Ucero Castle lies in the northwest of the province of Soria in Spain, near a village of the same name.
This is one of the most spectacular castles of the province of Soria, not only because of its architecture but also because the landscape that surrounds it. It lies 15 km from the town of El Burgo de Osma and is located on a rocky ridge, dominating the village of Ucero lying at its feet, the Ucero river and, a little bit further away, the Canyon of the Lobos river, a beautiful nature reserve. The castle itself is dominated as well by the heights of the Galiana hill, with its steep winding roads leading towards the town of San Leonardo.
The castle and the rich fertile valley of the Ucero river have been property of the Bishops of Osma. Garcia de Villamayor acquired it at the beginning of the 14th century from the heirs of Don Juan, whose wife Dona Maria Alfonso de Meneses was the Lady of the village at the end of the 13th century. Later, after she had become a widow, she would have a daughter with King Sancho IV and would ironically become the godmother of his future wife Dona Maria de Molina. The castle, in some stage of its history, was used to imprison clerics. The bishop Don Pedro Montoya, tied to the diocese of Osma, who rebuild the city walls of El Burgo de Osma, also repaired and fortified Ucero Castle at the end of the 15th century. Another prelate, Honorato Juan, placed the coat of arms that can today be seen above the ruined entrancegate, in the 16th century.
Though in ruinous condition, the castle conserves a lot of its outer and inner enclosures. The great keep is especially nice because of its beautiful carved corbels and arched windows. There is a low underground passage, carved out of the rocks, leading out from the castle to the banks of the Ucero river below. Part of it can be seen a few meters outside the castle walls. You can get inside and follow its winding descent for some 25 meters until you reach a point where the passage has caved in.
Ucero Castle is one of my favorite Spanish castle ruins; the great scenery, the carvings, the colors, the walk to get to it. There is also a colony of griffon vultures living in the nearby canyon. They circle around the castle regularly; a beautiful sight. Ucero Castle is freely accessible and doesn't seem to get much visitors. It's really a must see if you're in the area!