Puebla de Sanabria

The border castle in the wildest nature

On a high hill you can see the towers of a castle and a church. They preside over a harmonic hamlet of slate. This old square of the counts of Benavente is the starting point to visit the Sanabria Lake Natural Park.

Plan your stay in Puebla de Sanabria

Doing the route through Puebla de Sanabria to see all you have to see here can take an entire day. Inside the fortified enclosure there are several small and attractive museums and a center of interpretation of the fortress. The next place you have to visit in Puebla de Sanabria is its lake. This lake is important because it is a Natural Park and it offers you a lot of different options to do active tourism. Most of the visitors choose to rent pedal-boats and have a calm time (the water is so cold). If you want to book where to sleep and where to eat in Puebla de Sanabria, we have two specialized pages.

Do you want to visit this place?

We begin the visit to Puebla de Sanabria in its upper reaches, that is where the principal monuments are found. The most stunning monument is the Castle constructed by the fourth count of Benavente whose heraldic symbols adorn the main door. The windows of the palatial rooms with a great balcony in the building’s main eastern façade are different from the rest of the restrained fortress. Its square plant building is surrounded with cylindrical buckets, in its center The Homenaje Tower, knowns as “The Macho”, stands out. There is where is located the Center of Interpretation of the Fortifications. In his low part you can find the House of Culture and the Library. In the upper rooms there are the historical museums of Puebla de Sanabria and of the Castle.

In the so called “House of the Governor” is the Ecomuseo (Ecomuseum) of the natural spaces of Montesinhos’s Park. This is a protected area in the north of Portugal, adjacent to the Sierra de la Culebra and to the north of Zamora, which spreads up to the Natural Reservation of Villafáfila’s Lagoons. Nearby you can find San Cayetano’s Hermitage raised in the 18th century in baroque style.

In the proximities you can find the second major building to see in Puebla de Sanabria, the Nuestra Señora del Azogue Church. It is very reformed church with a three-level belltower. It only keeps the southern and western walls of its Romanesque construction of the 12th century. Its front presents carved archivolts. The head-board and the cruise are Gothic of the 16th century and their covers are vault composed of star shapes. Inside, the altarpiece is a from the 17th century, the baptismal font from the 13th century preserves figures carved in the frontal altar, it also has an organ in the choir from 1780.

Puente sobre el Río Tera en Puebla de Sanabria
Puente sobre el río Tera y vista desde el Castillo

In one of the sides of the Major Plaza you can the Town hall, from the 15th century with double gallery and lateral towers. In the square there are several interesting manor houses.

The Gigantes y Cabezudos Museum (Giants and Big-headed) is in San Bernardo street, this museum is product of the sanabresa tradition of Giant Grups, that started in 1848. Beginning for announcing the holiday of Our Lady of the Victories and accompanying the processional floats. These giants are guarded by twenty-six Big-headed from 1848 with other recent literary prominent figures.

In San Francisco Convent, placed in its homonymous neighborhood, stands out its cloister with arcades. Nowadays, it is the headquarter of the School of Arts and Trades and places for Teachers’ Center.

Once you have visited the villa you can take to near natural routes. Beginning with the the Sanabria Lake Natural Park that includes the visit to the San Martín de Castañeda monastery. In the opposite direction it is possible to visit the Sierra de la Culebra National Reservation where there is the major wolves population of Western Europe.


Lago de Sanabria
Lago de Sanabria
Plaza Mayor de Puebla de Sanabria
Plaza Mayor de Puebla de Sanabria

Practical data


42º 3’ 19’’N, 6º 38’ 01’’W


Zamora 115 km, Madrid 351 km


941 m


1541 (2013)

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