Ponferrada Castle (Spain)
Castile and León See list of castles in Spagna
The castle is located next to a vertical slope on the river Sil, which serves as a natural defense, and circumvented by a moat, in the part facing the villa.
To enter the castle we must cross the moat by means of a fixed bridge of stone, which replaces the old drawbridge, and pass through the entrance door of half a point, and defended by two cylindrical turrets on the sides with battlements topped with copings.
Its large polygonal enclosure (of more than 8,000 square meters) has double and triple defenses forming barbacans, towers, rooms and a large patio.
Around the courtyard we can see the so-called Palacio or Casa Grande, where the outbuildings, cellar, weapons room, courtyards, halls, stables and gazebos were built.
In the background, the old castle with Gothic door, and next to the towers of Homage, Old Homage and Catholic Kings.
The castle has gone through several constructive stages. Today we find a beautiful fortress to which each one of its occupants has enlarged or modified some of it with the aim of adapting it to their particular needs, the tastes of the time or the constructive techniques of the moment.
The fence of the first town of Ponferrada was built when in 1196 Alfonso VIII of Castile attacked the Bierzo. Alfonso IX of Leon, then forced to strengthen his positions in the area, and for that reason he initiates the "puebla" of the town.
In 1211 Alfonso IX leaving behind his enmities with the Order of the Temple, he gives them the town of Ponferrada as aid and defense of the Way of Santiago. In 1226 the Templars had already fortified the village.
The Castle is usually attributed to the Templars, since they were in Ponferrada until 1312.
Once the Order of the Temple is dissolved, its master will deliver the fort and villa to King Ferdinand IV, who will donate it to his butler, Pedro Fernandez de Castro, who began to build the Castillo Viejo located in a corner of the enclosure, and Which features characteristics of the fourteenth century.
Another descendant of the Osorio-Castro family, Pedro Álvarez Osorio, initiates the great reforms in the same by defensive necessities (towers of Monclín, Cabrera, Malpica, the drawbridge, the palaciega zone, etc.) until making the castle in the Age Media, one of the largest fortresses in the Northwest of Spain.
Throughout history, new additions, reforms and repairs have been made, such as stables in 1848 or recently made to restore and enhance its beauty.