Penafiel's castle resembles a large ship and it has sucha shape to accomodate the narrow ridge on which it stands (210 m in lengths and 20 m across).
Although it is only in spanish, the guided tour could be very interesting (it costs 2.5 euros) and it takes only about an hour (if it' more sorry! Anyway if it seems so few to me it means it was very interesting).
Inside the castel you can also visit the wine museum.
There's a webcam placed on the castle's walls, and I found a funny website where you can drive it to have a look over the village of Penafiel. Move it, zoom it and have fun!
It is impossible to miss the castle. Actually, the first thing you see when approaching the town is the hill with the impressive castle on the top.
This castle was built in two steps. There is a platform from an ancient castle of XI century, and over it, the new castle, built in the XV century by Pedro Girón, Master of the Order of Calatrava. It lodges today the Museum of Wine.
The castle is famous too because it was the place where the Prince Don Juan Manuel (one of the top figures of medieval Spanish literature) wrote his books.
Just the guide visit to the Museum is 2 Euros per person
If you want to visit also the Wine Museum is 5 Euros per person
If you want the Wine tasting is 7 Euros apart of the previous ones. (On weekends)
If you are less than 12 years old is free if visiting with adults.
Mondays is closed unless is Bank Holiday and it is open from 11.30 till 14.30 and open again at 16.30 till 19.30 (an hour later on weekends)
The best views of the landscape, city and castle are from this tower. It is only 66 stairs up, but if you decide not to go up you can do it.
From here you can see properly the ship shape of the castle and why this castle was so difficult to loose
They were hollow and the only way to get inside was with a cord from a little hole on the top of the tower, this was the only exit and entrance.
Not a good place to finish your days ;-) That Middle times were not too safe LOL
The north part of the castle had the storage rooms and a water storage at the end. The other part, now being on use with the Wine museum was where the horses and soldiers lived. In the middle was the Tower or Torre del Homenaje
The length of the castle is of 210 meters and 33 meter wide.
This convent church was originally a fortress that after was converted into convent, that’s why you can see different styles into the structure, this is the Mudejar – Gothic part of conversion.
Some villages of Castilla used the main square as bullring or maybe used the bullring for square? Not sure LOL.
Here you can see an example of them. There is only one entrance and little ones for the houses protected by irons so the people can protect themselves in the “encierros” as the bulls can not get inside the houses.
This tradition comes from the Middle times.
Have a look to the balconies as we will talk later about them at local customs.
It is the best preserve (apart of the reconstructed) fortress from the Reconquista. It was declared national Monument in 1917
It has been considered as one of the most beautiful fortress of the Medieval times, compared with a big ship.
Want to learn how to taste and difference a wine? Here you have your opportunity for 7 Euros they will show you how to taste and the differences of 4 wines of the regions, we did not try as (well I know a little about the wines around LOL) but I founded as a good opportunity for a day trip.
The Wine Museum on the north side shows and covers all the information about wine, since the grape (kinds of vineyards, grapes, parts of them etc…) till the wine is bottled and the differences. Quite interesting for wine lovers
Peñafiel is in the center of the wine-producing area of "Ribera del Duero". Many of its caves and wineries are visitable by the public. The photography is from Vega Sicilia wineyard (considered to be among the top ten wines of the world)
The Main Square of the town (known as "Plaza del Coso") is also the place for the traditional running of the bulls of the city.
During the festival (3rd week of August) a wooden circumference is placed in the square (see image), and two bulls are left: one inside the circle and another one outside. People can excape from the bulls jumping the wall.
Another medieval custom is the so-called "derecho de vistas" (lit. "right to view"): in the houses of the square, one person is the owner of the house, except for the right of using the balconies during the festivals to see the runnign of the bulls, which belongs to a different person, since centuries ago. The right of some houses belong today to the town council, who rent them every year in a public auction. This act is the one who marks the beginning of the festival
Near Peñafiel are placed the ruins of perhaps the main pre-Roman (Celtic) city of the region. The town has a museum explaining the life, art, customs ... of these people.
I was really impressed to see so many storks aroun on the top of the towers. Perhaps it's that I am not used to see those birds but I liked them very much!