Pilas Bonas Castle
Pilas Bonas Castle, locally known as Castillo de Pilas Bonas, lies in the center of the town of Manzanares, in the province of Ciudad Real in Spain.
Pilas Bonas Castle was built in the early 13th century on the order of Martín Martínez, Grand Master of the Order of Calatrava. It had to protect the limits of the Order's territory against Tocón Castle in Membrilla, owned by the rivalling Order of Santiago.
The castle was garrisoned with knights from Biscay, some of which were members of an old noble family, the Sagasti-Manzanares. Hence the castle, and the settlement which quickly grew around it, became known as Manzanares. Its present name of Pilas Bonas was erroneously given in the early 19th century.
From 1284 on Pilas Bonas Castle was the headquarters of the Encomienda of Manzanares, governed by Blasco Núñez. During the following centuries the Order kept ownership of the castle and reformed it several times.
Between 1808 and 1812 the castle was used as headquarters of French troops during the Peninsular War and in 1836 it was a garrison fortress for the Christian army that fought in Carlist War. In 1864, due to the Ecclesiastical confiscations of Mendizábal, the castle passed into private ownership and was transformed into several residences.
At present Pilas Bonas Castle is used as a hotel. Its interior can be visited as a guest of the hotel. When I came by it was out of season, so it was closed. Too bad. A nice town castle.