Posted by: debrakolkka | April 9, 2011

Don Quixote was here

Don Quixote's windmills

Well maybe. Miguel de Cervantes story of Don Quixote was published in the early 17th century. The story was set in La Mancha, from the Arabic “parched earth”. Just above the village of Consuegra there is a ruined 12th century castle and a small cluster of windmills. This has to be the setting for the story of the man fighting the hopeless battle.

the old castle

The castle belonged to the Knights of St John from the 12th and 13th centuries and is associated with their trip to the Crusades. For 3 euro you can wander through the castle to get a pretty good idea of the way they used to live.

entering the castle

an interesting window

a fabulous old door

a room in the castle

let's joust


in the castle

the windmills from the castle

what a fabulous setting for a tale

looking out over La Mancha

On the way back to the highway we passed a farmhouse that looked too cute not to photograph.

a spanish farm with very low grape vines

like white doll's houses

stuffed overalls

The stuffed overalls hanging from the tree were obviously an attempt to keep birds away. It wasn’t working, they were tweeting madly all around.

I learned the story of Don Quixote at primary school and loved the tale of the man in this far away magical land. Who knew that one day I would visit? Of course, we called him Don Quicksote, we didn’t know any better then.

If you happen to be about an hour south of Toledo, call by and see if you can see the ghost of Don Quixote tilting at windmills, with his faithful companion Sancho by his side.


  1. Do you think those mills are still in use? Very few mills in England still mill flour by windpower, though some old ones have been resurrected. Did the European settlers put up windmills in Australia? I love this tale and I can almost smell those dusty fields. I find your photos trigger all sorts of thoughts, memories and dreams. Wonderful!

    • I think they are just for show. They are only about 300 years old (only) so weren’t there at the time of Cervantes, but something like them would have been there.

  2. What a wonderful refresher in the history of Spain – dont remember it ever being that good at school – and your pictures make it even more stunning

    • Thanks, I think I read about don Quixote in grade 5 with Mrs Folliett. It must have appealed to me back then.

  3. As usual your photos are fabulous. It makes me want to jump on a plane and visit this area.

    • You would not be disapppinted.

  4. 9.20am. (To Joanna) The blade frames on the windmills above would need a fabric covering in place to catch the wind and work.

    The oldest surviving building in Brisbane is the old mill on Wickham Tce. built in the 1820’s. A treadmill was added later for punishing prisoners and lack of wind. The sails were reportedly removed in 1842.

    The problem in Brisbane is that there is very little constant wind to make wind power viable. We get storms that will remove roofs but it is the constant wind we lack.

    The photos are excellent and full of interest.

    • Thanks Colin – another place for you to visit.

    • @ Colin – of course they would, you’re quite right – I thought maybe they put the sails on once in a while to make them work – I have seen windmill buildings here without the blades which have been converted into holiday homes. I stayed once in one in Crete. The wind never stopped blowing the whole time we were there!

  5. I loved the Don Quixote story in my school days, also saw “The Man from La Mancha” musical. The photos you took of the windmills and the old castle resembled some of the old drawings in the book. It’s amazing how those buildings still stand the tests of time. Your photo of the windmills overlooking the countryside is stunning. Love the stuffed overalls! Can’t wait for your next episode.

    • I’m so glad we went to this tiny place to see the windmills. I loved the little farm too.

  6. The windnills are a surprise! Great post.

    • Aren’t they cute??

  7. Lovely photos, Deb! I love the windmills too – thanks to Colin for explaining how they worked. I was wondering how the arms turned!

    • It was a gorgeous place.

  8. Oh yeah, I remember the Don Quixote/Don Quicksote lessons 🙂 The windmills from the castle….. awesome.

    • It was fun to be there and imagine.

  9. […] did see the Don Quixote kind of windmill as well. Click here to see how cute they are.  fruit trees in blossom we saw lots of bulls on […]

  10. […] building and look in the Spain category to see Madrid, Ainsa, Toledo, Seville, the windmills in La Mancha, Cadiz, Granada and the Alhambra and […]

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