Outside the Castle of the Knights Templar

The Castle of the Knights Templar (Castillo de los Templarios) is number one on the sightseeing list for tourists who come to Ponferrada. We explored the castle’s exterior on day # 2 of our three-day stay in Ponferrada this last May and came back on day # 3 to tour the interior of the castle.

Castillo de los Templarios. The Knights Templar began building their castle in the 12th century and the walls have been restored many times in the last 800 years. That roof on the tower didn’t exist 20 years ago.

Click on any photo to see a larger version of that photo.

The first two photos in this posting were taken on a cloudy Thursday morning on our second trip to the Castle. All of the other photos were taken on a sunny Wednesday afternoon without a cloud in the sky.

Looking down Calle Gil y Carrasco with the Castle on the right and several cafes and hostels on the left. The tables and chairs you see in the left foreground belong to the Cafe Torreón where we paused for a beverage and tapas and then resumed our walk.

We paused at one of the cafes on Calle Gil y Carrasco for drinks and tapas and gazed at the Castle and at the pilgrims walking up the hill. Oh, look, here comes one now!

A perigrina on the Camino walks up Calle Gil y Carrasco past the Castle.

After our snack we walked to the Castle entrance and discovered that they close from 2:00 to 4:30pm every afternoon. So we decided to spend some time viewing the exterior of the Castle today and then come back tomorrow to see its interior.

The moat that surrounded the Castle is now just rocks and the bridge leading to the main entrance has to be reinforced to stay standing.

Another view of the entrance to the Castle.

The ramp that leads to the castle’s drawbridge starts just across Calle Gil y Carrasco from San Andreas church.

View of Iglesias de San Andreas from the entrance ramp to the castle.  There has been a church on this corner since the 11th century. The present church was reconstructed in the 17th century.

Pilgrims on their way to Santiago on the Camino Frances walk down Avenida Castillo (on the right in the photo above) and turn right at the church and proceed up Calle Gil y Carrasco to the Plaza Virgen de la Encina and its basilica.

A close-up of some of the turrets at the castle’s entrance.

View of modern Ponferrada across the Rio Sil from the Castle. We walked down Avenida de Castillo  as far as the fountain in the distance and no, we didn’t stop at the McDonald’s (click on the photo above to be able to read the sign above the cars in the foreground).

Those cars in the foreground of the picture above may only be a minute away but it took us three or four minutes to reach the fountain and we did not pass any McDonald’s. In fact we bypassed all the McDonald’s we saw in León, Ponferrada, Santiago and Porto. Only during a layover at the Madrid airport on the way home did we succumb to the calling of the golden arches when each of us ordered some McGriddles for breakfast.

Another view of the Castle’s entrance.

Still another view.

One more view of the Castle as we walk down the hill to the Rio Sil.

A plant market near the banks of the Rio Sil.

It was market day in Ponferrada. We checked out the plant market east of the Avenida Castillo bridge before walking to the clothes market west of the bridge (and across the river from the Castle).

Fountain in the middle of Plaza Luis del Olmo (named after a famous radio announcer whose hometown was Ponferrada) across the Rio Sil from the Castle.

We walked as far as the fountain on Plaza Luis del Olmo (really just a huge roundabout) and made our way to the riverside so that my wife could do some shopping at the flea market and I could take my photo of the dark castle on the hill (see here) which was my entry for this week’s Monochrome Madness Challenge.

We then turned around and walked back to our hotel, shopping and browsing along the way. But we returned to the castle the next morning to tour inside and that will be the subject for my next posting.

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About crowcanyonjournal

I am a family man with interests in family history, photography, history and travel.
This entry was posted in Architecture, Spain, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Outside the Castle of the Knights Templar

  1. disperser says:

    Impressive structure, the full-size photos even more so.

  2. GP Cox says:

    Such mystery and wonder still surround their history.

  3. great shots Crow. I’ve always loved the history of the Knights Templar!

  4. Amy says:

    Fantastic shots of the castle!

  5. Peter Klopp says:

    Fascinating images! I really enjoy your traveling posts, which give me a chance to view distant places and visit them vicariously.

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