Ponferrada: The Castle
The Castle rises above the river Sil, dominating
the city's historic quarter. Its construction began with a polygonal
structure towards the end of the 12th century. The entrance is
on the south side, over a drawbridge spanning the moat. The main
façade, meanwhile, is flanked by two large towers joined by a
double semicircular arch. Standing off a large interior courtyard
are various rooms, such as the Armoury or the Stables.
At the foot of the Castle is the historic quarter of the city, with entry along Calle del Reloj (Clock Street). It is on this street where the Clock Tower stands on the site of one of the gates of the former walled enclosure. It was built during the reign of Carlos I in the 16th century,
Next to the Clock Tower is the Convent of the Conceptionist Mothers. Particularly noteworthy is its façade, which features a vaulted niche with the image of the Purísima Concepción.
The end of this street leads into the Plaza de la Encina, a traditional site of commercial activity. The Basílica de la Encina stands on the square and is one of the most relevant religious buildings in the city. The church was built in the Renaissance style in the 16th century, while its baroque tower dates from later, from 1614. Inside, as well as the carving of the Virgen de la Encina, some reredos can be seen, among which the high altar is outstanding, the work of Mateo Flores in the 17th century.
At the bottom end of the historic quarter is the Hospital de la Reina, Renaissance in style, and the baroque church of San Andrés, which houses a Christ of the Knights Templar (Cristo de los Templarios).
Source: Web server of Instituto de Turismo de España, TURESPAÑA.