It was a hot day and I decided that after two days of hiking (after almost two years of not hiking) I would take the day off and visit a castle instead.
I drove by this sign before, so this time I decided that I should stop and see it.
The sign said that the castle is 1,2 km from the road. There was a parking lot right by the road, so I assumed that was the castle parking lot. I dropped my car off here and headed off on foot.
The road was paved and at some point, it occurred to me that this might be for cars to reach the castle. Meaning, I could’ve driven there.
But, I did not regret my decision. Had I driven, I would’ve surely missed the waterfalls that line the road, scores of wildflowers and fluttering butterflies.
I walked like this for a little while, maybe 15 min or so, until the paved road ended and forked off into two dirt roads. I chose to go left because this road seemed better maintained.
It was very pleasant, but it just kept going, with no castle in sight…
Finally, I did spot the castle! But it looked like I was moving away from it, not heading towards it! I realized I should’ve taken the road to the right.
But it wasn’t hard to backtrack. I soon found the castle.
I had a very enjoyable visit here. There was only one other visitor at the castle at the same time as I was there, and he was leaving.
Pretty soon I got to roam the castle on my own!
Some of the structure dates back to the 11th Century! There was an interesting show of renderings of how the castle changed over the years.
Castello de Andraz is beautifully restored and full of interesting information, but it’s interesting to note that it was a forgotten ruin until the restoration that began in 1986.
One of the most interesting spots in the castle is the “Secret Chamber”.
This room was mostly used for storage of valuable scrolls, but the most interesting use seemed to be by Nicoló Cusano, who lived here between 1457 and 1460. To quote one of the plaques in the castle: “He was a scholar of mathematics and astronomy and is considered one of the most important figures of the Renaissance.”
Using a hole in the wall in this room, he was able to recalculate the existing calendar, which was – prior to his calculations – off and it did not align with the winter and summer solstice. This little hole in this little castle apparently helped fix all that.
The castle is definitely worth a visit. It’s just enough off the beaten path that it does not seem to attract swarms of tourists.
It is possible to drive to the castle and to get fairly close to it. However, I would not recommend it. The road is narrow and I wouldn’t have liked to drive on it, even in my little rented Fiat. Walking is much preferred.
Maybe not technically a hike, but I ran Strava so I’m counting it as a hike. 🙂
This hike: 3,53 km; 104 m of elevation gain
YTD Hiking Km: 25,14