On our trip to Spain, my friends and I got the chance to visit this small renaissance town called Consuegra, just half-an-hour away from Toledo. Unluckily, we didn´t have time to stay for the medieval fair that was happening a few days later, but the town was already set up for it, so we had the chance to enjoy the day on a charming medieval-themed downtown.
Consuegra is so tiny that you can travel everywhere on foot. No more than 30 minutes hiking from the bus terminal we got to La Muela Castle, built in the 10th Century when Spain was still Under Muslim control. It was donated as a wedding gift to Alfonso VI of Castile, after marrying a Moor princess called Zaida, who converted to Christianity and changed her name to Isabel.
The Arabs retook the castle some years after during the Battle of Consuegra. This fight is historically famous because Diego Rodrigez, the son of the famous Spanish military leader, El Cid, died here fighting against the Almoravids.
It was not until a century later that Alfonso VII recovered the castle for the Kingdom of Castile.
Sadly, the Castle is not in its best shape. The Napoleonic troops almost destroyed it after occupying it for five years, and just 50 years ago the town council of Consuegra began a restoration process that will still take quite a few years.
But the main attraction that brought us here were the twelve Windmills of Consuegra. Some of them are over 600 years old and, according to the legend, they inspired Miguel de Cervantes when he was writing Don Quixote.
The one called Sancho is put to work once a year during the Saffron Festival, and Bolero is the one opened to tourist all year long. Inside, you can see videos that explain each step of the process of making wheat grains into flour.
Rucio keeps a wine collection but is closed to the public, and Espartero is a souvenir store. Both of them keep their original machinery, as the first two.
Caballero del Verde Gabán contains several copies of Don Quixote in different languages and Clavileño, Mambrino, Vista Alegre, Mochilas, Cardeño, Chispas, Alcancía are also closed to the public.
With the town of Consuegra in the foothills, and La Muela and the windmills on the top, it’s easy to imagine yourself as a character of medieval chivalry, just as Don Quixote did when he lost his mind.