It was once the setting of important battles, and it is surrounded by a unique natural landscape. It is, together with the Soutomaior Castle, one of the most important examples of the fortified heritage of the province of Pontevedra. Since 2013, the castle, donated by the Town Council of Ponteareas, has been managed by the Deputación de Pontevedra, which has the aim of preserving and promoting the urban, ethnographic and natural heritage of the town. Today, it has become a magical place where you can live unforgettable experiences to be passed down from generation to generation.
Secret underground passages and power struggles
It is located at 344 metres above sea level, on the hillside of Monte Landín. The history of the Sobroso Castle is documented in Historia compostelana, a work from the 12th century. According to the written evidence, Doña Urraca was sieged inside the castle by her sister Doña Teresa and the supporters of her son Alfonso, the first king of Portugal. According to the legend, Doña Urraca managed to flee from the dungeon through an underground passage leading to the banks of the Tea River, to meet the Archbishop Gelmírez, and came back with armed forces to regain the fortress.
Due to its privileged location, it was used as a strategic point by the Archbishopric of Tui to control the communications between inland and the sea. In fact, it is documented that Pelayo Muñiz was empowered to take possession in the name of the King. After the Catholic Monarchs’ accession to the throne, the fortress lost its defensive character and became the residence of several nobles. Then, the castle was inherited by Pedro Ruiz de Sarmiento and his descendants in 1379, and in the 15th century, after passing down to Álvaro Pérez de Sotomayor, it was partially destroyed during the Irmandiño Revolts (1467-1469).
Pedro Álvarez de Sotomayor, popularly known as Pedro Madruga, rebuilt the castle. However, when he was imprisoned in the town of Benavente, a member of the Sarmiento family, Diego García Sarmiento, regained the property, regardless of the several attempts of Pedro Madruga to prevent it. He even built a fortress in the nearby hill of A Picaraña to reconquer it. Finally, Don Diego de León finished the reconstruction of the building and changed its structure, which is still preserved nowadays.
Throughout its history, the castle had several owners and it was abandoned on many occasions. At the end of the 19th century, it was acquired by the Count of Torrecedeira, who sold it to Alejo Carrera Muñoz in 1923. After several periods of abandonment, in 1981 it was bought by the Town Council of Ponteareas, which restored the building. At present, after being donated to the Deputación de Pontevedra in 2013, the castle has become a historic building of an important ethnographic value, surrounded by a beautiful landscape.
A great fortress with a unique landscape
Known as Sobroso Castle, since it used to be surrounded by a large number of specimens of sobreira (cork oak in the Galician language), it consists of a fifteenth-century outer wall, 140-metres long, which was adapted to the orography of the terrain; a main building with two floors for the guards and the lords, and the 13-metre-tall tower of homage, with a rectangular floor plan and built as a defensive structure at the highest part of the terrain.
This fortified complex is surrounded by a 30-hectare forest park, which includes 84 different plant species, including gymnosperms and angiosperms, trees, shrubs and palms. To round off your visit, you can enjoy a botanic route with information panels to learn more about the rich landscape of this privileged natural environment which is also part of our history.