I never made the link between Spain and Castles. Call me naive but I didn’t. Upon my first Spanish train ride from Barcelona to Valencia my head was glued to the window; Spanish castles repeatedly whooshed by and not the crappy revamped, modernised kind but the real decrepit, crumbling kind. Ever since I stood face to face with my families castle, which stood is ruins on the frozen shores of the Scottish coastline, I have been a sucker for them. So inevitably, whilst living in the land of castles, a couple of road trips in central Spain to find em’ was a given.
So here we are, back in the Silver Seducer heading down the A31 hunting for Spanish castles from the road. Within minutes we are hanging out of the car window pointing towards our first castle… within the hour we merely nod our heads in the direction of yet “another one.”
Each castle bares it’s own personality be it’s position in the town, it’s size or it’s architecture. Sax for instance is rather mesmerising. Perched on the top of a rocky pillar, it’s snaking walls are slightly crumbling yet it’s two turrets stand steadfast and unwavering. Chinchilla castle in comparison is very different. Built high above the town on the edge of a craggy ridge it’s large citadel walls are surrounded by a deep moat. A Stone garrison which once protected the castle is now charmingly dilapidated.
Too endearing not to turn off and take a closer look, you’re immediately sucked into their own unique history. One castle we visited called Villena, was built in the 11th century by the Moors. As you wander under the arch and through the two defensive walls you can still see crenels and arrow loops along the battlements which have passed through the hands of numerous invaders. Others Spanish castles, nearly crumbling, clinging to the cliffs edge allow you to enter without a key to explore the inner furnishings.
My feet are crossed on the dashboard, my seat is leant back catching the breeze from my open window and i’m now just watching the world fly by; Golden plains stretch off into the distance beneath the blue expansive sky; bold ridges protrude from the desert scape and emptiness in between everything else. My head slips away to somewhere else. We could have continued on the A31 for miles and found half a dozen more castles but i’m on the limit of concentration from this history lesson today. One thing is for certain though, you don’t have to try hard to find a castle in Spain, they will easily find you.