The castle of Ampudia, the most beautiful in Palencia

The castle of Ampudia is considered one of the most beautiful and best in Palencia. It is a stately castle that dates back to the 15th century and was built in the Gothic style, although its origins date back much earlier. If you want to know this wonder, join us.

The history of the castle of Ampudia

The history of the current castle of Ampudia begins in the mid-15th century. It is at that moment when García López de Ayala, lord of Ampudia, Ayala and Salvatierra, orders its construction. This would be an element of conflict at his death, since his son and his widow would fight over him.

Towards the middle of the following century, the Count of Salvatierra would participate in the Battle of Ampudia, but his defeat would lead to Emperor Carlos V taking the castle from him, although in exchange for money he returned it to its previous owner. The children of the King of France Francis I were held there.

Shortly afterwards it passed into the hands of the Duke of Lerma and King Felipe III stayed there several times. The signing of the document in which the change of capital of the kingdom from Valladolid to Madrid took place in it.

But little by little, the castle of Ampudia would begin a period of abandonment that led to its almost complete ruin. Until the middle of the 20th century, Eugenio Fontaneda acquired it with the intention of restoring it and exhibit in it its important collection of antiques.

The building we can visit

The castle of Ampudia is one of the most beautiful examples of a stately castle that existed in the ancient kingdom of Castile. It is Gothic in style and has a trapezoidal ground plan, ending its corners with imposing square towers. The homage tower is the largest and is located in the southwest corner.

The entire complex, which is considered the most important in the entire province of Palencia, has a wall that functions as a barbican with circular towers. Y It has a defensive moat that is saved with a drawbridge. This leads to the main door where the coat of arms of the Lerma dque, to which the castle of Ampudia belonged, can be found.

The facade is of great elegance. The two ornamental sentry boxes stand out, called escaraguaitas and that are located on the entrance arch. Access is through a hallway that will take us to the central patio. This has a double level of arches on three of its sides and a third gallery on the fourth side.

The Eugenio Fontaneda Collection

Throughout all its rooms and patio you can see the numerous and varied artistic and historical objects that Eugenio Fontaneda treasured during his life. The collection is arranged by theme. Thus, we can find the following rooms:

archeology room

It is the largest room that can be visited inside the castle of Ampudia. It exhibits hundreds of objects and remains belonging to the Bronze and Iron Agebut also from Roman and Visigothic times, almost all of them from archaeological sites in the province of Palencia.

sacred art room

It exhibits precious objects linked to the liturgy that were developed throughout the kingdom of Castile. Among them, highlights a Mannerist style Calvary in walnut wood, work of Juan de Ancheta. You can also see paintings, sculptures and goldsmithing.

The pharmacy

It is a room in which recreates how the pharmacies of the time must have been. There you can see all kinds of jars and gadgets with which apothecaries created all kinds of remedies: alembics, ceramic jars and even an amputation chair.

Ethnography and popular arts room

In her, the most important thing you will see is an original silo of the castle in which the grain was stored. And, precisely for this reason, the rest of the objects related to daily life in the countryside are shown here.

Another of the rooms that make up the collection is the weapons and musical instruments room, in which weapons and musical instruments coexist. In the parade ground you will find tombs or carts and antique dolls await you in the toy roomtoys made of tin, doll houses, puppets and a long etcetera.

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