Great Castles of Spain: The 10 Most Famous Castles in Spain
Spain has a fabulous array of castles, palaces and fortresses, from the dusty, dreamy ruins of Moorish creations on hilltops, to the military fortifications of the Christian re-conquerors, to the medieval castles in ancient strongholds, and even the ostentatious paradors in scenic settings with grand views. But with more than 2,500 of them in Spain, one might ask, which are the ones worth seeing? Well, from the tourist's perspective, here the 10 best, most popular and most famous castles of Spain:
Alhambra of Granada
The Alhambra of Granada is a palace-cum-fortress complex, and one of Spain's proverbial "crown jewels" – among the country's foremost attractions, and a huge draw for visitors to Spain.
Castillo de Coca
A 15th-century curiosity and one of Spain's more handsome castles, the Coca is a well-preserved military castle, quite ornate with its frilly towers punctuating the crenellations. The interior of the castle is open to the public for self-guided tours, which is a huge plus for visitors. Castillo de Coca is located about a half-hour's drive from Segovia, offering in it a superb excursion from the city.
Manzanares el Real Castle
La Calahorra Castle
Castillo de Loarre
Alcázar of Segovia
Fabulous "Cinderella castle," with triumphal turrets and a stupendous view of the city of Segovia from its Torre Juan II – Tower of John II – up a flight of 150 stairs! The stone-built Alcázar is actually an Arab fortress, transformed, starting in the 12th century, into one of Spain's most distinctive castle-palaces. It was also the setting for King Felipe II and Queen Anne's wedding, and one of the inspirations for Walt Disney's fairytale castle. The interior of the castle is open to public tours.
Castillo de Gormaz
Castillo de La Mota
La Mota is a lovely, 11th-century Gothic manifestation – a reconstructed medieval castle – that has, in turns, been a residence of Spanish royalty, a prison, and lately a cultural venue for art exhibitions and special events. Architecturally, it's a red-brick structure with a trapezoidal plan, bolstered by four towers and a large outer barbican. What's more, it's located in the vicinity of the Ribera del Duer and Rueda wine regions, offering visitors an added bonus. Views from its hilltop perch are fabulous.
Location: Medina del Campo (Province of Valladolid)
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