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Valladolid

If you read about Valladolid, you will end up with the feeling that half of the great names of the history of Spain have something to do with the city. Even though, just about a thousand years ago, there wasn’t much around here …

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If you read about Valladolid, you will end up with the feeling that half of the great names of the history of Spain have something to do with the city. Even though, just about a thousand years ago, there wasn’t much around here …

It was then, during the Middle Ages, when Alfonso VI of León promoted its repopulation. They constructed some religious buildings, which were the ones that gave the town category and attracted many of the faithful to the place, this way Valladolid became, in a matter of days, a Courtesan City, loved by the Kings.

Not much remains of that Medieval City, but the San Pablo Square dates back to the tenth century. Do not forget to visit it, because history has left in it very important monuments and events: for example, Felipe II was born in the Pimentel Palace, and as a monarch, he would live in the Royal Palace,  as his father Carlos V did and his son Felipe III. Napoleon also stayed in that building while trying to subdue the Spanish rebels.

Felipe II himself supported the reconstruction of the Plaza Mayor after a fire destroyed much of the city. The squares of Madrid and Salamanca would later be inspired in this space, in which revolutionary urbanist ideas were applied in Hispanic lands.

And this is because, in those times, Valladolid was one of the greatest imperial cities. It was even going to become the capital of Spain under the reign of Felipe III, although that was the result of an astute manoeuvre of the Duke of Lerma. In 1601, the cheeky fellow took advantage of his condition as the monarch’s favourite to persuade him to relocate the capital from Madrid to the Pisuerga River town with the sole purpose of hitting a significant urbanist punch. Five years later, he burned the ears of the monarch to convince him to go back to Madrid, and he repeated the operation, making lots of money again. This must be the reason why there isn’t a single monument dedicated to the perverse Duke.

Truth is, there is no need for it because you will need plenty of time to thoroughly see the Cathedral, the Temples of San Miguel and San Pablo or the church of Santa María La Antigua. Also to imagine things, because this is a land full of legends; and the best ones, of course, are the ones with the Devil as the main character. The Puente Mayor is involved in one of them, a certain object which you can see in the Provincial Museum is linked to another one. It is known as Sillón del Diablo (Devil’s Armchair) and thanks to its gruesome story which it is not suitable for all listeners because it includes butchered children, necromancy and Inquisition, nowadays they say that it is not a very good idea to sit on it. You’ve been warned, just in case …

And we finish off telling you that back in the year 1605 the famous Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes lived here. Today you can visit the house where Don Quixote de la Mancha, his squire Sancho Panza, his sweetheart Dulcinea and, of course, those mill-looking giants that made his life impossible were born …


Valladolid

Calle Acera de Recoletos, s/n (Oficina de Turismo)
47004 Valladolid
(+34) 983 21 93 10

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