Hidden in a public park behind the narrow streets of Villaviciosa de Odón stands this somber-looking castle.
Built in the early 15th-century, the castle is not far from where the settlement of Calatalifa once stood, which controlled movements up and down the Guadarrama river amid forests and renowned hunting grounds.
In its long life, the castle endured sieges, served as a prison (famously for Manuel Godoy, prime minister and the queen’s lover), and garrison. It also acted as a royal residence for Felipe VI’s son, a forestry school, and a navigation beacon for early aviators. Today, it serves as the Archives of the Spanish Air Force
Villaviciosa de Odón grew around the castle and both are perfect places for bucolic contemplation, walks in the forest, and quiet discretion.
Know Before You Go
Every Thursday, the castle can be visited in groups organized by the local council. The walking tour is free and includes visits to other highlights around the old section of town. You will need to sign up first for a visit.