#172 Castillo nuevo de los Mendoza
Manzanares el Real
Province of Madrid, Spain
1475 plus
This is NOT an official Lego site

For many years there was confusion as to who built the beautiful palace-fortress at Manzanares el Real, located about 30 miles north of Madrid, at the base of the Guadarrama Mountain Range.  The lands were ceded to Pedro Gonzßles de Mendoza I in 1383 for loyal service by King John I [Juan I] of Castile & Leˇn.  In 1445 El Real de Manzanares was re-granted to Pedro's grandson, Don ═˝igo Lopez de Mendoza, a great poet and statesman.  It was assumed he built the castle, the date of which was unknown for a time.  However the style of the castle and its architect did not occur until nearly 20 years after ═˝igo's death in 1458.  It is now thought that the castle was begun in 1475, the year ═˝igo's son, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza was made the 1st Duke of the Infantado by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.  Castle construction was continued by his son, ═˝igo Lopez de Mendoza y Luna, the 2nd Duke, but the powerful family moved it's primary residence to Guadalajara, and the fortress was never completed.  The building is in the florid Gothic style with MudÚjar [from Moors who remained in Spain after the reconquest] and Renaissance influences. 
The inner fortress is square in pattern, with round towers at three corners, and a larger square tower at the fourth, capped by an ornate octagonal turret.  This tower functions as the keep.  On the east side is a large chapel which incorporates a much older apse, likely from the church that accompanied the earlier Castillo antiguo de Manzanares el Real, of which little remains of the ruin nearby. The inner castle is encircled by a low embattled curtain wall with numerous arrowslits in the shape of the Jerusalem Cross. The fortress-palace, vacant and abandoned for several hundred years, was well clear of much of the turbulence of history, and thus in a pretty descent state when it was given to the Madrid County Council in 1965. An ambitious three-year restoration plan began in 1974, with medieval furniture, rugs, tapestries and paintings added, making the castle a prime venue not only for tourists, but conferences, seminars and cultural events.


Drawing The ruin before
Castle Plan Haven't decided...


Photos of the Lego Model
under construction February 2019
Construction begins on February 5
with the very large project laid out
in five sections.
Here's a picture from the side for
perspective.  It will likely not be
around for long...
Later that first day the sections
begin to be 'shored up' with plates
on every seam, etc.
On Wednesday, Feb. 6 all five
sections have been rendered
strong and moveable.  Almost
time to begin building...
But first the inner castle needs to be
defined, which occurs the next day.
On February 9 landscaping begins,
and the tan stone can begin to be
appreciated in section 1!
By February 15, basic landscaping
has occurred on 4 sections, and
the outer courtyard is defined.
Here's a view of the substructure.
Hate to have elements tumble
under there...
The round corner towers
are defined,...
...as is the small gatehouse
in front of the castle.
I was having so much fun building
I took no pictures for 3 weeks.
But this is what the castle
looked like on March 8:
ready for the inner castle.
By March 21 work is under-
way on the courtyard, to be
built in two parts...
...and the Chapel now
even has stained glass
Even the front gatehouse
is complete -- ready to
welcome guests and
deter potential foes.
I now have built for more than
five weeks without taking a picture.
Here's the front on April 29.
All that remains to
be added are turrets and
Plus the decorative wall walk
for the Mendozas and their
powerful friends.
Even the inner courtyard is
completely roofed with the Lego
equivalent of clay tiles.
Finally a snapshot on the
10th of May.  For the finished
castle, please see below.


Photos of the Lego Model
Built February-May, 2019
Here in the first two rows
are general views of the
castle.  From the WSW.
From the SSW. From the SSE. From the southeast.
From the east, the
chapel end.
From the northeast. From the north. The northwest view...
...and the west side,
aka the front.
This detail show the
gatehouse steps.
The numerous arrow-
slits which soon were
gun ports.
The steps to the outer
curtain wall walk.
Very interesting
construction around the
circular towers!
The main door into
the inner castle.
The rare stone studs
atop all four towers.
The covered wall walk for
owners and visitors alike.
The octagonal donjon
with its interesting
And a visiting Cardinal
exiting the Chapel.

Here is the exquisite two
story courtyard.  North view.
The east end overlooking
the gatehouse.
And the symmetrical
south side.
Finally, here's the now ruined
residential story atop the
chapel.  The stairs are my
take on access to the roof.


Build Your Own
Lego Plan unlikely
Elevation maybe
Cross-section maybe

Other Castillo de los Mendoza pages:

Return to the main castle page.

Castles created by Robert Carney
Page designed & maintained by
Robert Carney