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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Details

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

More Information

www.spain.info

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jennifer Lee (8 months ago)
The outside was beautiful but it was closed for a holiday. I wish I could have gone in but there are some cute restaurants close so you can eat and appreciate the castle.
Neil Boast (10 months ago)
Pleasant castle remains to walk around but the best part is the exhibition of beautiful medieval manuscripts. Some of best I have ever seen.
Jan Jerina (10 months ago)
Interesting castle with nice views. Too many empty rooms. Could use a cafe on the premises though. :)
Carlos Pinon (11 months ago)
A must see place of great history about the Knights Templar. No longer than an hour and a half. Very interesting to see it still well preserved. A shame no Guided tours to learn more about its history.
Mynhardt Potgieter (12 months ago)
Great experience in this well preserved and well maintained Castle. The tour is very informative and contains a lot of history about those who lived there and built and extended this magnificent structure. It is a nice place to visit for families or, if you are a Pilgrim, to learn a little more about the Templars. There is a library too.
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