The castle was built in the 15th century by the 1st Duke of the Infantado, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza. The building work was continued by his son Íñigo López de Mendoza, who enlisted the help of the architect Juan Guas, one of the leading exponents of the Late Gothic style in Castile, and architect to the Catholic Monarchs.
The Manzanares El Real Castle holds a strategic position overlooking the Segovia Cañada Real (or royal drovers’ road), which was used by the Mesta (the first cattle breeder guild in Europe that was operational from the 13th to the 19th centuries) to move livestock around Spain on a seasonal basis. The whole building is enhanced by the robust cur - tain walls and wall-walk. An imposing gatehouse protected by flanking towers gives way to the interior after crossing the old moat, which is filled in today
The castle was used by the Mendoza family for a little under a century, and was abandoned from 1530 onwards. The area gradually deteriorated over time and was used as a storehouse, stable and even as a cinema and school during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39).