Castle of los Marqueses de Villafranca
The building, erected in the early 16th century, is a large square structure with round cubes in the corners and palatial chambers around a central courtyard.
The village was important in the route to Santiago de Compostela.
Villafranca was a royal and a noble realm alternatively. It was governed, among others, by the Osorios (Counts of Lemos), the Pimentels (Counts of Benavente and first Marquises of Villafranca).
The daughter of the first Marquis, María Osorio Bazán and her husband, Pedro Álvarez de Toledo (second Marquis of Villafranca) had the present castle built.
Castle of Alija del Infantado
Castle / Palace in ruins. It has a square ground plan.
It has cubes in the angles and square turrets on the wall.
It contains the Palacio de los Ponces (original building of the 13th century).
Castle of Cornatelo
The castle is accessed by bordering he western section between the walls and the impressive cliff at the foot of the castle.
As in Ponferrada, the Castillo de Cornatel belonged to the Knights Templar. Subsequently it was owned by the Duke of Lemos.
Castle of Corullón
The present crenellated tower was built on the remains of a previous structure.
Above the elevated entry gate of the tower there are two coats of arms: the cross of Saint Andrew on the left represents Inés Fernández de Telmer; the four sticks on the right represent her husband, Garci Rodriguez de Valcárcel.
It once belonged to the Álvarez-Osorio family and then to the Marquis of Villafranca.
This castle has undergone an important reform. New windows have been opened on the walls.
Castle of Coyanza
The castle consists basically of one articulated front with projections.
Flanked by turrets overshadowing the tower of homage, with round turrets in the Gales and fronts.
This castle held the Coyanza Council in 1050.
The old Coyanza was populated and fortified by Fernando II of León in the second half of the 12th century.
Castle of Grajal
The structure, with a square ground plan and solid round cubes standing out on the corners, is not very elevated and was designed for artillery purposes.
The hillock itself and the rubble were used to even the inside of the fortress and create today's platform. The same system was planned for the castle in Berlanga, but it was never carried out.
Probably one of the most advance castles of its time.
In the 15th century, the village of Grajal is taken over by the Vega family. One descendant of this family, Hernando, began to build the present castle in the early 16th century, on the remains of a previous one. It was finished by his don Juan de Vega y Acuña, Count of Grajal.
Castle of los Templarios
The castle consists of a lar polygonal enclosure (more than 8,000 m2) with double and triple battlements, turrets, rooms and a large low courtyard or albacar.
There are three clearly distinguishable building stages.
During the first, the wall around the village of Ponferrada is built.
The second stage defines the building of the old castle erected in one corner of the enclosure. It has features of the 14th century, such as the pointed gate and the tower of homage.
The third stage is the great building period of the works carried out by Pedro Álvarez Osorio and the Catholic Monarchs, throughout the second half of the 15th century.
It was one of the largest fortress of north-western Spain during the Middle Ages.
In 1196 Alfonso VIII of Castile attacked the El Bierzo region, which forced Alfonso IX to reinforce his presence in the area and start bringing population to the village created by Fernán Fernández.
In 1211 Alfonso IX makes peace with the Knights Templar and donates the village of Ponferrada to them. In 1226 the Knights Templar had already fortified the village.
Generally attributed to the Knight Templar, who stayed in Ponferrada until 1312, the castle is a very complex military structure, built in different over the centuries. We know the names of some of the builders and reformers in the 15th century.