A CASTLE in Toledo where Queen Isabel 'The Catholic' – co-author of the bloodthirsty Inquisition – lived for most of her life is now on the market.
The price tag sits at a cool €9.6 million.
Plans were afoot to restore the fortress and turn it into a Guardia Civil museum, but the country's financial crisis forced the government to put it up for sale.
A typical Arab-style castle – four-square with a round tower at each corner – the fortress in the town of Maqueda (Toledo province) was rebuilt in the 15th century, but more recently has been used as a Guardia Civil station and even a traffic authority office.
Glass-plated plaques bearing the names of Guardia Civil officers killed by Basque separatist terrorism cell ETA remain on the inside walls – the first features of the planned national museum to be fitted in 2003, before the idea was scrapped altogether.
Known locally as the La Vela Castle, first refusal to buy it was given to Maqueda town hall, but socialist mayor Esteban Ríos said: “We felt frustrated, because although Interior offered it to us, we're only a small village, we haven't got much money and the maintenance costs would be huge.”
But whoever can afford €9,588,290 plus general upkeep costs will get a 3,523-square-metre structure with three storeys and a basement, extremely well-preserved and solid due to the walls being three metres (9'9”) thick, and with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, as it sits on a hill.
Esteban Río says he hopes whoever buys it will give it a use that respects its prestige as a gem of national historical heritage.
The castle is due to be auctioned sometime this year, but a date has not been confirmed.