe onsite so bear that in mind. We spent a very happy three hours here. Parking nearby needs coins so bear that in mind. There is an app but it didn't work for us.
Collins (7 months ago)
Beautiful castle with a library and a collection of artifacts. A must visit if you are in the area. There is a discount available for Students. You can spend a few hours here wandering the area and exploring the many levels of the castle. Parking is available a short walk away. The library contains almost 1,400 books including facsimile editions of works by Leonardo da Vinci. The Templar knights took possession of the fortress around the beginning of the 12th century, and reinforced it to use it as an inhabitable palace and for protection. There is even a secret passageway to the river which was used for collection of water.
Valerie Robinson (9 months ago)
My husband and I visited here on the 14th May while doing the Camino De Santiago It was very well situated for the Camino. The staff were very professional and informative. We climbed the high walls. We enjoyed our visit
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