This picturesque Spanish castle ruin with a history spanning a thousand years and dating back to the 11th century has gone up for sale for EUR 500,000 after being blown up by Napoleon’s troops 210 years ago.
The castle is a protected monument located in the municipality of Cogolludo in the province of Guadalajara, in central Spain, some 80 kilometres northeast of the capital Madrid.
Construction started on Cogolludo Castle in the ninth century and it has been in its ruined state for 210 years, ever since it was blown up by Napoleonic troops incidentally including Victor Hugo’s father.
An estate agents portal has since put the castle up for sale on the Internet for EUR 500,000 (GBP 416,000), which has prompted the local council to announce in a press release that it is considering acquiring the castle on behalf of the residents and the municipality, but it stated that it would have to be “at a reasonable price”.
The council explained that should it be able to purchase the castle, “the first thing that would need to be done is excavation and consolidation work”, adding that this would require “a significant investment”.
The mayor of Cogulludo, Juan Alfonso Fraguas, said that the new owner would need to have an in-depth knowledge of the building and its history so as to be able to preserve its remains for posterity. He added that this would also be necessary “to avoid the danger of collapse and of course ensure that people remain safe, which is the most important thing”.
The castle currently has no functioning rooms, bathrooms or heating, but the property is reportedly “exempt” from requiring an energy certificate.
The 37,567-square-metre castle reportedly has a pentagonal floor plan with cylindrical towers at its corners, all in rather poor condition, with some towers that have all but disappeared.
The castle also features a square, hollow tower, which is also known as a bell tower, that dates back to the origins of the fortress in the ninth century, which the council says is “historically very interesting”, as it includes half a brick dome inside it.
The Order of Calatrava was given the castle at the end of the 12th century and in the 14th century it became the property of famous Spanish novelist, diplomat, poet and historian Diego Hurtado de Mendoza (1503-1575), while in the 15th century the Duke of Medinaceli incorporated it into his titles of Marquis of Cogolludo.
The Order of Calatrava was one of four military orders in Spain and the first one to be created in Castile, following approval from the Pope in Rome. It was created to relieve the Knights Templar, who were having difficulty holding the city of Calatrava against Muslim forces.
In the 19th century, during the War of Independence (1808-1814) against Napoleon Bonaparte, French troops, including the father of the French novelist Victor Hugo, General Joseph Leopold Sigisbert Hugo, blew it up.
The ruins in theory became protected under the 1949 decree that converted “all the castles in Spain, whatever their state of ruin” into assets under the protection of the State.