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

Caroline Mernin (15 months ago)
I enjoyed the view of the castle from across the road while enjoying a coffee.. my husband paid to go in and said it was ok but not the greatest. Still..another from the bucket list. Well worth pulling off the highway to visit this lovely town.
Keith D (15 months ago)
Passed an hour or so, some interesting exhibitions.
Olivia Covarrubias (15 months ago)
The Knights Templar Castle in Ponferrada is a true treasure and a must see while on the Camino. It was actually built for the Camino and there is much history to learn about it along with the Knights. Built between 900-1100
Sander Pennaertz (16 months ago)
Most of it still under restoration, little to no explanation during the tour.
J J (2 years ago)
Entrance fee is 6€ and free entry on every Wednesday! Is a good place to stop by for a visit if you’re interested in history of the place and way of life in the past. They are having ongoing restoration of the castle bit by bit, so maybe during time of your visit you might be restricted to certain small parts of the castle. However, most parts are all done up, I believe. Many small exhibitions around the castle explaining to you the history of the region and so on. Nice views along the walls of the castle.
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