Valladolid, Castile and Leon, Spain

Valladolid is a historic city and municipality in north-central Spain, situated at the confluence of the Pisuerga and Esgueva rivers, and located within three wine-making regions: Ribera del Duero, Rueda and Cigales. It is the capital of the province of Valladolid and of the autonomous community of Castile and León (de facto).

Main Sights

The capital of Castile y León preserves in its old quarter heritage of aristocratic houses and religious buildings.

Interesting religious buildings

  • The unfinished Cathedral, commissioned by King Philip II and designed by the architect Juan de Herrera  in the 16th century, following a mannierist style perhaps influenced by Michelangelo. The church is unfinished due to financial problems and its nave was not opened until 1668. Years later, in 1730, Master Churriguera finished the work on the main front. Inside the cathedral, the sanctuary houses a reredos made by Juan de Juni in 1562. The complex is linked to the Diocesan Museum, which holds carvings attributed to Gregorio Fernández and Juni himself, as well as a silver  monstrance  by  Juan  de Arce.
  • The large Gothic church of San Benito, built by the Benedictines between 1500 and 1515, with an unusual tower.
  • San Miguel Church, antient church of the Jesuits (now, parish church), built at the end of the 16th century, hosts some reredos by the early 17th-century sculptor Gregorio Fernández.
  • The façade of the Dominic’s Church of San Pablo, characterized by Gothic statues and decoration built around 1500.
  • El Salvador Church, with a façade built around 1550, a 15th-century Flemish reredos and a brick tower dating from the 17th century.
  • The church of Santiago has reredos depicting the Adoration of the Magi (1537) created by  Berruguete  and, in the sanctuary, a great baroque reredos depicting Saint James killing moors, as usual in Spain.
  • The Gothic church of Santa maría la Antigua has an unusual pyramid-shaped Romanesque tower from the 12th century and a 14th century gothic sanctuary, influenced by the Cathedgral of Burgos..
  • The Convent of Santa María la Real de las Huelgas, originally built about 1600, following Spanish mannierist tendencies.
  • Convento de Santa Ana, a neoclassical building housing various paintings by Francisco de Goya.
  • San Juan de Letrán Church, featuring a Baroque façade built in 1737. Beside this last church is the Monasterio de los Padres Filipinos, designed by the architect Ventura Rodríguez in 1760.

Other buildings

The heart of the old city is the 16th-century Plaza Mayor, presided  over by a statue of    Count Ansúrez from 1903. On one side of it stands the City Hall, an eclectic building dating from the beginning of the 20th century, crowned by a clock tower. In the nearby streets is the Palace of Los Pimentel, today the seat of the Provincial Council, is one of the most important, as King Philip II was born here on 21 May 1527. The Royal Palace (where King Philip IV of Spain and Queen Anne of France, mother of Louis XIV were born), the 16th-century Palace of the Marquises of Valverde, and that of the banker Fabio Nelli – a building with a Classicist stamp built in 1576 – should also be pointed out. The Museum of Valladolid occupies this complex, exhibiting a collection of furniture, sculptures, paintings and ceramic pieces dated from Prehistoric  times to the present.

The National Sculpture Museum is site in San Gregorio College, a Flemish Gothic style building . It is home to polychrome carvings made by artists like Alonso Berruguete or Gregorio Fernández. The Museum of Contemporary Spanish Art, located in the Patio Herreriano, one of the cloisters of the former Monastery of San Benito, preserves more than 800 paintings and sculptures from the 20th century.

The University, whose Baroque façade is decorated with various academic symbols, and the Santa Cruz College,  which as well as housing a library forms one of the first examples of the Spanish Renaissance.

The city preserves houses where great historical characters once lived. They include:

    • the Casa de Cervantes, where the author of Don Quijote lived with his family between 1603 and 1606. It was in this house where the writer finished his masterpiece.
    • The Christopher Columbus House-Museum is located in the what was though the residence of the Genoese navigator in the last years of his life. Nowadays the palace exhibits various pieces and documents related to the discovery of America.
    • The house where José Zorrilla was born, housing

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