Every time I have had the opportunity to travel to Madrid, the capital of Spain, I have taken time to visit the incredible towns in the high plains. I will start a blog series on these small towns. Some are very well known, some others which I consider small jewels, are not traveled as much. It is well worth making a special trip to discover and enjoy them as true pieces of history. My blogs feature pictures from my own collection.
The series will start with Don Quijote and the famous medieval windmills from the novel in the city of Consuegra, in Castilla-La-Mancha.
The city of Consuegra, just a short drive south of Madrid (136 KM) is a small town of about 11,000 people. The town has a lovely main square, you can sit and enjoy a refreshment during the summer months, since it can be hot. Here a view of the plaza while sitting enjoying a lemonade with my dear brother and lovely sister in law, whom I had the pleasure to enjoy and discover this great town.
Consuegra Town Square

Consuegra Town Square

Just south of the city is the site of the medieval windmills featured in the book “Don Quijote de la Mancha” by Miguel de Cervantes, a classic of Spanish literature. Driving from town via a winding road, you go up a hill called Cerro Calderico, you park the car and walk up a path to the top of the hill where you will encounter twelve windmills, lined up like soldiers, overlooking the plains. Four of these still in operation. These have been reconstructed to their original specification, the machinery used dates from the XVI century. Each windmill has its own name, written on the outside, an interesting and funny feature. Most famous one being Sancho (Molino Sancho).

Don Quijote Windmills - Consuegra (La Mancha), Spain

The view from the top is incredible, you can see the plains of La Mancha for as far as your eyes can see. Including some vineyard plantations.
View from Cerro Calderico in the city of Consuegra, Spain

View from Cerro Calderico in the city of Consuegra, Spain

Along the walk to the windmills, you will find a medieval castle. If you, like me, love medieval sites, features and stories, you will find this castle fascinating. Believed to have been orginally built by the Moros in the late 10th to early 11 century by Al-Hajib Al-Mansur, better known by Almanzor. It was later used by Alfonso VIII (1155 – 1214) during the Spanish Reconquest.
Medieval castle at top of Cerro Calderico in Consuegra

Medieval castle at top of Cerro Calderico in Consuegra

 As you enter the castle walls, you will find a number of towers, each containing multiple stories, each story being a room that served a purposue. You will find the dininig room, kitchen, chapel and bedrooms.
To enter the main tower, you first encounter an incredible feature, a medieval door. You follow narrow paths into rooms, very simple and rustic.
Consuegra medieval castle entrance

Consuegra medieval castle entrance

There are a numbers of terraces and pathways that connect the different towers. These lead to the top, where you can experience another incredible view of the plains. As you navigate your way out of the castle, as  you head down from the top, at one end is a small garden inside the castle walls.
Consuegra castle medieval door

Consuegra castle medieval door

The town hosts a number of festivals, perhaps the most famous being the  “Rose of Saffron”. This is celebrated in the last week of October. There is also the festival “Cosuegra Medieval”, this is celebrated in August. This last one celebrates the history of this place, with reenactments with people dressed in original costumes. I did not have the chance to attend either, given I traveled in June. I wanted to mention it in case you plan to travel during these time frames to line up some extra fun.
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