Again, Belmonte Castle !!!

I am coming back at you with Castilla La Mancha, just a lovely region of my dear Spain.  This is a new post with older pictures. I finally came with the family and nice memories of my dear late wife Martine, the rest is history. All my family love it and we return couple times more. Let me tell you again about the  Belmonte castle !!! Hope you enjoy it as I

This is the Castle or Castillo de Belmonte! It is in the town of Belmonte, Province of Cuenca, autonomous community of Castilla La Mancha, Kingdom of Spain.  We came here by car straight from Cuenca on the road N 420. It is one of the best castles combining the history of my beloved France and Spain ! Plenty of free parking at the Castle grounds.

It was built by 1468 on orders of Don Juan Pacheco, first Marquis of Villena who was involved in many conflicts in the war of succession in Spain. The castle went thru periods of abandoned for several centuries and it was finally, Eugenia de Guzman, heir to the house of Villena and better known as the Imperatrice of the French Eugenia de  Montijo (wife of Napoleon III) who ordered the renovation which began in 1857 !

These works lasted from 1857 to 1870 ,and were ended due to the defeat of the French Second Empire (Napoléon III) , From 1881 to 1885 the castle is occupied by French dominican brothers that used it as a monastery; after their departure the nephew-grandson of the Imperatrice Eugénie ,the Duke of  Peñaranda, Hernando Fitz-James Stuart y Falcó, continue with the restorations and even came to live in it.  Currently it is the property of the Ducal House of Peñaranda descendants of the Duchess of Alba, María Francisca de Sales Portocarrero, sister of Eugenia de Guzmán, aka Eugenia de Montijo.

The Salon de Gobierno or Government Hall deserves special mention, which represents the true solemn and stately framework of noble power; It has a rectangular shape with a surface area of around 150 m2, covered by a structure built with pine wood using the pair and knuckle technique. In the same way, the exuberance and ornamental richness appear in some pieces and elements of its interior architecture, such as fireplace fronts or the sills of some windows.


In the rooms of the west gallery is where the representative and official rooms are located, with which the power and authority of the Marquisate of Villena was shown, such as the Government and Ambassadors rooms. It is in the north wing of this floor, separated from the rest of the castle dependencies, where the private rooms or apartments of the marquises are located. These rooms on the main floor are decorated in the 19C style.


The parade ground offers a great contrast between the original constructions, made with stone masonry such as the keep and the 15C walls, with the two wings or residential galleries that at their junction form an acute angle that were built during the third quarter of the 19C commissioned by Eugenio de Montijo, whose neo-Gothic-Mudejar facades show us a reddish color due to the type of material used, brick.


The Armory of the Castle in a room of the tower of Homage with armor of the time and replicas that are used for scheduled events in the castle.



In the patio, in front of the vertex of the angle that forms the union of the two residential wings, is the Cistern or water well excavated in rock, with more than 40 meters deep.

belmonte castle patio well aug16

One of the historical figures who inhabited the Belmonte Castle for some time was Doña Juana, known as Beltraneja,and ,also, la loca or crazy ; daughter of Enrique IV. She was the protagonist of the political confrontations that Castile suffered in the 15C and that ended with the enthronement of Queen Isabella I called the Catholic. One of the doors of the castle has her name, because according to the legend she fled from the castle for her to avoid certain death by her former allies. The story goes that when the cause of Juana la Beltraneja was considered lost, and given the attitude of the Marqués de Villena to change sides, Juana saw her safety endangered and climbed down through one of the windows of the palace chapel, fleeing down the street. door that today receives her name.

As an anecdote, several movies have been done here such as El Cid by Anthony Mann, 1961 appearing Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren !!! ,and Juana la Loca,(Beltraneja) by Vicente Aranda, 2001. Amongst my favorites.

The official Belmonte castle :

The city of Belmonte on its heritage go to tab « historia » and a pdf file will open up with lots of info in Spanish:

The Castilla La Mancha regional tourist office on the castle of Belmonte :

There you go folks, a dandy and a must to visit me think, We drove a bit on the town, very old and quant and of course, can’t forget the windmills it reminds me of Don Quijote !!! As well as the history of two countries dear to me. Again, hope you enjoy this Belmonte castle post as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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2 Comments to “Again, Belmonte Castle !!!”

  1. When I stayed in Belmonte the castle was closed for restoration (2009). Such a shame.

    Liked by 1 person

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