Route of the Castles
We embark on a route that will take you on a journey through time to the Middle Ages, a period of great splendor for castles.
During the medieval era, these fortifications not only served military purposes, but also served as residences for nobility or even kings. However, with the decline of feudalism in the late 16th century, they began to be abandoned and replaced by palatial mansions in court, becoming obsolete in their military function and losing interest.
Our Castle Route, declared Cultural Heritage or Monuments in some cases, was part of the frontier axis of the Duero River between the Christian and Muslim kingdoms during the Reconquista.
The strategic location of the Castle of San Esteban de Gormaz, on the top of a hill, allowed for control of the passage over the bridge that crossed the Duero River. Despite its ruined state, the Castle of San Esteban de Gormaz remains of significant importance, with a part of its walls, other remains of walls, and a cistern still preserved.
Continuing with the Castle of Peñaranda de Duero, a robust and sober fortress that features a striking "keep" (tower of homage) due to its size and good state of preservation. Inside this tower, there is an Interpretation Center for Castles.
The town of Peñafiel can be seen from a distance thanks to the presence of its imposing and majestic Castle, which has been the seat of the Provincial Wine Museum of Valladolid since 1999 and is one of the main symbols of wine tourism in the Ribera del Duero Wine Route. Its unique architecture adapts to the configuration of the Peñafiel hill, extending over more than 210 meters in length and 33 meters in width, giving it the appearance of a giant ship, known as "El Buque de Castilla" (The Ship of Castile).
It is said that the Castle of Curiel de Duero is the oldest in Valladolid and also the highest inhabited point in this province. It was owned by seven Castilian kings, and among its anecdotes, it is said that Diego de Castilla y Sandoval was imprisoned in the fortress for 54 years.
The Castle of Langa de Duero was built in the 14th or 15th century. Legend has it that the Duke of Medina-Sidonia, stepbrother of Queen Leonor of Castile, was imprisoned in its tower, but managed to escape with the help of a rope provided by the local villagers. It is known by its inhabitants as "Cubo" (Cube), and the Catholic Monarchs themselves stayed in this castle in 1506. The only part of the castle that remains intact is its tower, which has been restored and opened to the public.
The municipality of Haza is one of the prime "balconies" of the Ribera del Duero, with extraordinary views of the Riaza River valley. Only the keep of its 10th-century castle barely survives, along with a huge well.
The Castle of Castillejo de Robledo was built by the Knights Templar in the 12th century on top of an earlier Muslim fortification, and its condition is almost in ruins.
Finally, we conclude our tour with the Tower of Guzmán in Caleruega, a rectangular tower with four floors, 17 meters in height, and an imposing appearance reinforced with walls two meters thick, dating back to the 10th century.
You can find all the information about these fortresses and riverside castles HERE.