Manzanares el Real Castillo

A magnificent castle, long abandoned, built after the Reconquest of Spain.

In the sunny foothills of the Pedriza National Park stands a magnificent castle that has not lost its pomp or its vegetables despite the ravages of time.

This five-hundred-year-old castle was built in the years that followed the end of the bloody wars of the Reconquista, when the honest Christian monarchs of Spain defeated and expelled the Islamic Caliphate Empire of Al Andalus from the Iberian Peninsula in the Age Half.

However, the end of the wars did not ensure a cessation of violence, and the factions of the Christian Knights began to turn against each other in brutal Machiavellian struggles for power and land rights in newly claimed territories. The alliances are fragile and change constantly; Trust is illusory and violence is often guaranteed.

It was in this climate in 1475 that Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, Admiral of Castile and one of the most powerful men in Spain at the time, began to build the castle on the hills above the Manzanares River. The defense in case of attack certainly stood out among its motivations, but it was undoubtedly also built to show the power and wealth of the Mendoza family. However, the Admiral never went to see the completion of his castle during his life. The Castle of Manzanares el Real, also called Castillo de los Mendoza, was finally completed long after his death by his eldest son, Íñigo ceremonial de Mendoza.

The original intention behind the castle as a lasting monument to the power of the Mendoza family was also doomed to failure. In 1566, after the death of Inigo, the Mendoza family suffered a series of misfortunes caused by economic problems and disputes over the inheritance that led to the abandonment of the castle.

In the 20th century, after many years of neglect, the castle was finally in a small museum. Today visitors can walk through its rooms and gardens and discover the history within its walls or admire the views of the castle towers.

Know Before You Go
To get to the castle from Madrid, take a bus from Plaza Castillo. The town of Manzanares el Real will take approximately 45 minutes. Remember to check and check the schedules of the buses that go to and from the city. It is recommended to pay special attention to any seasonal change that may affect times and routes.