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