Puente del Congosto Castle
Puente del Congosto Castle lies, in the village by the same name, in the province of Salamanca in Spain.
Puente del Congosto Castle lies on the Western bank of the Tormes river. It dominates the bridge (a puente in Spanish, hence the name) over this river. In medieval times this bridge was part of a important cattle trade route, connecting the south of the Salamanca province with the west of the Avila province. The toll that was raised from the people who crossed the bridge would be an important source of income for the possessors of the castle.
The castle is in a good state of conservation. It is made up of an outer enclosure and an inner fortification formed by a great rectangular keep with a second tower build against it.
The outer enclosure is an irregular rubblework hexagon, reinforced in the corners by granite ashlars. Because it is more vulnerable than the others, the western curtain wall of the outer enclosure is extra protected with a small tower in its center. The gate is situated in the northern wall and is protected by another wall. There is also a postern in the eastern wall on a higher floor level.
The keep is made up of two great halls with brick vaults sustained by arcs of ashlar masonry. In the lower hall, on a height of about 3 meters in the western wall, is the entrance to the spiral staircase that leads to the upper hall. In the eastern wall is a little window. The top of the keep was originally crenelated.
The ground floor level of the second tower is only the one that can be accessed from the courtyard. All the higher floor level in this tower can only be accessed through wall staircase from the keep.
Little is known about the history of the castle. There is a mention of Las Torres del Congosto (The Towers of the Congosto) in 1212 but it is not known if this refers to the castle or the old bridge (which was also equipped with watchtowers in medieval times).
In 1456 the Alba family receives the castle, in exchange for other properties, from Doña Aldonza de Guzmán, widow of Gil González Dávila. Probably the members of this family constructed the enclosure, to protect the already existing keep and to confirm their control over the bridge
This is a nice castle particularly because of its setting next to the beautiful gorge of the Tormes river. It is not accessible and part of the castle grounds is used as a graveyard.