Castillo de Vélez-Blanco, Vélez-Blanco, Almería, Spain

The Disneyesque castle rising on a pinnacle high above Vélez Blanco’s tiled roofs confronts the great sphinx-like butte La Muela (The Molar Tooth) across the valley as if in a bizarre duel. From the outside, the 16th-century castle is pure Reconquista fortress. But the inside is pure Renaissance palace – or was until 1904, when the carved marble arcades, columns, doorways, window-frames, statues and friezes were sold off by the impoverished owners. Visit Spain. Epic Spain Route © Monika Newbound

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