The Castle of Zafra

In the beloved TV series Game of Thrones, young Ned Stark is seen clashing swords with the henchmen of Targaryen in front of a spectacular castle known as the Tower of Joy. Like many locations in this immensely popular TV series, the Tower of Joy is an actual castle, albeit with a different name. Its real name is Castle of Zafra, and it is located in the Spanish province of Guadalajara.

Castle of Zafra stands on a rocky outcrop in the Caldereros mountain range, at an altitude of 1,400 meters. It is the only building for miles around. The entire area is characterized by sloping meadows interspersed with heavily-eroded sandstone outcrops, one of which is occupied by the castle. The castle tower, known as the Tower of Homage, and the other buildings are enclosed by a wall that runs around the periphery of the entire outcrop. Despite its small size, the castle is thought to have been capable of accommodating as many as 500 people.

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Castle of Zafra

Photo credit: Diego Delso/Wikimedia


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