Museums and exhibitions in castles or palaces.
Here you can find all the castles and palaces where you can enjoy museums and exhibitions.
Infante Don Juan Manuel Palace was the first fortress of Belmonte ordered to be built by Don
Juan Manuel in the year 1323 on a previous Visigoth building. It was the birthplace in 1419 of
Don Juan Pacheco, first Villena, Marquis who ordered the construction of the current
The second Villena Marquis Don Diego Lopez Pacheco, turned it into a monastery for that
reason in 1499, he moved Santa Catalina de Sena nuns from Villa de la Alberca to Belmonte,
staying in the palace until 1960.
Among the walls of this building plenty of history is now our hotel, restaurant and spa,
with the most current facilities for your getaways
The history, tradition and culture of the place blend with the modernity, quality and comfort
of our hotel, a haven of tranquility where you will enjoy an unforgettable stay.
Discover the facilities of Infante Don Juan Manuel Palace Hotel and Spa and go back in time
from its facilities, completely rehabilitated while preserving the essence and inspiration of the
original architecture and history.
The Hotel has single, double, triple and family rooms (with capacity for up to five people). The Hotel has spacious suites for special events such as weddings. The rooms are large and have all the necessary amenities to enjoy a unique and relaxed
In addition, our walls have lots of history, in many rooms you can see remains of the original
building, rehabilitated forming the historic building mixed with modern elements, make a very
cozy and comfortable mix.
Also the views from the rooms are towards the Belmonte Castle on the one hand, and the
Collegiate on the other. A view with a history that is hard to forget.
We have 39 rooms equipped with private bathroom, shower, hairdryer, safe, heating and air
conditioning, as well as TV and WIFI. They are also equipped with piped music to complete the
An extra addition that our accommodation has is the SPA. On it you can enjoy a thermal circuit,
as well as a sauna and Turkish bath. Without forgetting an extensive menu of aesthetic
treatments and massages to relax.
Also available for the summer season, an outdoor pool with solarium, where you can enjoy anice swim with the tranquility that the environment gives.
Accommodation in different types of regime.
Prices 70 – 225 €
The accommodation can be completed with different breakfast, lunch and dinner.
You can also choose a spa session, massages and different aesthetic treatments.
Castle-Palace of the Fernández de Heredia family, XIV century (Mediterranean Gothic style).
The largest castle you can imagine.
Mora de Rubielos Castle is a representative building of the Mediterranean Gothic style situated in the highest part of the town, on a rocky hill.
The Castle is a solid stone construction built on an irregular, quadrangular ground plan with four fortified towers, a porticoed parade ground and a cloister gallery. It covers an area of 4,300 sq m (67 by 65 m). The Castle can be accessed through a zig-zag ramp with loopholes (long narrow windows through which arrows could be fired against attackers) along its length, which reveal the castle’s former defensive function. After going through the gate, a slight slope with some steps leads us to:
Porticoed parade ground (cloister when the building was used as a convent). It covers an area of 1,400 sq m (38 by 37 m). Its ground plan is a slightly irregular square, surrounded by pointed arches of different sizes. Some of the capitals are decorated with animals or monsters, but they are badly damaged.
Stables. They are in the basement that can be accessed through an oblique arch next to the angle formed by the walls, going down a slight slope with steps which once was a dirt slope. At the bottom, we get to a large space where there used to be troughs.
Stonemasons’ marks: These can still be seen engraved on some of the keystones that form the transverse arches situated closer to the entrance, as well as in some other rooms of the castle. They are the “signature” of the stonemasons who shaped these stones.
Great dining room or multi-purpose room, depending on whether it was a time of peace or war at the castle, something quite common in medieval times.
Antechamber, which could have possibly been used as an armoury, a scriptorium or a dressing room. Nowadays, this room hosts part of the Ethnographic Museum, where you can see different pieces which have been obtained in Mora de Rubielos.
Main bedroom in the castle of the Fernández de Heredia family. This chamber is inside the east tower. The walls are very thick here, something that can be appreciated in the thickness of the window, as well as in the reinforced ceiling, with twice as many beams as normally needed.
The dungeon. It used to be a high security prison. The Great Stairway, Outside tower and gate, Spiral Staircase, The Sacristy (when the castle was used as a convent), The Great Hall (with an area of 284 sq m), The Well, First and Second Level Basements, The Burial Crypt, The Crypt and The Chapel.
The Castle was awarded the status of National Monument in 1931 and Mora de Rubielos was declared a national heritage site in 1978. Restoration works in the castle began in 1972 with the removal of debris and the cleaning and consolidation of arches and structures.
The areas open to visitors, managed by the Castellón Provincial Council, comprise the castle itself and the Artillery Park, which surrounds the perimeter of the fortress overlooking the sea. The castle was erected by the Knights Templar between 1294 and 1307, when the Order was on the verge of extinction.
These walls also gave shelter to Benedict XIII "Pope Luna" who spent his final years in this fortress, between 1411 and 1423, transforming the castle into a pontifical palace and defending his legitimacy as Pope until his death. Both the Knights Templar and Pope Luna survived their own tragedy and have their place in history today.
The Artillery Park is a military area with batteries, tunnels and ramps that connect with the maritime zone. The gardens that surround them were created in the 20th century.
In the lower area, you can visit the fortifications built in the time of Philip II, in order to modernise the defences of the medieval castle and combat the attacks of pirates and the Turkish Navy.
The upper area of fortifications and gardens connects with the medieval castle and with the lighthouse enclosure.
The lighthouse building was built at the end of the 19th century and was converted into a visitor reception centre in 2017. From the square around the lighthouse you can see the 13th century tower of Pope Luna and, next to it, the bastion that protects the entrance built in the time of Charles I and the stairs of Pope Luna. These are located in the fortifications on the east side, 45 meters above sea level.
The Castle of Valencia de Don Juan is a fortress located on the site of four previous fortifications. It has been a place of human settlement since the Final Bronze Age, 3,000 years ago.
The current fortress is a clear reference of the Gothic-military architecture and was built almost entirely in the fifteenth century, specifically between 1465 and 1470 by Don Juan de Acuña y Portugal, III Count and II Duke of Valencia de Don Juan, with his wife Teresa Enriquez, settling the structures of the new castle on other previous ones made of mudwall.
During the War of the Castilian Succession it was besieged in 1475, an act in which Juan de Acuña died and Portugal precipitated from one of the castle windows. Abandoned in the mid-sixteenth century, its collapse began in the seventeenth century, disappearing its forgings, vaults and roofs, as well as the Mudejar plasterwork that decorated the interior of its walls.
The building is constructed in stone masonry, mudwall and brick and preserves from its original structures a large part of the wall and the barbican, which runs along the north and east sides of the fortress, as well as the imposing keep tower, which has become the identity sign of Valencia de Don Juan
Since 1998 and for 75 years, the property has been transferred to the public management and since then, different interventions have been carried out to reduce the effects of its ruin. The intervention inside the tower keep was carried out in 2004, as well as the reconstruction of one of the edges that had collapsed in 1979. A new respectful and fully reversible building was built inside the tower. It is made of iron, wood and glass and it houses the museum, which is of an archaeological nature and provides a tour about the history of Valencia de Don Juan.
It stands on a Celtiberian fort, and was built from the eleventh century attached to an angle of the wall. Its construction continued until the seventeenth century, so it has a mixture of architectural styles, but predominantly Gothic and Renaissance.
Some of the most famous architects of the time were involved in its construction: Hanequin of Brussels, Juan Guas or Juan de Álava, creator of the parade ground.
It is irregular in shape and covers a surface area of 1,025m2. Its parade ground stands out, as well as the 20m high keep, which connects with the eastern bay that housed one of the most valuable armouries in Spain. It is surrounded by an outdoor barbican, and connects with the castle's ancient hunting forest through a rammed earth wall. This forest is now a municipal park.
It was owned by royals such as Álvaro de Luna or Beltrán de la Cueva, and its most illustrious guests include the kings of Castile, such as Sancho IV, or his wife Doña María de Molina, who made up the courts of the kingdom in 1297, or Juan I and his wife Doña Leonor, who died in the castle. Also noteworthy are the painter Parcerisa, José de Espronceda, General Hugo and the Duke of Wellington.
In 1997 the Castillo Habitado (Inhabited Castle) was created, the first guided tour featuring a historical re-enactment in Spain. In addition to being a space for tourists, it is also a Secondary School, and headquarters of the Foundation of the House of Albuquerque, which stores one of the most important royal archives in the country
We are located in the municipality of Alcaudete, which is in the Comarca of the Sierra Sur of Jaén. Alcaudete is a prosperous land in olive groves, fruits and water. It was a strategic passing zone during the Middle Ages and the Arab domain, as it was on the road that went from Cordoba to Granada and border place for more than a hundred years, once conquered by Christians.
This make us to think about one thing: why is there a Castle in Alcaudete? It was the year 711 when the Muslims entered the Peninsula and began the conquest of what was called Al-Andalus, reaching the Duero’s and Ebro’s valleys. However, by the year 1030, their power got weaker and, because of that, Christian kings began an offensive to recover the conquered lands and protect the territory and its inhabitants. In that way they created a powerful defensive system to prevent the lands recovery by Muslims, based on a wide variety of large castles, watchtowers and fortresses, such as the Castillo of Alcaudete. Alcaudete was known in the ninth century as al-Qabdaq or al-Qibdaq, being a place of refuge for peasant populations in the area. To this aim, a fortress was built at the top of the hill, taking advantage of the steep slopes, rocky complexes and natural gorges for its defence. Thus, during the Almohad domain, a great wall was built around the urban core, as well as a fortress on the summit. All of that to protect in case of attack the inhabitants and soldiers of Alcaudete. Inside the fortress there was a tank that collected rainwater to survive and tents used as home, in order to live there and sleep.
Afterwards, the Castle of Alcaudete was part of the defence belt that King Ferdinand III The Holy entrusted for the protection of the western border of the kingdom of Jaen against the Nasrid kingdom of Granada. It was built between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. This Castle has had several stages throughout its life, which have impregnated its walls with legends and stories, memories and adventures, which have left their mark on its structure and which make the monumental complex possess a unique beauty that leaves no one indifferent to their visitors.
Fernando III and his son Alfonso X granted manors in the Kingdom of Jaén as payment for their help in the conquest of the Upper Guadalquivir Valley, and with the clear objective of serving as a protective belt against the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada. For this reason, Alcaudete was handed over to the Order of Calatrava in 1245. Hence, the castle was renamed Castillo Calatravo of Alcaudete.
The Castle of Alcaudete has had several stages throughout its history. When the Calatrava Order leaved, this land and the village became a manor zone, and the Castle was transformed into a private Palace, where the lords of Alcaudete who inhabited it placed the shields of the Cordoba and Montemayor family on the door. Currently these shields are so deteriorated that they hardly distinguish.
At the beginning of the 11th century there is evidence of a farmhouse called Itaba in what is now Teba. A settlement without fortification that was within the jurisdiction of Takurunna (Ronda). The fortress as such began to be built in the 13th century, as a consequence of the Castilian push.
More than a dozen towers flank the perimeter walls that surround and adapt to the mountain. All but two are quadrangular in plan. One has a circular floor plan and the other is a whitewashed tower that protects the outside of the main door, which has eight sides. At the top of the military enclosure, the fortress stands, a construction of great architectural magnitude, with powerful walls, the remains of rooms, a central courtyard and the great tower that presides over the entire complex.
The fortress of Teba was originally an Almohad construction. However, its strategic importance during the border war and later as the seat of the County of Theba meant that it was constantly being renovated and extended. However, after the use of the fortress by the Napoleonic troops, the castle served as a stone quarry for the constructions of the new Villa of Teba.
The main part of the Castle of the Star was, without a doubt, the fortress and the homage tower. A palace of which only the skeleton remains because of the Napoleonic garrisons that destroyed it. The tower, however, conserves a good part of its original structure and, although the ashlars carved into the doors, windows and corners were plundered, it is still the best example of the Middle Ages in the Guadalteba region and the province of Malaga.
The great fortress of La Estrella kept the military garrisons inside and numerous families who lived protected within its walls. Those responsible lived, however, in the Alcazar (a castle within a castle). Its thick walls, its small doors and its numerous windows favoured the defence and the exercise of coercion (the surveillance and control of their own and of the territory). Inside, there were kitchens, workshops, warehouses, cisterns and inside the large tower, with four floors (eight rooms) and a large terrace, the dwelling of the warden or lord of the fortress.
Located in the Sierra de Gredos, barely 90km from Madrid, the castle of La Adrada has dominated the landscape of the Tiétar Valley since the 14th century. Built on a Gothic church dated 1250 which, in turn, seems to have been built on another castle of Roman origin, the castle gains in relevance from the 14th century with the designation of La Adrada as Villa (township). It was a temporary residence of Enrique III, Juan II, Enrique IV and the Catholic Monarchs (Fernando and Isabel), expanding in size and in facilities that guaranteed better security, such as the case of ts walls until, from the 19th century onwards, it begins to fall into ruins. The castle was victim to plunder from locals and foreigners alike. It remained in that state until the end of the 20th century, at which time, it was transferred to La Adrada Town Hall and with the support of various institutions, it was restored and began being open to the public in 2004.
Since then and to date, the castle of La Adrada has recovered use and life. With a €3 entrance fee, reduced for groups and free entrance on Wednesdays, visitors can stroll through the castle and its walls, learn about its history through a short film, and visit the Tiétar Valley Historical Interpretation Center. This Interpretation Center explains the origins and traditions of the many beautiful villages that make up the Tiétar Valley, its most representative mountains and other curiosities of the area.
But the castle is not limited to only being a monument worthhy to be seen and admired, but rather it is also a public building that is being used for many cultural and social events including weddings.
Since 2004, the Castle has been the epicenter of the La Adrada Medieval Fair with archery tournaments, madrigal concerts, and theatratrical performances.
Since 2018, it has also been the main stage of the Tiétar Summer Festival - La Adrada festival - hosting an average of 15 performances a year. Artists such as Carlos Núñez, Bebe, Paco Ibáñez, Luar Na Lubre, Hevia ... have performed on this stage which is located in the original apse of the 13th century Gothic church.
Also, for more than five years, it has been one of the favorite set locations for film and television series recording studios such as Águila Roja, Reinas, El Ministerio del Tiempo, Isabel, El Cid…
In short, a very charming place ready to receive your visit.
The Marquis of Villena, Don Juan Pacheco, ordered it built in Mudejar Gothic style in 1456. He was trusted man of King Henry IV of Castile, and the most powerful lord in the kingdom at the time.
The star-shaped layout of the castle is one-of-a-kind, and its palatial interior decorated with luxurious Mudejar roofs in the halls and galleries, as well as the "medieval bestiary" sculpted in stone, are nonpareil in Spain. All this undeniably makes for one of the most emblematic castles in our country.
The castle has been perfectly preserved thanks to the efforts of its owners over the centuries, completed with the latest restoration. On this occasion, the Ducal House of Peñaranda and Montijo, descendants of the Marquis of Villena and owners of the Castle, have been supported by public institutions.
The Castle of Belmonte reopened its doors to the public in July 2010, offering the visitor a cultural tour throughout the history of this emblematic monument, all the way from the 15th century to the present. The cultural tour provides an audio guide in 4 languages (Spanish, English, French and Italian), an audio-visual room with a large-screen 12-minute projection as an introduction to the tour, and light and sound technology that make visitors travel to a different time.
Moreover, since August 2018, the largest historic-thematic park with real-scale siege machines in the world, Trebuchet Park, has been located at the foot of the fortress.
Throughout the tour, visitors can observe 40 siege machines in four different thematic areas: the Christian world, the Muslim world, the Eastern world and the Renaissance. Regarding the timeline, the artefacts in the first three spaces are from the 5th and 14th centuries, and the Renaissance area set in the 15th–16th century.
All of the machines have been tested and they work just as they did at the time, reconstructed with the same period materials. Historically rigorous, they used available documentation (miniatures, engravings, period texts, iconographic depictions and archaeological remains)
The Condestable Dávalos Castle has been a historical and artistic monument since 1931. It was built between 1395 and 1422 by Ruy López Dávalos, in granite stone, with a square floor plan, and four towers on each corner. Its most characteristic element is the Homage Tower, with a rectangular floor plan, 26 meters high, with round arch doors and windows and defensive balconies. The Castle has a parade ground surrounded by the wall, which originally housed the servants' quarters, stables, warehouses and kitchens. The Homage Tower was the nobility residence.
The Condestable Dávalos Castle was the residence of important people in the history of Spain, such as Rodrigo Alonso de Pimentel or Doña Juana de Pimentel, who received the castle as part of her dowry for her marriage to Don Alvaro de Luna, and for whom the Castle receives the nickname "Castillo de la Triste Condesa".
Until the 18th century, Condestable Dávalos Castle was the residence of the Dukes of Infantado, until it became the property of Don Luis de Borbón, who abandoned it because he considered it was not a worthy place to make it his residence, which is why he began the construction of a Palace, which became his residence, and which also has a BIC declaration.
During the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries the castle was used for different purposes: prison, cemetery, warehouse, and so on. It is currently owned by the Arenas de San Pedro Town Hall, and since 2006 it has been the most emblematic, touristic and cultural site in the town, after being fully restored.
The Homage Tower has 4 floors where you can find: The Condestable Dávalos Castle Information Office, the Conference Room, the Medieval Room, the Souvenir Shop and the Exhibition Hall.
The Conference Room is also used to celebrate weddings and cultural or musical events. The Exhibition Hall houses the permanent exhibition of the local painter Manuel Aznar. From the Homage Tower you can access the adarve that surrounds the entire parade ground to enjoy spectacular views of the town and the Gredos Mountains.
The parade ground is the perfect place to hold summer concerts, local folklore festival performances, theatre performances, and specialty fairs.
The most distinctive element of the town is the “Alconchel Castle", also called today as “Miraflores Castle” because it is located on the hill of the same name. Nestled on top of the hill of the same name, dominates with its imposing presence all the territories of the environment. Of Arab origin, and rebuilt in the 12th century by the monarch Alfonso Enríquez, was later consolidated by the Templars, becoming one of the most important bastions of this order.
Originally it was composed of triple enclosure, reinforced the intermediate with cubes pointed towards the south. It is presided by a powerful homage tower, completing the whole a good yard of weapons, cisterns, dungeons, chapel and other dependencies of which are preserved different remains. Today it is inside the centre of interpretation of the fortifications of the Great Lake of Alqueva, it already has a unique space for conventions, congresses and exhibitions and prepares for the lodging.
From the historical point of view, it should be remembered that a Muslim enclave existed here, of which no trace remains. In the first place it was occupied by the Portuguese, late in the 12th century, in the time of Alfonso I, in 1166. It passed into Castilian hands a hundred years later, in 1264, and was given to the Templars first and to that of Alcántara later. The fortress is full of History of the struggles between the Kingdoms of Spain and Portugal.
Most of the bulk of the fortress is built with stones, with ashlars in the corners of the keep and masonry. The wood is used in a few places such as in ranguas bars, floors of the tower and possibly in the rake of the current entrance door and in the mechinales of the upper part of the north side of the tower.
The castle has not escaped the local heritage either and there are some local traditions that revolve around it. Despite being many of them exaggerated data, they turn out to be curious and worthy of being traced documentary.
Thus, in Alconchel it is often stated that a tunnel leads from the fortress to the parish church and another to the nearby Ermita de la Esperanza, indeed some castles have had mines or passageways that served as an escape in situations of siege, but in In this case at hand, it has not been possible to attest to the presence of said tunnels in any way. Of course, what is proven is that the presence of mines in castles was a serious detriment to it since in the same way that it could serve to escape, it could also serve to enter by enemies, with which the presence of them is almost ruled out.
The origin of the current location of the town of Baena must be located in an Arab hisn (castle) named Bayyana that already appears in the sources in connection with the Muladi rebellion of Umar ibn Hafsun in the second half of the 9th century. After the loss of the military function of the fortress, it became the palace of the Dukes of Sessa, lords of the town, undergoing important reforms throughout the 15th and 16th centuries.
The building has undergone various reforms throughout history, among which the adequacy of the parade ground as a drinking water reservoir for the municipality in the 20th century should be highlighted. Recently, and thanks to the determined commitment of the Baena City Council and the financial support of the Government of Spain, through the Cultural 1%, an important recovery and value project has been carried out to make it accessible: they have recovered several towers among which stands out the Torre del Homenaje called de las Arqueras or de las Cinco Esquinas , several canvases on the wall and the so‐called Puerta del Campo, located on the eastern flank.
The archaeological tasks that were carried out in support of the restoration and which consisted of paramental analyzes and the opening of boreholes allowed documenting a series of structures (walls and towers) made of Almohad‐era rammed earth that were later embedded and lined by walls. Of masonry throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, masking the original fortress, although it should not have changed much in what refers to its original plan. It is worth nothing the presence of an imposing underground enclosure, like an alijbe, from the late medieval period and with a square floor plan, built on two discharge arches.
The current access is through the door located in the Plaza de Palacio from which you reach a hall at the southern end of which is the Torre del Homenaje staircase, which has several floors and a terrace that constitutes a unique viewpoint of the city and its surroundings. At the opposite end of this door is the Puerta del Campo, which would be the original entrance to the castle that has been recovered along with the attached tower called Los Cascabeles.
Among the existing towers it is worth highlighting the Tower of Secrets located in the southeast corner of the castle. In the central area of the fortress, in what would be the parade ground, the town's water tanks are located, built between the years 1927 and 1959, notably altering the appearance of the building, but which have been recovered for tourist use‐ cultural.
The Castle of Lorca, declared BIC (Heritage of Cultural Interest), was a defensive bastion during centuries (in the Middle Ages), on the frontier between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Nazarí kingdom of Granada. After some years of work for its consolidation and rehabilitation, it opened its doors in 2003 and can be visited every day of the year, finding different proposals, exhibitions, workshops for children, guided tours, extraordinary season activities, in short, a space to learn the History and Culture of Lorca.
The Castle is a symbol for all the inhabitants of Lorca. From its privileged location, in the Guadalentín valley, it has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, which has made it an exceptional archaeological site to know the past, from Prehistory to the present.
The current appearance of the Castle of Lorca is the result of the continuous changes that the different cultures have been carrying out in its 52,000 m² of extension. Thanks to archaeology we know the Argaric burials of 3.500 years and the Roman vestiges that hide its subsoil. Nevertheless, the definitive configuration of the Castle took place in the Middle Ages, a period during which most of the preserved remains correspond. Synagogue and a Jewish quarter from the 15th century are the most recent discovery that can be visited every day of the year.
Depending on the season you can do different activities that complement the cultural visit like music, gastronomy... There are also offers for different types of visitors: families with children, schoolchildren, groups and general public. Pets are welcome. The Castle is an area to learn and have fun at the same time.
The castle of Peracense is located on the top of a rocky, very steep cliff of reddish sandstone, known as rodeno. The use of this stone for the construction of the fort makes it possible to obtain a totally integrated set in the landscape.
The defensive system of Peracense is made up of three precincts, which take advantage of the topography of the terrain to form an impregnable enclave.
The upper enclosure houses the core of the fortress, this being the place where the main residence is located, which was occupied by the warden and his family. In addition, this enclosure housed the armory and one of the dungeons, and to ensure the water supply was enabled a collection and storage system, with the presence of two tanks.
In the fourteenth century, the intermediate enclosure was built, with an irregular layout, following the shape of the rocks, with the function of protecting the weakest points of the upper enclosure. Inside, most of the spaces occupied by the garrison attached to the castle, such as bedrooms, kitchens or the chapel, would be located.
But the castle continued growing, in its eagerness to protect itself of the Castilian incursions, reason why the inferior enclosure was constructed. It is the most powerful walled structure of the entire fortification, a wall of up to 3 m. of thickness and a plant in L, reinforced with three turrets, and equipped with numerous loopholes. It was designed to shelter the villagers and their flocks in the large existing esplanade.
The space, which currently occupies the fortified area, has been inhabited since the Bronze Age to the present, possibly due to the mining wealth of the area.
The current castle of Puebla de Sanabria was built on the same site as the XIII century castle. Of this previous site, few data are available, since its scarce remains have only allowed to influence its plant. Some historians have wanted to see as the only fortification before the current one a strong tower, known as "Losada", however, the majority tend to think that the Plenomedieval construction was a castle on the same site and similar in size to the current one.
It belongs to the group of castles with a clear relationship with the power for the benefit of noble families that in certain circumstances supported the monarchs in their companies. Arrived at the hands of the III Count of Benavente, Alonso Pimentel, it is possible to assume that the new castle began towards the middle of the XV century, as can be deduced from his testament, dated in 1455.
This could be undertaken by the IV Count, Rodrigo Alonso de Pimentel with his wife María Pacheco, who between 1477 and 1482 will build most of the work. Although to these corresponds most of the works of first building, it must have been his successors, Alonso de Pimentel and Ana de Velasco, who would finish the works definitively.
Nowdays the castle is one of the most visited monuments in the province of Zamora, with more than 50,000 visitors in 2017
One of the most luxurious and beautiful hotels in the Paradores chain is located in Santiago de Compostela. In this city, the destination of millions of pilgrims, rays of sunlight illuminate the building façades in summer and the rain creates a magical ambiance that overtakes the cobbled streets in winter. The Parador de Santiago, known as the Hostal dos Reis Católicos, is a blend of history, art and tradition, the dream of pilgrims and emblem of Santiago. It is located on Obradoiro Square near the cathedral, creating an area of spectacular beauty in one of the most visited provincial capitals in the world. A stay at this Parador means a visit to a truly unique and exclusive location.
The hotel was built as a royal hospital in 1499 to accommodate pilgrims traveling to Santiago. Today, it continues to invite visitors to enjoy a city that is as universal as it is fascinating. Inside this Parador Museum, considered the oldest hotel in the world, you will discover four beautiful cloisters, elegant rooms, spectacular guest rooms and a luxurious dining room that offers fish and meat prepared in the Galician style, along with classic apple filloas (a type of crêpe) and crème brûlée.
Santiago is a magical city of almost indescribable beauty, where you will not only look, but you will also feel. In addition to the cathedral and the spectacular Obradoiro and Quintana squares, other sights include Santa María A Real do Sar Collegiate Church. Together with the cathedral, this is the church that has preserved the largest part of its original Romanesque stonework and it has an interior with lovely proportions. There is also the Renaissance Colegio de Fonseca (Fonseca School) and the magnificent San Martiño Pinario Monastery. These are just some of the places well worth visiting in the city's fine historic district.
The charm and the hustle and bustle of Abastos Market in the morning; the beautifully maintained Alameda Park, which boasts spectacular views of the old quarter; the church, convent and park of San Domingos de Bonaval, home to the Pantheon of Illustrious Galicians; and the green spaces around the capital, extending all the way to the sea, just half an hour away, will guide you through this city brimming with history and beauty. It marks the end of the Camino (Way of St. James) and the start of a one-of-a-kind experience we invite you to enjoy in exceptional accommodations, the Parador de Santiago.
Live the History
The Royal Hospital of Santiago was a project of Fernando and Isabel in order to alleviate the thousands of pilgrims who arrived at Compostela. Centuries later, the pilgrims have been replaced by travellers as, since 1954, it has been a magnifi cent hotel which, year after year, renews its long commitment to hospitality.
The fi rst building was the work of the Royal Architect, Enrique Egas who, brought the Renaissance to Galicia with its design. Although its basic structure was fi nished about 1509 and it began to function, the decorative part was not fi nished until 1527. In this second stage, the French Masters, Martin de Blas and Guillén Colás were responsible for the main doorway which was resolved as a magnifi cent
Plateresque façade-tableau with a candelieri decoration, small sculptures under inset and grotto like canopies. The decoration of the hospital chapel was also concluded, but its transept tends towards the Gothic with its starred vault. This fi rst hospital of the XVI century was rather smaller than the current structure as it was composed of a church, only two cloisters and two di erentiated areas for men and women.
The extension arrived in the XVIII century. A partial demolition and a greater need for space led to the construction of the two rear patios in stone and the Baroque stairway of Ferro Caaveiro, which connected the left patio to the fi rst floor. In this epoch, Fray Tomás Alonso reformed the Renaissance
façade adding two large balconies supported by brackets, together with three new windows. In this way, the Royal Hospital was confi gured with its present day Greek cross design with four interior patios which receive the names of the Four Evangelists. The patio of San Lucas is outstanding due to its original octagonal design. In July 1954, coinciding with the Year of Compostela, it was inaugurated as a hotel of the State.
The Royal Hospital of Santiago was a project of Fernando and Isabel in order to alleviate the thousands of pilgrims who arrived at Compostela. Centuries later, the pilgrims have been replaced by travellers as, since 1954, it has been a magnifi cent hotel which, year after year, renews its long commitment to hospitality.
“Both the rich and poor pilgrims must be charitably received and venerated by all the people when they go to or come from Santiago. Whoever welcomes them and accommodates them diligently will not only have Santiago as a guest, but will also have Our Lord … “
The pilgrimage of the Monarchs
After the pilgrimage of Fernando and Isabel in 1488 and, as they themselves witnessed, the pilgrim hospital was old and insufcient, they ordered the building of a new one “capable of providing due and decorous service to all the devotees, ill persons and healthy persons who might arrive in the city...” Once Granada was taken, Fernando and Isabel stipulated that a part of the “revenue of war” be assigned to paying for the construction of the new hospital.
The Hospital de San Juan Bautista, better known as Hospital Tavera, was built in the 16th century with a double function: a charitable one for being a hospital “for those afflicted by different illnesses” and a sepulchral one, for being a mausoleum for its founder, Cardinal Juan Pardo Tavera, Archbishop of Toledo, Inquisitor General, Governor of Castilla and Governor of the Kingdom in the absence of the Emperor.
Its palatial appearance is due to its first architect Alonso de Covarrubias, Senior Master of the Main Cathedral and Royal Architect who in order to come up with a new concept for a hospital modelled it on the large Roman private double patio house described by Vitruvio.
Its construction, started in 1540, the architectural and urban renewal program that the humanist circles in the Court of Emperor Charles V designed in order to match the image of Toledo with its status as Imperial capital city. This was depicted years later by El Greco in his famous "View of Toledo" in which this Hospital is reversely situated in the foreground, floating on a cloud, this way the painter helped in the furnishing of the building.
The outlandish sum of half a million ducats that had already been spent in 1599, according to the Hospital administrator, Pedro Salazar de Mendoza, when there was still much of the church to build makes it one of the most splendid constructions of the period, perhaps only comparable, according to the art historian, Fernando Marias, to the monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial.
This palace better known as Casa de Pilatos, is a harmonious combination of the Gothic-Mudejar Late Middle Ages tradition and Italian Renaissance innovations which was first introduced in Seville by the Enríquez de Ribera family, Adelantados Mayores of Andalusia , main representatives of the crown in Baja Andalucia and former owners of this Palace.
Located in the historic centre of Seville, the core zones of the building began to be built at the end of the 15th century and eventually halls, patios and gardens were added turning it into the largest private residential complex in the city, an ideal setting for the development of a new lifestyle and elite society in a city which had undergone a transformation into the richest imperial overseas metropolis ever known.
Throughout the Spanish Golden Age, this palace acted as a sieve for new artistic tastes from Italy. Sevillians first knew them thanks to the marble pieces brought from Genova five hundred years ago by the I Marquis of Tarifa from his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, which eventually gave its name to the palace. Then, later on, new artistic trends were revealed to the city’s citizens in the extraordinary sculptures and paintings collected and still seen within, brought by two of the descendants of the Marquis, the I and III Duke of Alcalá, while acting as viceroys of Naples.
Due to its spatial organization, architectural quality and richness in decoration, this building became the canonical model of Andalusian civil architecture and the pattern of Sevillian palaces.
On a hill and guarding the road that unites the coast with the Kingdom of Castile, rises the Castle of San Vicente de Argueso. Built during the XIII-XV centuries, it represents the most outstanding and ancient example of the Roqueno Castle of Cantabria, being the only interior castle that exists in the Community.
The castle was one of the strengths of Senorio de la Vega from which they defended their interests in Campoo de Suso. In the fifteenth century, he is the owner of the same Don Leonor de la Vega, wife of the Admiral of Castile, Don Diego Hurtado de Mendoza and mother of Inigo Lopez de Mendoza, the illustrious Marques de Santillana, one of the key players in the Castilian politics of that era. He is more known perhaps for the quality of his poetic work. On the death of the Marquis, in 1458, his first born son, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, succeeded him, and thanks to the fidelity shown to the Catholic Monarchs, he was appointed in 1475 Duke of the Infantado, Marques de Argueso and Campoo. From then on, the castle became the seat of the Marquesado de Argueso, which was organized under an administration that was independent in some respects from that of the Merindad de Campo. Don Mariano Tellez Giron, Duke of Osuna and the last Marques owner of the castle, sold the castle in 1873. Ever since then passing through different hands. The last owner of the castle, Dona Teresa Rabago, donated the castle to the City Council of the Brotherhood of Campoo de Suso in 1962 with the "only" condition is that the castle would be renovated. They are still the owners of the fortress until this day.
Declared a Cultural Interest Property in 1983, the castle was restored by the Town Council of the Brotherhood of Campoo de Suso and the Regional Government.
On the occasion of this restoration in 1988, highlighting the great artisanal work done on the noble wood by the Sobaler family and their team of local craftsmen (artisans). They found in the basement of the south tower and the walls of the old chapel of the martyr San Vicente (S. IX), around which a necropolis was still visible in the courtyard of the castle.
In August of 1999, the Castle opened its doors to the public, functioning as a cultural centre, hosting both temporary exhibitions, as well as other festivities.
The Castle-Palace of Valderrobres is a Gothic work built between the 14th and 15th centuries by the archbishop of Zaragoza, feudal lord of the area, who used the castle as a temporary residence. It was built with the parish church during the same period and both buildings were united by a passage that allowed getting to the tribune built over a lateral chapel inside the church.
The set of buildings preside the town. We can get to the castle area through two different doors. The first one is located next to the church, and the other one is under the passage which communicates both buildings. Crossing those doors, we first arrive to the parade ground, which was originally surrounded by a wall.
The castle is an irregular polygonal ground plant building and It was built surrounding a rocky hill. The builders used the mountain rocks as a quarry and gained that way new space in each floor up to the last where still today you can see the top of the hill.
On the ground floor we can find the stables with the servant’s rooms. The main floor features the kitchen, the pantries, a necessary one, the great hall of the chimneys, the library and the private rooms of the archbishop. On the upper floors are the oil stores, galleries and granaries and finally the round passage flanked by battlements, merlons and towers.
Erected at the end of the 12th Century, the Castle of Olvera was part of the defensive system of the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada until its takeover by Christian troops in 1327 would lead it to become an almost impassable stronghold of the Crown of Castile. Its strategic position, 623 metres above sea level, allowed them to see the border line of castles that separated the Muslim and Christian Spain. The medieval city would begin to form around it, surrounded by canvases of wall and towers that culminated in the citadel, and in which the mosque or the souk was located. At present, the castle has obvious Christian features in its construction, the result of the successive remodelling that it had to undergo since its capture by King Alfonso XI, who would end up granting the estate to the nobility, who became the owner of each and every good that was in it, including the castle.
In the year 1460, in exchange for 1,700,000 maravedis (medieval Spanish coins) the Villa of Olvera passed hands from the Stúniga to the Girón, one of whose members, Pedro Téllez Girón, would receive the title of Duke of Osuna, in the year 1562, from King Felipe II. It was as a result of this that the town of Olvera and its Castle became dependent on this ducal house for more than 300 years.
The castle, which was declared an item of Cultural Interest in 1985, reveals an irregular floor adapted to the form of the cliff where it sits. The manmade construction is fully integrated with the natural landscape, descending on spectacular slopes to this rock formation.
From the castle of Olvera you have a 360-degree viewpoint of the scenic surroundings. To the north it is possible to catch a glimpse of the Sierra de las Harinas mountain, the Salado stream and the Castillo del Hierro castle, in the Sevillian town of Pruna. To the east, the horizon is outlined by the Peñón de Zapapaldar Rock and the Sierra Blanquilla mountain, as well as the depressions of the north of the province of Málaga. In the south, the towns of Alcalá del Valle and Setenil de las Bodegas are visible, as well as the elevation of the Malaver mountain. And to the western side are the town of El Gastor, the Peñón de Lagarín Rock, the Castle of Zahara de la Sierra and the Sierra de Líjar mountain, whose background is outlined by the Sierra de Grazalema mountain range. In addition, breaking the horizon is the elevation of Peñón de Zaframagón Rock, declared a Natural Reserve and an indisputable icon of the Sierra Greenway.
The fortress began to be built in the middle of the 9th century during the splendour period of the caliphate of Cordoba, its construction being completed in the middle of 13th century by the knights of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, over 350 years of uninterrupted construction and since then three different castles can be visited in a single building.
The order made it the capital of an extensive priory. The cession of the castle and its alfóz was made in 1183 by Alfonso VIII to the knights, although the fortress had been already reconquered by Alfonso VI, exactly one hundred year before, being the place of constant war, it was lost going from Christians to Muslims repeatedly so that finally moving to the kingdom of Castile.
The enlargements and reforms of the castle continued throughout the centuries to adapt gradually to the uses and customs of each era, providing it with a archive, chapel, chapterhouse, water cisterns, powerful defenses (it was necessary to break 7 doors to access to the central core of the strength and the average thickness of its walls is 4.5 meters and the height of its towers of 30 meters, which together with its strategic position, gave it an impregnable aspect).
Its last extension was made in the XVII century with the intention of housing a new hermitage. The fortress remained inhabited until the beginning of the 19th century. In the year 1813 the building was blown up by Napoleon's troops and left in ruins. In 1837 Mendizábal expropriate the castle to be finally acquired by the City Council in 1962.
It is currently in the rehabilitation phase having recovered 50% of the castle. Today it is possible to visit two of three water cisterns, gallery, archives shed, hermitage, chapterhouse, albarrana tower, terraces, garden, barbican and the steps of the round, being used for theatrical performances and cultural events.
Located in the center of the town, it is an ancient Islamic fortress from the 11th century. Next to it is the XIV century Torre del Homenaje, at the entrance door of which are the stone shields of the Order of Santiago and the Figueroa family.
It served as the residence of the commanders of the Order of Santiago during the 13th to 16th centuries. In medieval times, the population extended at the foot of the fortress, in the neighborhood of Hell, comprising the council square, and the parish church, all that urban complex was surrounded by a wall.
In the second half of the 14th century it was renovated to reinforce its outer defensive elements and the keep.
In the early years of the 16th century, Commander Rodrigo Manrique adapted the fortress to more courteous ways of life, endowing it with a colonnaded parade ground with a wooden roof and a double gallery. Its capitals are in the Gothic style and all its interior corridors have been preserved. A beautiful Gothic-style window located in the center of the fortress presided over the main castle hall. The entire fortress was crenellated and roofed, the roofs being one of the most typical architectural elements of this characteristic monument of all the castles of Santiago located in the Sierra del Segura region.
Currently the Castle of Yeste is renovated and rehabilitated. Inside we can find an Interpretation Center "Tierra de Frontera", created by the Romeros de San Bartolomé Association, directed by Luis Llopis. It is made up of several medieval rooms: a projection room, a room for the Santiago commission, an urban planning room, a weapons room, a nature and repopulation room, and a Muslim room.
And in its old dungeons, now rehabilitated, there is an ethnological museum, which contains tools donated by the residents of Yeste in each of its sections, such as agriculture, livestock, beekeeping. Others like the house and traditional utensils show the customs and traditions of the town of Yeste.
While being amazed by the Templar Castle is very easy, getting to know it is not that simple. With its 8,000 m2 of surface, it is considered one of the most important castles in the northwest of Spain and it is the main emblematic feature of the city of Ponferrada.
Its military architecture answers to centuries of history, where different inhabitants have left their imprint through subsequent constructions, reforms, abandonments and restorations. Having being declared National Monument in 1924 and Cultural Heritage Site (BIC, for its Spanish initials), it is not until the end of the 20th century when a great effort is made to restore the walls and rooms of the Castle.
The result is a multipurpose monument, where different exhibitions, musicals and recreational, didactic and religious activities take place. It has always had a privileged location in every respect. Geographically, it is an obligatory stopping point between the Plateau and Galicia, and a must for the pilgrims on their way to Santiago.
Tactically, its location on a hill on the banks of the Sil River has allowed the protection and defence of its territory and of the Way of Saint James. Locally, it is a reference landmark in the old town. Around it, we find important monumental buildings: the church of San Andrés, “las Cuadras” (Tourist Information Office), “Casa de los Escudos” (Coats of Arms House) (Radio Museum), the Basilica of Our Lady of the Encina, the convent of la Purísima Concepción, the old prison (Museum of El Bierzo), the Tower clock and street, the Town Hall and the old main square of las Eras.
The Templar Castle, the Way of Saint James and the city of Ponferrada have a closely linked past and future, since their stories are intertwined and it is not possible to get to know one without explaining the relationship with the others.
Bastion of the Villa de Potes and the entire Liébana Region, in the Cantabrian mountains, the Torre del Infantado is a medieval building that stands at the confluence of the Deva and Quiviesa rivers.
Open to the public after its inauguration on March 19, 2011 after a long restoration process, the Torre del Infantado welcomes thousands of visitors in its 1800 m2, distributed over 6 floors, whose rooms are arranged around a central courtyard; in theese the visitor can learn about the life and work of Beato de Liébana, abbot from Liébana, the first Cantabrian and, therefore, Spanish writer.
Noble woods, corten steel and large glazed spaces take over the interior spaces and provide light with a masterful medieval recreation that is combined with state-of-the-art luminaires.
This regal property that treasures so much history has its access through a long staircase and through a door with a pointed arch. Having belonged to the Dukes of Infantado, it has also been used as a prison and later the Town Hall.
Today it permanently houses the exhibition "Beato de Liébana and his blessed" the most complete facsimile collection in the world of the codices called "Beatos".
The visit ends with the magnificent and exultant view from the battlements towards the town of Potes, the Monte de la Viorna, the site of the Santo Toribio monastery and the Picos de Europa at the horizon.
Likewise, the Tower houses temporary exhibitions in its basement.
The Infante Don Luis de Borbón Palace was a project executed by the Thomas brothers, but commissioned to the architect Ventura Rodríguez, which remained unfinished after the death of the Infante Don Luis de Borbón. Only the right wing of the palace and a part of the main facade could be built. It has a monumental portico of Roman inspiration, soberly decorated in the English neoclassical style.
The Infante Don Luis de Borbón Palace has been declared an asset of cultural interest (according to its Spanish acronym, BIC) in 2012. The Palace has 3 floors, which can be accessed from the portico and a large entrance hall that houses a large imperial-style staircase located in a double height space covered by a vault and delimited by arches and balconies around it.
The years that the Infante Don Luis de Borbón lived in this palace were years of cultural splendor. The Infante's life revolved around art, and he is considered one of the most important Spanish patrons, as well as a great collector. He obtained one of the most important and best equipped science libraries, especially in botany and zoology, with his extensive art collection and a Natural History Cabinet, which made it possible for Arenas to be at the forefront of his time.
Among the great figures who spent time in this palace were the composer Luigi Boccherini and the painter Francisco de Goya, who spent three summers in Arenas de San Pedro painting family pictures.
The Infante Don Luis de Borbón died in Arenas de San Pedro on August 7, 1785, which marked the end of the Infante's court in the town, the abandonment of his palace, and its almost total dismantling. Between 1785 and 1796, the palace was used as a barracks and years later it was occupied by Napoleon's troops, serving as a fortress, until it became a Catholic seminary in the 19th century.
In 1989 the City Council of Arenas de San Pedro acquired the Infante Don Luis de Borbón Palace, and began the work of revaluation and rehabilitation of the building and its gardens. The palace was not only configured as a cultural container, but was also provided with structural and aesthetic improvements, which makes it today one of the most representative emblems of this town, and a cultural and tourist reference for foreigners and outsiders.
Since 2018 the palace has been home to the Gredos Painting Awards Museum. It also hosts events with many years of importance: such as the Luigi Boccherini Festival, the “Palace Days”, Exhibitions, Festivals and Concerts. Undoubtedly, all the events obey to a calendar that tries to remember the golden years of the Court of Infante Don Luis de Borbón.
The Marqués de los Velez Castle (Castillo del Marqués de los Vélez) is the most important monument in Cuevas del Almanzora, it is located in Plaza de la Libertad’s square. It was built as a fortress, expanding the existing Roman Tower by order of Don Pedro Fajardo y Chacón.
It’s a large walled enclosure with a single access gate, above which the Coats of Arms of Fajardo family is placed. Once inside the building, we find a paved courtyard and an amphitheatre overlooking the three buildings housed in this fortress:
The Homage Tower (Torre del Homenaje) is believed to be from the Roman Period. It’s 16 m wide x 19 m high and is divided into five floors joined by a spiral staircase. It was used as a prison during the 18th century, as testified by the fantasies and desires printed on its walls by the prisoners.
The Marquis Palace (Palacio del Marqués) is a two- storey ashlar building surrounded by four cylindrical bastions. There are several rooms surrounding a central courtyard inside the building. Currently it houses the Museum of Contemporary Art “Antonio Manuel Campoy”, one of the best art galleries in Andalusia.
The Tercia House (Casa de la Tercia), with a neoclassical style, was built in the 18th century as a barn and it was also the place where people paid the tithe tax to the Marquis. Nowadays, it houses the Historical Archive, the municipal library, the Archaeological Museum, and the exhibition room Tercia I. Next to this building is Tercia II, a glassed-in hall containing many jars partially buried in the ground as well as the permanent exhibition dedicated to Goya’s etchings (The Goya Hall).
Dona Urraca Castle is perched on the Galician borough of Salvaterra de Miño and it is located in a privileged position, right on the border between Galicia and Portugal separated by the waters of the River Miño.
It is one of the most representative buildings of the whole region and part of the old medieval castle, which sheltered monarchs such as Dona Urraca, the Queen of Galicia in the late 11th and the early 12th centuries.
However, the modern appearance of the castle is the result of a Portuguese occupation in the 17th century, time when it is restructured by the French engineer Carlos Lessar.
This castle, of which today only a small part is preserved, was built in granite seal and ridge vaults made of brick and it is consists of two “L-shaped” plants.
In it, it is remarkable the “dressing room of Dona Urraca”, a small circular room that is in the lower floor, which was part of the only medieval tower that was preserved to date. This space has exceptional acoustics thanks to the thickness of its walls and vaulted shape.
In addition to that, it is also curious its “double-sided spiral staircase”, a unique example that communicates its two vaulted floors, as well as the “well” identified as an access point to a passageway that crossed the River Miño towards Portugal. According to a legend, it was used by Dona Urraca to escape to Portugal secretly.
The Castle, was declared, alongside the Fortress, as Cultural Heritage in 1949. Nowadays, the building houses the Wine Museum, inaugurated on the 25th of February 2019, being considered one of the largest spaces devoted to the dissemination on viticulture and enology in Spain.
Besides, it is one of the most interactive museums of our country. Thus, the museum is packed with panels, videos or games that do not leave people indifferent. Learning and having fun are both possible, at the same time, in the Wine Museum of Salvaterra de Miño.
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