TV & Movies

'The Cook of Castamar': Is Castamar, Spain a Real Place?

The success of the Netflix original series Bridgerton has stirred up viewer interest in period dramas, especially if they include a lot of sex and sumptuous costumes. So the streaming giant is stepping up to meet that demand. Early this year, they brought a Spanish series called The Cook of Castamar to their lineup. One of the things fans love about the show is the setting, with its ancient buildings and beautiful landscape.

But is the area where the story is set a real place? Could they actually visit Castamar?

What is ‘The Cook of Castamar’ about?

The romantic period drama came out in February, and according to FanSided, it soon hit Netflix’s Top 10 Trending list. Like the super-popular series Bridgerton, it’s a period piece that is rife with drama, romance, social expectations, and lust.

The series is set in the early 1700s, and it’s about Duke Diego de Castamar (Roberto Enriquez), who suffers a tragic loss. His beloved wife, who has just told him she’s expecting a baby, is thrown from her horse and killed.

The Duke’s heart is broken, but political pressures mean he must remarry. Eligible young women are more than happy to line up for the opportunity, but unfortunately for them, Diego had already noticed his cook. 

Clara Belmonte (played by Michelle Jenner), is a high-society woman who fell on hard times when her father died. To support herself, she turned to cooking, landing a position in the Duke’s household. Despite Clara’s respectable background, the fact that she’s employed makes a potential relationship scandalous. Somehow, this knowledge doesn’t stop them from being drawn to each other. 

Where the show is filmed

Part of the appeal of the series is its lush beauty. The costumes, sets, and even the lighting are all elegant and have a patina of age and wealth. And the landscape is breathtaking. 

According to Looper, the series was filmed in Spain, in the cities of Madrid, Segovia, and Cuenca. These areas not only offer stunning views, but they also have historic buildings, such as the Castle Alcazar of Segovia. You can also see the Historic Walled Town in Cuenca, which was built by the Moors in the 12th Century. 

These beautiful, old sites are the ideal setting for an 18th-century story to unfold. But what about Castamar? Is that a place you could actually visit?

Is Castamar a real place?

The series pays meticulous attention to detail, even down to the kind of clothes people of the era wore and the food they ate. This gives a historically accurate feel, leading people to wonder if the Duke is based on a real person. If so, would it be possible to visit his home?

Unfortunately for hopeful fans, The Cinemaholic reports that The Cook of Castamar is not based on a true story. The series was adapted from a novel by Fernando J. Muñez. The events of the novel are set in Madrid, making the filming location even more perfect. 

It’s true that there are real historical figures who appear in the series, such as King Philip V and Queen Isabel. However, there is no historical record of anyone called the Duke of Castamar. Like the torrid, scandalous romance, the main characters in this dramatic series never existed. 

Although they’ll never get to walk the streets of the fictional town, fans of the series are happy to put that hope aside and just enjoy the sensual intrigue.

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