However, in the Hollywood version we see Cid riding off along the beach, dead but satisfied, having done his duty by leading his soldiers in one of the most unconvincing battle scenes ever made.
In the 4th season of Game of Thrones, Peñiscola becomes Meereen, a city in the Bay of Dragons, where Daenerys Targaryenla arrives to free the slaves.
Peñiscola is most famous for having been the home of Pope Benedict XIII (Papa Luna). In the XIV century, when Popes were still expected to have armies and wage wars, there were two rival Popes Urban VI and Clement VII, one in Rome and one in Avignon.
Following Clement’s death, Papa Luna became Pope Benedict XIII, but the rival faction chose another Pope; and so the schism flourished.
As his support evaporated he was forced to flee to Perpignan and later Peñiscola, where he died, excommunicated in 1423.
Benedict was supposedly entrusted with the Emperor Constantine’s Imperial Codex, a document that was rumoured to contain a great secret that could destroy the Church, or at least provide a new plot for Dan Brown. On Benedict’s death it disappeared and is believed to be hidden in the castle or in the surrounding mountains.
A part of the original castle was destroyed during the War of Independence against Napoleon in 1814 as Spanish troops besieged a French garrison.
Today the castle is the centre of a rich cultural life, with classical music concerts and a cinema festival.