Have you ever visited a small European town and felt like you never wanted to leave? This is exactly how I felt when I visited the city of Peñafiel, Spain. The town is a quick two hour drive north of Madrid. I had read about the castle in a college course many years ago and I just had to see it with my own eyes. I could not believe my luck. There were no tourist. I had the castle and town to myself. I was so excited to see the castle and the small Spanish town that I had dreamed about for so many years. I suggest you visit in early or mid November and stay at the Hotel Convento Santa Clara. Here is the link to their website http://www.hotelconventosantaclara.com
The hotle staff are amazing. They made my stay enjoyable and memorable. There is also a hotel bar where many of the locals visit during the day. It’s a good place to be to meet new friends and learn more about the city.
The castle is situated on a high hill that over looks the valleys of Duraton and Botijas. The castle was built in the 10th century and is very well preserved. However an older fortification once stood here. The area was a strategic point for both Christians and Moors due to the river Duero. According to legend, the fortification was taken by the Christian leader Count Sancho Garcia (who was mentioned in my previous post). Legend also states that he stuck his sword into the ground and said, “Esta será la Penafile de Castilla.” (This will be Castile’s Faithful Rock). Through the centuries the castle expanded and the current look of the castle is due to Don Juan Manuel who was the riches Lord in Castile.
Visiting this town and castle is a must see if you’re visiting Spain.
Location & website information: Calle del Castillo/47300 Penafiel (Vallodolid)
What was shocking to me was that buried inside the hill of the castle is Bodegas Protos (Protos Winery). Of course I had to take the wine tour and taste some of their amazing wines. You can visit their website at: http://www.bodegasprotos.com/en/
The castle is closed every Monday and on January 1st, 6th, December 24th, 25th, and 31st.
If you have visited Penafiel, Spain let me know what you thought of your visit. Do you have any other suggestions? Of course if you have not visited Penafiel leave a comment or question. I would like to hear from you.
© 2013 Samuel J. Garza