Valladolid, Castile-Leon (Spain)

By | July 1, 2022

According to themotorcyclers, the city of Valladolid is located in the heart of the autonomous region of Castile-Leon, 90 km east of Zamora and 200 km northwest of Madrid. It is the center of the province of the same name.

The exact date of the founding of the city is not known, small settlements existed here even under the Romans. In the 13th century, under King Alfonso VIII, Valladolid became the capital of the Kingdom of Castile. In 1469, the marriage of Princess Isabella of Castile and Prince Ferdinand of Aragon took place here (from that moment on, the history of the united kingdom of Spain is being conducted) and Valladolid became the capital of Spain. In the 16th century, under King Philip II, the capital was moved to Madrid.. Since the time when Valladolid was the capital of Spain, a lot of buildings have been preserved: palaces of aristocrats and churches. In addition, Valladolid is known for its museums.

In the center of the Old Town is the Plaza Mayor with a statue of the founder of Valladolid – Count Ansures. The square was built in the 16th century and became the prototype of all the main city squares in Spain. Banks and hotels with arcades on the first floors, as well as the City Hall building, crowned with a clock, lined up around the perimeter of the square.

Worth a look at the Cathedral located on Libertad Square. The cathedral was built in the period from the end of the 15th to the 19th century and was never completed due to lack of funds. At the initial stage, the work was carried out under the guidance of the architect Juan de Herrera, the author of the royal monastery in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, however, after the transfer of the capital to Madrid, the work was suspended. In the 18th century, the “restrained” appearance of the cathedral was significantly changed by another architect Alberto Churriguera: the facade of the cathedral was decorated with luxurious ornaments and a balustrade with statues of saints. Inside the cathedral, the decoration of four chapels with sculptural compositions and reliefs, the 16th century altar by Juan de Juni and the tomb of the founder of the city, Count Ansures, are noteworthy. At the cathedral there is a museum, where objects of religious art are presented.

In the vicinity of the Cathedral are the castle-like Gothic church of Santa Maria la Antigua of the 14th century with a pyramidal Romanesque tower and many small spiers and the College of Santa Cruz of the 15th century (one of the earliest buildings of the Spanish Renaissance) with a rich library.

Of the palaces of Valladolid, it is worth highlighting the palaces of the 15th-17th centuries: Royal Palace, where King Philip IV was born, Los Pimentel, where King Philip II was born and where the provincial government now sits, Marques-Valverde and Fabio Nelli. The Museum of Valladolid is located in the Fabio Nelli Palacewith archaeological collections and collections of paintings and sculptures from the 14th to 16th centuries, furniture from the 17th centuries, ceramics and tapestries.

Next to Los Pimentel Palace is the Church of San Pablo, with an extraordinarily beautiful 16th-century façade by Simon de Cologna. Every centimeter of the carved facade of the church is a real work of art; the styles of Plateresque, Mudéjar and Gothic are mixed here. Adjacent to the church is the National Museum of Sculpture, which displays the work of the best Spanish sculptors of the 16th and 17th centuries. Nearby is the House Museum of José Zorrilla, a famous Spanish poet of the 19th century.

Interesting Benedictine monastery of San Benito, which was founded on the site of a destroyed Arab fortress in the 14th century. One of the buildings of the monastery houses the Patio Herreriano Museum of Modern Art, which contains paintings and sculptures by Spanish masters of the 20th and 21st centuries. Also noteworthy is the Cistercian monastery of Santa Maria with a collection of Spanish paintings and the nearby 16th-century University with a baroque facade and the Christopher Columbus House Museum, which displays historical documents and pre-Columbian art. In addition, Valladolid houses the Cervantes House Museum., where the writer lived from 1604 to 1606 and where he finished work on the book Don Quixote. The museum displays household items from the 17th century and Cervantes’ room with his personal belongings. The museum extends the main park of the city – Campo Grande. On the alleys of the park you can see a large number of birds such as pheasants, turkeys and pigeons. The Museum of Oriental Art is located on the territory of the park, where art objects from China and the Philippines are presented, starting from the 2nd century BC. and ending with the 19th century.

On the eve of Easter, during Holy Week, mass festivities take place in Valladolid. This is the most colorful and memorable city festival, which attracts residents of surrounding cities and tourists.

The province of Valladolid is famous for its castles (there are about 30 of them) and vineyards, there are three significant wine regions in Spain (Ribera del Duero, Cigales and Rueda). Simanacas is located 10 km southwest of Valladolid. Here, in 939, the famous battle of Christians with the Moors took place, which ended with the victory of the Christians. It was one of the biggest victories in the history of the struggle of Christians against the Arabs who conquered the Iberian Peninsula. The city is interesting for the castle of the 15th century, where the National Archives of the kingdom were kept since the time of King Philip II. To this day, thousands of ancient documents and manuscripts are stored in the castle. 45 km southwest of Valladolid, it is worth visiting La Mota Castle in the city of Medina del Campo (Medina del Campo). The silhouette of the castle of the 15th century is visible long before entering the city. This is one of the largest fortresses in the region of Castile-Leon. The castle is surrounded by a moat, over which a stone bridge is thrown. In plan, the castle has the shape of a trapezoid with four towers at the corners, connected by fortification walls, and two towers at the main gate. Higher internal fortress walls protrude from behind the outer fortress walls of the castle, in one of the corners of which a powerful square tower rises. Under King Enrique IV, La Mota Castle was the main defense point of the kingdom, the National Documents Archive was stored here and an armory was located. In addition to the castle in Medina del Campo, it is worth visiting the Royal Palace, which is located near the main city square, where Queen Isabella I died in 1504, as well as see the palaces and churches of the 16th and 17th centuries. Penafiel. The first fortification on a high city hill was built in the 9th century. The current Gothic castle is the result of many centuries-old reconstructions. Now the castle, surrounded by high walls, stretches along the hill for 200 m and looks like a ship. The width of the fortress is 33 m. The main rectangular tower of the castle with 8 turrets has a height of 30 m, its dimensions at the base are 14.5×20 m. Now the castle houses a wonderful Wine Museum. Also of interest in Peñafiel is the 14th century church of San Pablo, which was built in the Gothic and Mudejar styles and is one of the best examples of such architecture in the region.

30 km southwest of Valladolid, the city of Tordesillas is interesting. (Tordesillas). In 1494, the Treaty of Tordesillas was concluded here, dividing the spheres of influence of Spain and Portugal in the New World. The main attraction of the city is the royal monastery of Santa Clara. It was originally a palace built under King Alfonso XI in 1350. It became a monastery under his son King Pedro I. Under him, the buildings of the palace complex were richly decorated with elements of the Mudéjar style, and Arab baths were also built here, which are perfectly preserved to this day. Other attractions of the city include the San Antolin Museum of Religious Art, the main square of the city of Plaza Mayor, which is surrounded by 17th-century buildings with porticos, a medieval bridge with 10 arches and the remains of the city walls.

Medina de Rioseco is located 45 km north of Valladolid. In the Middle Ages, it was a major trading center and was surrounded by fortress walls, from which 8 gates have survived to this day. In Medina de Rioseco, the most interesting is the grandiose church of Santa Maria de Mediavilla of the 16th century, built in the Isabelino style, which arose during the reign of Queen Isabella I. The Benavente Church Chapel, containing the altarpiece by Juan de Juni, is often called the “Sistine Chapel of Castile “. The church houses the Museum of Religious Art. Also in Medina de Rioseco worth a look at the Gothic Church of Santiago. Colorful urban celebrations of Holy Week (before Easter) are known throughout the country. If you can’t visit the Medina de Riosecco during Holy Week and take part in the festivities, then it’s worth stopping by the Semana Santa Museum, where you can learn about how the festival works.

Valladolid, Castile-Leon (Spain)