Castle of Castro Caldelas
This castle is the town’s most iconic monument. It stands on a prominent hill along the route of the old Roman road, in a position where it presides over the entire town and can be seen from a great distance.
In the centre of the village of Castro Caldelas we find the castle, which belonged to the counts of Lemos to defend their domains. Although you can reach close by car, you can leave your car in the square “Plaza del Prado” and go up walking through the old town.
The castle looks like being in the place of a previous building. However, the current one was built in the 14th century by D. Pedro Fernández de Castro. As most of the Galician castles, it was partially destroyed in the middle of the 15th century during the Revuelta Irmandiña and rebuilt later.
It has a double wall of great thickness. Three towers are placed against the exterior wall. The inner wall is topped with battlements.
We access to the castle through a door on which there are the counts of Lemos´ coats of arms (on the right, the wolves of the Osorio; on the left, at the top, the castle and lion rampant of the Enríquez, and at the bottom, the six roundels of the Castro). To the left of the door, you can see a copy of a catapult. As soon as we go into, we find the inner ward. In the background is the aljibe (a system of collecting rain water for the use of castle) and next to it, a pottery kiln.
From here, you can go up to the round walk of the inner wall. At the end of the stairs, we can see the clock tower which is the oldest. It preserves the machinery which starts the clock. The keep is defending the front door. It was the symbol of the stately power and the last bastion in case of siege. From the terrace you can see a beautiful view of the valley of the river Sil. In the 16th century it became a palace with a large living room. Windows with parladoiros (stone seats by the windows for people to talk) were opened in its walls and a great passage was built.
During the War of Independence, neighbours set it on fire in reprisal against the French, in 1809.
In the 18th century, the County of Lemos, passes through distant kinship to the House of Alba. The building was inhabited until the 19th century by Sol Stuart, relative of the Dukes of Alba.
In 1991, it was transferred in usufruct to the town council of Castro Caldelas becoming the cultural centre of the entire region. Inside there is the tourist office, the municipal library, an assembly hall and the ethnographic museum.
Museo Arqueológico y Etnográfico. Sito en el palacio del siglo XVI construido en el interior del castillo, este museo ocupa dos plantas con material muy diverso, ya que se unen restos encontrados en el castillo con todo tipo de objetos relacionados con la forma de vida de la época medieval. La variedad va desde telar, piezas de cerámica, aperos de labranza o pequeñas joyas hasta un calentador de cama de madera, unas muletas de madera con apoyos en cuero o un velador de difuntos.