Photo of Belmonte

Visit Belmonte

Belmonte is in the province of Cuenca in the Castilla la Mancha region.

Explore Belmonte

The highlight of Belmonte is its magnificent 15th century castle which is a mix of Gothic and Mudejar (Moorish) in style. The castle is an unusual shape, indeed a unique shape within Europe, - it is pentagonal and has six round towers and it has a triangular courtyard.

Inside the castle the two sides of the triangle around the internal triangular courtyard are attractive arcaded brick buildings and the third side is a keep.

The castle was designed to be both a defensive castle and a luxurious palace and inside the castle are carved ceilings and decorative Mudejar-style plasterwork.

The castle is linked to the town by its long stone wall which descends the hillside and gives the town a rather iconic view.

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The castle is so attractive that it has been used as a setting for lots of movies including scenes in the movie of El Cid starring Charlton Heston and Sophia Lauren. Filming of Don Quixote took place in 2000 with Manuel Gutierrez Aragon directing.

More recently the castle served as Helm's fortress, attacked by the orcs of Isengard, in the film of Lord of the Rings, 1978 version.

The castle is now a museum which means you can visit the rooms inside and the remparts, the keep and the parade ground. The north tower of the castle offers great views over the town of Belmonte below.

Belmonte also has an attractive Gothic church built in the 15th century, the collegiate church of San Bartolomé. This has a lovely wooden choir carved with stories from the bible. These were brought from the cathedral of Cuenca.

The village of Belmonte sits below the castle and is partially enclosed by the fortified walls. Look out for the Plaza de Enrique Fernandez, the Hermitage of Our Lady of Grace dating from the 17th century and the Convent of the Trinitarians from the 15th century.

The Palacio del Infante Don Juan Manuel has been completely restored and is now a four star hotel and spa.

Belmonte is one of the key towns on the route of Don Quixote, a road trip following the journey of Don Quixote in Miguel Cervantes' classic novel. The route is 2500 kms long and travels through the locations mentioned by Cervantes in the book.

Places to visit nearby

Be sure to visit the village of San Clemente about 40km away with its excellent Renaissance squares.

Alarcon is a beautiful fortified village dating back to the 8th century.

Cuenca is a stunning UNESCO listed town with amazing 'hanging houses' hanging over the edge of a steep gorge.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Cuenca guide and the Castilla-La Mancha guide.

See also: 

Map of Belmonte and places to visit

 
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Belmonte places to visit

Alarcon

Alarcon

Alarcon is an extremely well preserved fortified village. Its castle is now a magnificent 4* parador.

Alarcon guide
Cuenca

Cuenca

Cuenca sits dramatically on top of a gorge. Visit the hanging houses which are literally hanging over the edge.

Cuenca guide

...or see all our recommended places to visit in Castilla-La Mancha

 
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