Monasterio de Uclés, part II

Ok as usual I do a post on a general basis and then need must come back for more. This is the case of the Monastery of Uclés.  See the update on part I.  I try not to repeat the text but need to provide my new readers with a beginning. The photos are new, not on the first post.

Again in my beloved Spain, and favorite region of Castilla La Mancha, of Don Quijote dreams and stories! One can never have enough here in the my Spain, everything under the Sun! I have written bits on Uclés ,but needs a special attention and this is the follow up. I will tell you a bit more on the Monastery,castle of Uclés in the province of Cuenca.

In our road warriors trips  in Castilla La Mancha region we stopped at a wonderful in country off the beaten path hilly and countryside Monastery of Uclés. This is located on the cutoff almost of the A3 highway to Madrid-Valencia.  We did the trip by car and did it across sunflower fields of dirt/stone terrain to reach it by the south side where it can be seen in its entire splendor.  However, for the less daring….you can come here on the A3 autovia Madrid-Valencia if coming from Madrid exit/salida 90,and from Valencia exit/ salida 91,  You can do so easier by the road from the A40 ( Autovía de Castilla-La Mancha)  exit or salida 244. Follow the first two traffic circles direction Carrascosa del Campo. On the third traffic circle take the first exit towards Uclés, continue for about 12 km, crossing the town of Rozalén del Monte. Once you reach Uclés, take a right road bordering the town (see signs posted) until you see the access road to the monastery.

The webpages were posted in the first post on the Monastery of Uclés but again for the new readers and ease of use I will post them here again.

The official Monastery of Uclés in Spanish: Official Monasterio de Uclés

The tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on the Monastery with text in Spanish: Tourist office of Castilla la Mancha on the monastery

The city of Uclés on the Monastery in Spanish: City of Ucles on the monastery

Further information and history on the Monastery of Uclés, a must to visit!

The convent castle in Uclés has under its foundations a Celtiberian fort on which the Visigoths built a castrum that the Moors rebuilt and that, after the Christian conquest, the Knights of Santiago took advantage of to raise part of their buildings.


The enclosure extended its walls and defenses around a square km of surface, which left the town in darkness an hour before the neighboring towns. The loss of the military character of the Santiago order after the Christian push accelerated the transformation of Uclés into a monastery. Its construction lasted more than two centuries.




To access the complex, the traveler must cross a first basil wall that protected the orchard, watered by the Bedija river, leaving behind a second wall arranged in a rack, to reach the convent itself, built between 1529 and 1735. This Plateresque style construction started in 1529 by Carlos V , succeeds a Herrerian-style church 16C, an extensive parade ground 17C, the north and south wings and the main door, churriguresca style from 1735 built under the reign of king Felipe V.


The tomb of the poet Jorge Manrique and his father Don Rodrigo Manrique, master of Santiago, is located in the church of the Uclés monastery. Inside its walls Santo Domingo de Guzmán, founder of the Dominicans, took the habit.


Across it, there is still the ruins of the Castle for its defense. The conventual Castle of Uclés stands on an elongated hill in the upper part of the town. It has its origin in the Islamic citadel, since it is known that Alfonso VIII gave the Order of Santiago “villa and castle” in 1174, on which they built a fortress in the 15C; it consisted of Patio de Armas, four, drawbridge next to the corresponding warehouses, warehouses and rooms. Most of the building today is under the current monastery built in the 16C. Today , remain standing the Torre Albarrana, Torre Palomar and part of the remains of the canvases that close the castle to the south.

For a few years, the Order of Santiago had a headquarters in San Marcos de León that rivaled that of Uclés, until king Fernando III el Santo joined the two in 1230. Since then, Uclés has been considered the headquarters of this order to which illustrious artists such as Velázquez  and Quevedo belonged. It is a place with a lot of history and past, without a doubt. It is the motherhouse of the Santiago Military Order. On the one hand it is a convent and on the other castle. Built on part of the perimeter of the fortress of which the Torre de la Plata (Silver) and Torre del Homenaje (Homage) towers are preserved, the complex was donated by King Alfonso VIII to the military order to house the hosts that would fight in the Reconquest. This, with the arrival of the first master Don Pedro Fernández, turned it into a monastic fortress.


Inside the Monastery of Ucles ,there are rooms dedicated to the local founding on Roman and pre Romans artifacts and remains of the old Arabic castle as well as the history of the Order of Santiago.


It is a wonderful imposing building you think you are coming to a city in the clouds high on a hill when coming from the sunflower fields awesome. Once there, the work still is impressive with a sober architecture but huge in history. Highly recommended to all.

And now I feel better that i have told you all about the Monastery of Uclés. Remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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