If you are a fan of fairy tales, you might think that castles are only found in storybooks. However, in the small town of Benalmádena, on the southern coast of Spain, you can find a real-life fairy tale castle that is open to visitors. The Colomares Castle, built in 1987 by Dr. Esteban Martín, a doctor who was passionate about history and architecture, is a unique piece of architecture that tells a fascinating story of history, art, and romance. In this article, we will explore the history, design, and features of the Colomares Castle, which many consider to be one of the most romantic castles in Spain.
The Story of Colomares Castle
The origin of Colomares Castle goes back to the 1980s, when Dr. Esteban Martín, a local doctor, decided to build a castle to honor the memory of Christopher Columbus and his discovery of America. The romantic legend of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon inspired Dr. Martín, and he aimed to reflect the spirit of the Renaissance and the age of exploration by creating a castle.
Don José Luis Escario, an architect and historian who specialized in the study of medieval castles and fortresses, was the designer and builder of Colomares Castle. He combined elements of Gothic, Byzantine, and Mudéjar art in a unique blend of architectural styles to create the castle’s design. The castle also features a wide variety of symbols and decorations, such as the double-headed eagle, the fleur-de-lis, and the cross of the Order of Calatrava.
Facts about Colomares Castle
Dr. Esteban Martín built Colomares Castle in Benalmádena, Málaga, Spain, as a stunning monument to commemorate Christopher Columbus’s discovery of America. Furthermore, this unique castle features a mix of architectural styles and boasts. These intricate designs and sculptures related to Columbus, the Catholic Monarchs, and the Order of Calatrava. In this list, we’ll explore 10 fascinating facts about Colomares Castle that you may not know:
- Colomares Castle was built in 1987 by Dr. Esteban Martín, a doctor who was passionate about history and architecture.
- The castle is a blend of various architectural styles, including Gothic, Renaissance, and Mudejar.
- Dedicated to Christopher Columbus, the castle showcases numerous sculptures and designs that relate to the explorer and his journey.
- The castle’s bell tower is the tallest in the world, standing at 33 meters (108 feet) tall.
- The castle contains a museum with exhibits on Christopher Columbus and the history of the discovery of America.
- The castle also contains a crypt, which houses a replica of Columbus’s tomb in Seville Cathedral.
- The castle’s gardens feature a wide variety of plant species, including olive trees, cypresses, and bougainvillea.
- It has three levels and several courtyards and terraces that offer breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea.
- Stunning murals and frescoes that depict scenes from Columbus’s life and journey adorn the castle’s interior.
- Several movies and television shows, including the popular Spanish TV series “El Tiempo Entre Costuras,” have featured the castle.
The Design of Colomares Castle: A Unique Blend of Styles
Colomares Castle is a fascinating example of eclectic architecture, where different styles and influences are mixed together. Additionally, the castle boasts several towers and turrets, a chapel, a courtyard, and a garden, all of which were designed with great attention to detail and symbolism.
The main tower of the castle is inspired by the Giralda tower in Seville. The tower is topped by a dome that resembles the dome of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. The chapel of the castle is a small, but beautifully decorated space, with stained-glass windows and mosaics.
The courtyard is a peaceful and romantic place, surrounded by columns and arches that create a sense of harmony. The garden of the castle is also a delightful place, with palm trees, flowers, and fountains.
The Interior: A Treasure Trove of Art and History
The interior of Colomares Castle is a true work of art, with each room representing a different historical event. Firstly, the first room of the castle is dedicated to the discovery of America, with paintings and sculptures that depict the arrival of Columbus to the New World. Secondly, the second room of the castle is dedicated to the Catholic Monarchs. The paintings and tapestries in it are representing the conquest of Granada and the unification of Spain. Thirdly, the third room of the castle is dedicated to the Order of Calatrava, with paintings and sculptures that represent the history and symbolism of the order.
In addition, the fourth room of the castle is the chapel, with beautiful stained-glass windows and mosaics that tell the story of Columbus and his voyage. Finally, the fifth room of the castle is the Tower of the Winds, with a clock that represents the twelve winds of the Mediterranean.
The Romantic Legacy of Colomares Castle: Love Stories and Legends
Colomares Castle is not only a work of art, but also a place of romance and legend. The castle is said to have been built as a tribute to the love story between Dr. Martín and his wife, Carmen. The couple was deeply in love, and their romance inspired the design and decoration of the castle.
The castle is also surrounded by several legends and myths, such as the legend of the Knight of the Full Moon, who is said to guard the castle at night, or the myth of the secret tunnels that connect the castle with the sea.
Visiting Colomares Castle: Practical Information and Tips
If you want to visit Colomares Castle, you can do so by taking a guided tour or by exploring the castle on your own. The admission fee is affordable, and the castle is open all year round, except on certain holidays.
The best time to visit the castle is during the spring or the fall, when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. It is also recommended to wear comfortable shoes, as the castle has several stairs and uneven surfaces. For more information, you can look at the table below:
|Location||Benalmádena, Málaga, Spain|
|Construction||1987 – 1994|
|Style||Neo-gothic, Byzantine, and Mudéjar|
|Size||1,500 square meters|
|Materials||Concrete, bricks, and tiles|
|Features||Courtyard, gardens, towers, and sculptures|
|Symbolism||Representations of Christopher Columbus, the Catholic Monarchs, and the Order of Calatrava|
|Function||Monument, museum, and cultural center|
|Admission||€3 for adults, €2 for children (4-14 years old) and seniors (+65 years old)|
|Opening hours||10:00 am – 6:00 pm (October – March), 10:00 am – 8:00 pm (April – September)|
Conclusion: The Magic of Colomares Castle
Colomares Castle is a unique and enchanting place, where history, art, and romance come together in a delightful way. Whether you are a fan of castles, history, or fairy tales, Colomares Castle will surely captivate your imagination and leave you with unforgettable memories.
Dr. Esteban Martín, an enthusiastic historian and architect, took on the construction of Colomares Castle in 1987 with the design expertise of architect José Luis Escario. To emphasize the blend of various architectural styles, including Gothic, Renaissance, and Mudejar, the castle’s exterior and interior feature stunning sculptures, murals, and frescoes that showcase the passion for history and artistry of its creators.
The design of Colomares Castle contains rich symbolism that represents the historical events and figures related to the discovery of America, the Catholic Monarchs, and the Order of Calatrava. Specifically, the castle’s intricate designs and sculptures reflect the influence of Gothic, Byzantine, and Mudéjar art, which are combined in a harmonious way. Additionally, each room in the castle is dedicated to a different historical event or figure, such as the discovery of America or the Catholic Monarchs, and features paintings, sculptures, tapestries, and stained-glass windows that tell the story.
Visitors can explore the castle on their own, but guided tours are also available.
Yes, Colomares Castle is open all year round, except on certain holidays.
Indeed, there are several legends and myths associated with Colomares Castle. For instance, the legend of the Knight of the Full Moon and the myth of the secret tunnels that connect the castle with the sea.