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.



Your name


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

More Information



4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Patrick Bastow (3 months ago)
If you come here on a Sunday or a public holiday it's free. It's a great place for children as they can run around and explore. It's a surprisingly large castle. We arrived late in the afternoon and didn't really have time to explore. Parking is also free near the castle on Sundays and public holidays
Kasper Højris Dahl (4 months ago)
A very nice castle with great view over the city and nearby mountains. I went there around 16:30 on a Wednesday and it was to my surprise free entrance. Not sure if it is seasonal. Due to its size I had to rush through it before it closed at 18:00. There is information about the castle on a scanable QR code, but unfortunately not in English. There are some boards translated to English around the site, but it is limited and could be improved.
Guenther Moeller (5 months ago)
A great Knights Templar fortress. Partially restored some years ago, it gives you a sense for how castles were built 800 years ago. If you are on the Camino, it is certainly worth stopping in and touring the castle for an hour.
Monika Gablowski (5 months ago)
What an incredibly impressive castle. Highly recommend taking the time to visit, especially if you’re hiking the Camino. It will add an extra 1-2km to your day.
Marcus Simpson (8 months ago)
Wow just wow, this is a Castle of the Templar knights and it's stunning. The Spanish have done a very good job in the restoration and preservation of this ancient monument, as you walk around this place you get the feeling of what life was like in this fortification. The castle is surrounded by bars and restaurants where some overlook the impressive doorway to the castle, definitely one to do if your ever in the area or have an interest in the knights Templar ? ?
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kastelholma Castle

First record of Kastelholma (or Kastelholm) castle is from the year 1388 in the contract of Queen Margaret I of Denmark, where a large portion of the inheritance of Bo Jonsson Grip was given to the queen. The heyday of the castle was in the 15th and 16th centuries when it was administrated by Danish and Swedish kings and stewards of the realms. Kastelhoma was expanded and enhanced several times.

In the end of 16th century castle was owned by the previous queen Catherine Jagellon (Stenbock), an enemy of the King of Sweden Eric XIV. King Eric conquered Kastelholma in 1599 and all defending officers were taken to Turku and executed. The castle was damaged under the siege and it took 30 years to renovate it.

In 1634 Åland was joined with the County of Åbo and Björneborg and Kastelholma lost its administrative status.