Useful information about the Camino of Saint James Pilgrimage and Santiago de Compostela

Ponferrada Castle

Posted in The Camino Villages.

The Castle of Ponferrada is popularly known as the Templars, because before being constructed as it appears today, the Knights Templar were present at the villa. The short and checkered relationship of the Templars with the town of Ponferrada led to the building of several fortifications and these are now the only vestiges of the original castle of Ponferrada.

The architecture of the present castle was probably begun in 1340, when the Knights Templar had already been dissolved and Pope Alfonso XI donated Ponferrada to Pedro Fernandez de Castro, a member of one of the most powerful families in Galicia. Ponferrada and its castle remained in the hands of the Galician branch of Castro until 1374, when it became a possession of the Royal Family.

Foto  jgaray. El Viejo Anselmo

Foto  jgaray. El Viejo Anselmo

 The castle grounds have a polygonal shape, divided into two distinct parts: the northern part dates from the twelfth century, while the rest was laid out during the fifteenth century, with some additions being made during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In the past there was also a moat, which no longer exists today. The current main entrance has a grand arch of half point and is flanked by two towers. Beyond this arch there is a large courtyard around which rise a group of turrets and towers, highlighting the keep.

The remains of the Templar era may be found within the northern part of this enclosure, comprising part of a courtyard known as the Paseo de Ronda. Here there are the well-preserved remains of several towers and one elliptical tower, where among the few stylistic elements that have been preserved there is a doorway with a pointed arch that opens into one of the towers.

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