In the heart of La Mancha we find a place where we cannot help but think of the great Cervantes and his Don Quixote. And it is that Campo de Criptana is famous for its mills, which are presented in the novel as giants that the ingenious hidalgo had to face.
To visit Campo de Criptana is to relive that history and enjoy one of the most famous pictures that we can see in the Iberian Peninsula.
In addition, it is the hometown of Sara Montiel and here we can visit a museum dedicated to her most illustrious character.
The windmills of Campo de Criptana
We discovered Campo de Criptana after our visit to Lagunas de Ruidera. And we agree. Well, it was a place that we loved.
The Campo de Criptana mills are located in the highest part of the town, on a hill called Sierra de los Molinos, from where you also have good views of the area.
That is also why they can be admired from places further away from the population.
Although at the end of the 19th century there were 34 mills (Cervantes narrated 30 to 40 mills in his novel in the 16th century), today we can admire 10.
Of these, 3 still retain their original machinery from 5 centuries ago, so they can grind the cereal just as it was done then.
They are the only 3 mills in the Iberian Peninsula that preserve it. In addition, they can be visited and thus learn how they work.
The others have been restored but are no less interesting for that, as they house various museums dedicated to wine, poetry, painting, farming and another to Sara Montiel. In one of them there is also the Tourist Office.
The mills can be visited every day from 10am to 2pm and 4:30pm to 7pm, although you can admire the exterior 24 hours a day.
Other places to see in Campo de Criptana
Attracted by the beauty, charm and charm of the mills, it is possible that you overlook other places of interest to see in Campo de Criptana, but the truth is that this town also has monuments that by themselves make it worth visiting..
In the center of the town, very close to the Campo de Criptana Town Hall, is the Pósito Real, from the 16th century.
It was the place where the grain that the city council lent in times of lean cows as an advance for the following year was kept. A
In addition, they served to regulate the wheat market because, since there was no shortage, they prevented the price of bread from skyrocketing. It is currently the Municipal Museum, with an important archeology exhibition.
From there it is a good place to start a pleasant walk through the streets and squares of Campo de Criptana admiring some of its churches such as Nuestra Señora de la Asunción.
This church stands out for its high bell tower and dates from the 16th century, although the current one is from after the Spanish Civil War since it was destroyed during it.
But do not forget to also visit the Church of the Convent and other small hermitages scattered around the town.
As you get closer to the Sierra de los Molinos is the Cerro de la Paz with its white and indigo houses and windows with wrought iron bars, Moorish style, which were built by Moorish families who came from Granada.
Hence, this neighborhood is known as the Albaicín, like the famous Granada neighborhood. In this neighborhood are also the famous Cave Houses, where the neighbors used to live.
You can find more information on the official Campo de Criptana tourism page.
Photo Barrio Albaicin: wikipedia.org