The 13th century Peñarroya Castle, located near Argamasilla de Alba, is a medieval fortress which belonged to the Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
This is one of the fortresses that still remain in the territory, that the Hospitaller Knights owned in La Mancha, called Campo de San Juan. It is located 12 km from Argamasilla de Alba, towards Las Lagunas, constituting the entrance to the Natural Park. The castle was conquered in 1198 by the orders of Santiago and San Juan, and definitely assigned to the latter in 1215.
In the fourteenth century and from the economic point of view, Peñarroya was undoubtedly the most important assignment of the Order of San Juan.
It was a fortress to ensure the economic use of the land, pastoral leases, taxation and the protection of peaceful settlers. Furthermore it was used to store the Order's possessions and assets.
Located strategically on a cliff, where the Peñarroya reservoir dam was built, the castle preserves:
Outside: Medieval road access, shrine and moat. Necropolis of Islamic rite.
Inside: main medieval walls, donjon, decadent Baroque 17th century chapel with paintings on both sides of the main altar, the churri-gueresco altarpiece, the chapel of the virgin, the choir and an extraordinary 17th century carving that originally was located in the convent of the Mercedarios of Argamasilla de Alba; bailey, 12th century chapel and medieval cistern.
Besides the Castle it's well worth visiting the nearby Ruidera Lakes Nature Reserve and the Montesinos cave where Cervantes was imprisoned and supposedly wrote Don Quixote.
Enjoy the sunset after having visited the lakes and the castle.
To eat we recommend Restaurant Albamanjón.