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Friday, December 11, 2015

Castillo de Almodovar del Rio

Photo taken from HERE.

Smelly Boy sniffed at the Alhambra and would not go there. In contrast, he could not wait to go to this castle. This castle fired his boyish imagination. The Husband and Smelly Boy both had a great time exploring this castle. 

I suppose it is just that sort of castle that boys and men like. It sits like a brooding giant high atop a hill and surveys its domain like a boss.

It was in ruins until Rafael Desmassieres y Farina, 12th Count of Toralva spared no expense in its restoration. It stands now as an imposing structure at the top of a hill, overlooking the small village of Almodovar. Someone actually lives there, I think. From the top of the castle keep (the highest point of the castle), looking down, we saw a section of the castle cordoned off and made comfortable for living in.

The castle itself was impregnable. It had never been taken by force. Each time, it was surrendered willingly to the invaders. The dungeons are said to have housed Juan Ponce de Léon, who appears in the Pirates of the Caribbean, On Stranger Tides, as a skeleton on an abandoned ship. History documents that Juan Ponce de Léon was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who founded Puerto Rico and gave Florida its name. Juan Ponce de Léon is often associated with the legendary Fountain of Youth, which is supposedly, in Florida.

This Ponce de Léon business tickled The Husband greatly. He kept talking about it.

The castle dungeon has an oubliette. The word "oublier" means "to forget". It is a hole in the floor through which people threw prisoners and then forgot about them. Presumably, the prisoners died in there. The Castillo de Almodovar del Rio's oubliette had skeletons in it!

Skeletons inside the oubliette.

The rectangular hole in the floor is the "oubliette".

Spectacular views of the plains.

Castle courtyard.

Please don't ask me why the sword Excalibur (from English mythology) is in a Spanish Castle.

Exhibit 1 from the sword display.

Exhibit 2 from the sword display.

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