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“Nice guided visit. Relaxing outside gardens.”

Castillo de los Mendoza (Castillo nuevo de Manzanares El Real)
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Reviewed May 18, 2013

The guided visits are quite exhaustive and well paced.
Fee not required just to have a walk around outside gardens. Nice.

Thank jisierra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 24, 2012

We visited the castle during the week (Thursday) as an opportunity to see some of medieval Spain. Our understanding is that on weekends there is a different tour with actors. During the week you are pretty much on your own.

We used the bus service out of Madrid (40 minutes from station Plaza de Castilla, down on basement level 3, look for Isla 2, line 724 - ask the EMT staff in brown to find, cost about Euro 4 payable to driver, each each way, make sure and tell him/her where your final destination is).

Getting to the castle when you arrive in the village of Manzanares El Real is simple and requires no further travel as it is part of the village. You can drop off either at the bus stop after the gas station, which allows you to walk up to the castle through a visitor car park, or in front of a supermarket, after which you can stroll through the village. You can pop into the vilage hall if the Tourism Information Office is closed to get a map. Villagers were not around much and no one seemed to pay any attention to an obvious bunch of tourists strolling the streets on a weekday. That was really a change from Madrid.

Entrance to the castle grounds is where you buy the tour tickets (take note) and also doubles as the souvenir shop. Not much to buy or again any attempt to hard sell, but you can get a t-shirt or a model replica. There is a log book of visitors, so be sure to tell them which country you are from.

If you are visiting because you love castles (most of the other visitors that day appeared to be castle lovers themselves) you can start snapping away from the time you start up the gravel pathway to the main gate.

As this appears to be off the beaten path during the weekdays (we did meet lots of kids at the start when we arrived at about 1245 pm - two schools were there but these tours ended around 1 pm or the start of lunchtime, kids left and things got a lot quieter) you can be quite free to explore the castle without a crowd. Comes in handy as there are only two single toilets for men/women (above the entrance hall).

There is a "path" or route to follow, listen to the kind guides, there is a good reason they want you to visit such and such room first. If you follow their suggestion you get to see the entire castle, bottom to top, and end up right back at the beginning point.

The castle is partially reconstructed. In some parts you can see the contemporary repairs (pieces of concrete used as filler, in one case you can look up and see foam sealant). But there is a sense of pride by the locals in presenting their castle which you can appreciate.

There is decent collection of armour, some tapestries (that are faded), some furniture (difficult to tell what were replicas or real) and paintings. But not much else. So go there really to see the building. Great views of village and lake as well from high point on castle walls.

Not all of the castle is open, some parts are sealed off and there was some reconstruction work still going on. However, what you are permitted to visit gives you a very good sense as if you lived there either as a Lord or a Guard.

Safety note - the last stairwell on the prescribed route is a narrow spiral staircase. It is about one person wide. If you are no fan of steep stair cases, ask/look for an alternate exit route.

This is a great half day visit which you can do efficiently using Madrid bus service especially if you want an opportunity while in Madrid to see a medieval castle.

7  Thank nigeltrini
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