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Camino de Santiago

Castillo de los Templarios, Ponferrada: Camino de Santiago

Welcome to the medieval city of Ponferrada, home to the Castillo de los Templarios, or Knights Templar Castle.

Camino de Santiago and the knights templar

Recently reopened for tourists and made into a national monument, the Castillo de los Templarios marks an important time in history. Officially endorsed in 1129 by the Catholic Church, the Order of the Knights Templar grew in membership and power. They were among the most skilled fighting units in the Crusades. By decree of King Fernando II in 1178, Ponferrada came under the protectorate of the Templar Order, however the power of the Knights Templar, coupled with their esoteric traditions, caused them to be outlawed only 134 years later, in 1312.

Camino de Santiago

The castle of the Templar knights of Ponferrada is a stunning building.

It was originally a hill-fort and later a Roman citadel. At the beginning of the 12th century, the Templar knights took possession of the fortress and reinforced and extended it to use it as an inhabitable palace and for protection, on the route of the pilgrims on the way to Santiago de Compostela. The building has an irregular square plan and the outstanding features are, above all, the entrance which involves crossing the moat on a drawbridge and, further on, two large towers with crenellations joined by an arch. Its twelve original towers reproduced the shapes of the constellations. For more information, please see Spain Info, including hours of operation.

history along the Camino de Santiago

If you have time, it is worth stopping to explore the ancient Templar Knights Castle. We got there too late in the day to fully appreciate the work that has been put into the castle, however if you have the time, an audio guide is available to you which will give more detailed information. I only had time to quickly run through the museum before climbing the walls to the top – the views are outstanding – no wonder it made for such a fortress – there would be no surprise attacks here!

Templar Castle in Ponferrada, Celtic heritage

The evening I was in town, as with so many nights along the Camino de Santiago, a group of us gathered after the days walk. What made Ponferrada so special was a special serenade by one of my newly found friends … bagpipes in front of the ancient walls of the Castillo de los Templarios.


About Anita Mac

The bucket list just keeps growing! The more I cross off - the more exciting new destinations and activities I find! I have been fortunate enough to travel a considerable distance over the years. My love of many things, including travel, cycling, kayaking and photography fit together like hand and glove. I have to keep asking myself....where to next? I am happy to share my travels and photography through my blogs: http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com and http://anitamacphotos.wordpress.com Hope you enjoy them as much as I do! On to the next adventure!


7 thoughts on “Castillo de los Templarios, Ponferrada: Camino de Santiago

  1. Oh…I see bikes 😀

    The DC…er…Stephen 😉 😛

    Posted by Steve | October 24, 2012, 12:49 pm
  2. What a Great Castle to Explore – thanks for sharing – great pics! Happy Hump Day:)

    Posted by cravesadventure | October 24, 2012, 1:45 pm
  3. It was pretty cool. The views were stunning. Well worth the effort.

    Posted by Anita Mac | October 24, 2012, 7:47 pm
  4. Reblogged this on crisp clean clear and commented:
    how fabulous. spain and the knights templar castle. i must go there.

    Posted by dfmw | October 24, 2012, 10:14 pm
    • I have to agree – it was pretty fabulous! The castle was pretty cool. So much history and a little mystery….I do wish I had had enough time to use the audio tour as I am sure there was so much more to the Castle than what meets the eye!

      Posted by Anita Mac | October 25, 2012, 4:58 am

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