The Castillo de la Mota also fits perfectly in any getaway that you think about the province, which offers a perfect mix between culture, wine and heritage, whether on a winery route in Valladolid or a route through its most beautiful villages.
Exterior (and history) of La Mota Castle in Medina del Campo
We usually say that "you don't have to go to the other end of the world to enjoy wonderful places." We come these days telling our journey through the Loire Castles (beautiful route, everything must be said) sometimes leaving aside the same strengths that tell our own story. The Castle of La Mota emerges in a stop on the Castilian plateau in a settlement that already housed events in the Iron Age of Prehistory and that made it famous in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
A little history of La Mota Castle
An elevation on a plateau is called a speck, a place always viewed from the strategic point of view as privileged in defensive functions. That's why we have to go back to the Iron Age to talk about the first settlement that would occupy the entire surface of this hill. Houses, a W-shaped moat (of which there are still remains) and other constructions would later be abandoned to their fate for centuries to come until the arrival of the 11th century, already in the time of the Reconquest, they saw again in this location an opportunity to build different walled enclosures and build a citadel from which the remains of the 12th-century wall are also preserved. It is at that historical moment when the current villa of Medina del Campo, an extension to the plain when the so-called Mota de Medina was too small (Photo source: Joaquín Díaz Foundation)
King Juan II of Castile, his son Enrique IV and the Catholic Monarchs were successively transforming the already Castillo de La Mota that would pass from hand to hand with successive extensions (they became the most advanced artillery fortress in Europe), battles and functions , from the purely defensive to becoming a prison of illustrious characters such as Hernando Pizarro or César Borgia, through the archiving of crown documents (Source: work by Eduardo Rosales Gallinas)
Those in love with the routes following the footsteps of historical figures will find in the Castle of La Mota the place where Isabel the Catholic would spend in this place her last days before passing away in 1504 in the Royal Testamentary Palace of Medina del Campo. She also served to detain Doña Juana de Castilla, better known as Juana La Loca, after the departure of her husband Felipe "el Hermoso" to Flanders.
Mudejar style exterior of La Mota Castle (with night photos!)
One arrives at the Castle of La Mota having read enough and, even so, the first thing that is found is this picture.
The outer enclosure is simply spectacular! A barbican built in concrete and brick, defensive material widely used for its good absorption against the impacts of projectiles or from catapults, surrounds the interior enclosure after crossing a pit by a drawbridge. 2 cylindrical towers stand out highlighting their containment function.
That type of pink brick clad walls have a clear Mudejar style, that architecture of great identity wealth and the most representative of Spain in the medieval era born of the Romanesque and its fusion with the legacy of Muslim elements.
Its exteriors have a perfectly marked path surrounding the pit that gives an idea of how majestic this fortress was
Of course, the castle is rebuilt and in a very good state of repair and if you come without a concerted visit you can still access the patio of arms, chapel and room of Juan de la Cosa.
Inside guided tour of La Mota Castle, our experience
It is important to know that there are 3 ways to get to know La Mota Castle (you can see more detailed information in its official Web):
- FREE VISIT: The first is to come without an appointment and to be able to access the exterior and patio, chapel and previous room free of charge at authorized times.
- GUIDED VISIT WITHOUT TOWER: The second is, for just 4 EUR, request a guided tour that includes the archaeological site of the Iron Age, the Repopulation wall, the liza and the underground shooting gallery, as well as an explanation of what can be seen from free form. Between 1h-1h30 duration
- GUIDED VISIT WITH TOWER: Finally, for 6 EUR, you can do the above and add access to the first floor where the stairs of honor, the hall of honor, the queen's comb, the interior rooms of the tower (archive and prison) and the views are located from the Mirador del Caballero. Around 2h duration.
Within the wine routes through the D.O Cigales, Rueda and Ribera del Duero, the May 26, 2018 There will be a bus departure from Madrid that includes La Mota Castle. The program is:
8:00 Departure from Madrid
11:00 Visit La Mota Castle in Medina del Campo
13:00 Visit and tasting Bodega Ten Centuries of Verdejo in Serrada
17:00 Visit and tasting at Emina-Rueda Wineries
19:30-22:00 I return to Madrid
We have made the guided tour with tower already dusk (because it is winter and it does so much earlier) to develop this article. Highlight that they also exist theatrical visits about 45 min. Whatever you do, you will realize that, next to Coca's, you are before one of the best (and best preserved) fortresses of its time in Europe
It is at the moment that you cross the drawbridge over the moat, now fixed, when you begin that "time travel" to medieval times. A gothic cover copy of the Palace of La Latina in Madrid with the Ramirez and Galindos shields and a rectangular plan welcomes us
The Tower of Homage, one of the highest of the time with its 38 meters, looks splendid from this point
Juan de la Cosa Room
It is accessed through the previous Gothic facade and its name is due to the copy of the naval letter made by it in the year 1500. It also has an impressive wood carving from Haiti
It is one of the most beautiful dependencies of the castle, of Christian symbolism although quite sober
It is dedicated to Santa María del Castillo and is of the Romanesque-Mudejar type
Archaeological site of the Iron Age, the liza and underground shooting gallery
The best explanation of the construction characteristics of the castle is a tour of the Iron Age site below the visitor's reception center to later visit the underground galleries
It is a flamboyant Gothic style staircase that gives access to the noble floor that seems to be also a copy of the Hospital de la Latina.
The Hall of Honor
It is one of the most impressive with a flamenco triptych of great importance
Gives access to one of the rectangular towers
The Queen's comb and other rooms
The visit to the Tower of Tribute crosses the Hall of Honor, other halls and a small room 7 meters long and 2 wide.
It is said that Juana la Loca spent long hours waiting for her husband's return and hence the name of the "lookout or comb of the Queen".
Tower of Homage and the Mirador del Caballero
It is the star visit of the Castle of La Mota and consists of 5 square floors that are distributed in its 38 meters high and 13 meters wide, although the first three are reconstructions being the two upper floors of the tower and the so-called Mirador del Caballero the more interesting
Although it already took us at night (and perhaps we do not enjoy the best panoramic view), they say that from this point there are unparalleled views.
More information of interest to complete your visit
How to get to La Mota Castle?
It can be reached easily from the A-6 highway, leaving by KM 157 Olmedo Medina del Campo and thus continue on the Cl-602 until the junction with Duque de Ahumada street where we have to turn left and reach the the end of the street. There we will turn left again to see the Avenida del Castillo that will bring us closer to your parking lot.
There is a parking lot enabled to leave the car so we should not have problems
What times and prices does Castillo de La Mota have?
Depending on how you plan to visit it, you will have different schedules and prices. These are the options:1 La Mota Castle remains open for visit for FREE (Remember that only outside and patio, Juan de La Cosa chapel and room) at the following times: Monday to Saturday from 11:00 a.m. at 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. at 7:00 p.m. (in winter only until 18.00). On Sundays and holidays from 11:00 a.m. at 2:00 p.m.2 If you want to make a GUIDED VISIT to the interiors with or without tower (6 EUR / 4 EUR) you should contact them in the Telephone 983810063/983812724 or by email atemail protectedand make a previous reservation with the following times: Tuesday to Saturday at 11:00 a.m., 12:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. (in winter time the last one will be at 5:00 pm). Sundays and holidays at 11:00 a.m., 12:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
However, check on its official website the schedules of the Castle of La Mota as well as the possible theatrical visits available
If I don't have transportation to get from Valladolid, is there any excursion available? What else can be done in the area?
In principle no, but you always have the option of rent a car and take the opportunity to make a beautiful "Wine cellars route in Valladolid (with tasting or eating)" around the Rueda area and / or know the main attractions what to see in Valladolid in 1 day, especially make a good route "of tapas in Valladolid"(best impossible place)
Where to eat near here?
Some of the most recommended options that you should evaluate if you want to eat in the area are:
Monaco 1962, a classic in the Plaza Mayor of Medina del Campo with menus with a lot of variety and very affordable and ideal for children
Campo Eliseo Winery, an 18th-century manor house 15 minutes away in La Seca where, in addition to enjoying a unique experience, you can enjoy an informal snack, a traditional menu or Castilian lamb menu. You need an appointment
Steakhouse The Knight of Olmedo, 20 minutes in Olmedo, our option for dinner. It is located in the old Convent of San Francisco hosted by the Wall of the Villa and has its own cellar.
If your option is to return to Valladolid capital, do not forget to read our tapas route through Valladolid Because the options are endless.
Where to sleep near here?
Some of the best accommodation options in the area (which some of us tried) are:Castile Thermal Spa of Olmedo in Olmedo, a renovated 12th-century convent that has converted thermal mineral waters into its spa complex. It also has an outdoor pool and a large restaurant.
ATH La Mota in Medina del Campo, much simpler and cheaper and with a very good location.SOME EXTRA CURIOSITY:
Did you know that this visit could have been impossible if the Duke of Alba would have destroyed it as I had thought ?. However, he changed his mind and offered it as a tribute by presenting in 1475 Fernando and Isabel newly married in Valladolid.
Have we managed to transmit part of what each stone of this fortress breathes, including the footprints of Juana la Loca or Isabel La Católica? Do not you think the visit to the Castle of La Mota one of the essentials to visit in Valladolid in your own getaway?
Isaac, from the Castle of La Mota (food photo) in Medina del Campo (Valladolid)