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Here you can find all the castles and palaces where you can enjoy MICE and space rental.
The town of Plasencia is located on the banks of the Jerte River, in the Extremadura province of Cáceres. Its Parador is in the old quarter, a strategic location along the ancient commercial and pilgrimage route known as the Ruta de la Plata. The hotel occupies Santo Domingo Monastery, built in the 15th century. Thick stone walls, vaulted ceilings and beautiful décor await you in the Gothic style interior. The hotel is the ideal spot from which to explore the city and the surrounding natural landscapes.
In the city you will discover the remains of medieval walls, fortified towers and gates, including Puerta del Sol (Sun Gate) and the smaller Postigo de Santa María (Santa María Gate). As you walk through the town center, you will come to the Plaza Mayor (Main Square), a must-see during the Martes Mayor (Great Tuesday) celebrations, which have been named a national tourist attraction. The town also boasts one of the most representative groups of historic buildings in the area, made up of the Romanesque Old Cathedral and the New Cathedral, which has Gothic and Renaissance elements.
Plasencia is an excellent starting point for exploring the Las Hurdes district, Sierra de Gata mountains, La Vera district and Jerte River Valley, with its spectacular spring, when flowering cherry trees color the valley bright white. Not to mention Monfragüe National Park, a must-see. Here you will enjoy nature, waterfalls and meanders, lovely historic towns and local delicacies such as partridge stew, lamb, Extremadura-style fried breadcrumbs, the famous Ibérico ham and exquisite torta del Casar cheese. An unforgettable experience for your senses.
With the erection of this chapel in 1536, an urban transformation of the city of Úbeda began, which, in a very short time, scarcely fifty years, produced one of the most outstanding and prodigious collections of Renaissance architecture in Spain. It was created under the patronage of the Secretary and Chief Adviser to Emperor Charles V, Francisco de los Cobos, and his relatives, with the purpose of creating an urban setting to match their dizzying heights of social ascension.
This monumental square, today known as the Plaza Vázquez de Molina, is presided over by a large church, la Sacra Capilla del Salvador the centerpiece, together with the neighbouring Baeza´s monumental ensemble, of Unesco´s World Heritage Site. This is Diego de Siloé’s masterpiece. Its architectural layout makes an ideal resemblance of the Holy Sepulcher built in Jerusalem where a basilica and a funerary chapel are constructed in the same space.
The funerary chapel was constructed for the aforementioned Francisco de los Cobos and his family. Siloé’s project was executed by Andrés de Vandelvira, and the Sacristy may be entirely due to him.
The result is a Church at the very heights of the best Italian Renaissance architecture and partakes in the humanist ambition of fusing classical heritage with that of the Christian world, an ambition that is also present in its rich iconographic programme.
The Castle of Cullera is a construction of the tenth century (caliphate period), built over the remains of another Ibero- Roman edification. By the time of the reconquest, the King Jaime I decided to reform it and expand the fortress.
The complex consists of 5 towers, the fortress and two fortified enclosures, as well as "Alt de Fort" , a strongpoint built at XIX century during the Second Carlist War. Also in XIX century, ,the Sanctuary of the Virgin of the Castle, was built next to the Castle. It is a beautiful construction of neo- romantic origin.
The stroll between its walls is a return to the past. Walking around its hallways and emblematic rooms letting your imagination run wild, putting yourself in the shoes of everyone who lived and fought between the walls of this sturdy fortress more than 10 centuries ago, it is an experience that nobody should miss. During the visit we can enjoy the museum, the Virgin chapel and, of course, the weapons room.
In the birthplace of Cervantes, where every nook and cranny oozes art and culture, stands the Parador de Alcalá, a 17th-century monastery school and student lodgings located in the former San Jerónimo College. However, do not let so much history overwhelm you, because the hotel offers the perfect combination of tradition and avant-garde. The interior décor is of a modern design: tasteful, minimalist and extremely elegant. The services are without par: in addition to the standard offerings at Paradores, there is a spa, business center, convention centers and twelve conference rooms. 26 kilometers from Madrid, 20 kilometers from Barajas International Airport and the trade fair facilities at IFEMA, and just 2 kilometers from the train station, the Parador's location in this World Heritage City is one of its main advantages.
The Parador de Alcalá is a good option for conference tourism and events, as well as visiting the city. Far from being just a commuter town and a place to escape after a hectic day in Madrid, along the cobbled streets of the old quarter of Alcalá de Henares, you will discover the charming traces left by the passage of history on this university city. A literary capital par excellence, this is the birthplace of Cervantes and was once home to Francisco Quevedo, Lope de Vega, Calderón de la Barca, Tirso de Molina and St. John of the Cross, among other geniuses of the Spanish Renaissance.
Alcalá offers a number of very interesting tourist attractions: Calle Mayor, the cathedral, the university and the Archbishop's Palace are all worth a visit. Other highlights include the Paraninfo Theater, where the prestigious Cervantes Prize for Literature is presented, and the many historic buildings which host visiting storks, now part of the landscape of Alcalá. Once you visit the Parador de Alcalá, you are sure to return, just as the storks come back to the city’s towers each year.
The Castle of San Pedro, popularly known as the Citadel of Jaca, is the best preserved pentagonal fortification of S. XVI in Europe. Ordered by King Philip II, the first stone was laid in 1592, following the plans of the military engineer Tiburcio Spanoqui, born in Siena (Tuscany), but under the service of the King of Spain. This fortification was raised to defend and control the main route of penetration from France thrugh the central Pyrenees, in order to prevent attacks by French Huguenots, who were the Protestants fighting in that in country against the Catholic power. We are in the strategic pass of the river Aragon, easily accessible most of the year. For this reason, while the Citadel was being built, the castle of Canfranc and the towers of Espelunca (Aragon valley) and Santa Elena (Tena valley) were being erected and strengthened. Jaca would be the central point of the defense and logistical supply of the Pyrenean valleys of Ansó, Echo, Aragon and Tena.
The Citadel of Jaca was built to be adapted to the effective use of artillery, both defensively and offensively. Its perfectly regular plan is formed by straight lines and by angles that allow to line the weapons for a better defense. These angles are also designed to hinder the enemy’s attack. Gunpowder and the rapid evolution of artillery changed the construction of defenses. From the minds of military engineers and mathematicians like Sangallo, Vitelli, Francesco de Marchi, Niccolo Tartaglia, Pedro Luis Escrivá and, of course, Spanoqui came out geometric forms seeking defensive perfection and the pentagonal shape was the best option. Thus the citadel rose with five bastions, its main feature.
A fortification of these formidable characteristics responded to the need to firmly defend a strategic territory. At the same time, this type of fortress needed a plain from which to obtain resources and with which to defend. Jaca was the ideal location because it is located on a plain in the Aragon Valley: from this strategic position you could obtain resources, control the passes and provide great resistance.
The Citadel is an outstanding example of he Spanish military heritage because of the excellent condition of its main elements. Since the castle has been always occupied and used as barracks, and since the military have assumed the commitment of their care and permanent improvement, the fortress preserves today its original structure and facilities. In this sense, in 1985 it was awarded the Europa Nostra prize by the European Commission. Thus, in the castle have been preserved the five bastions and ten casemates, the barracks, the moat, the drawbridge, the cover parapet walk, etc. The glacis now offers a large space with soft slope of lawn for recreational uses.
In the historic town center of the capital of Zamora, a beautiful palace awaits. Built on the site of an old Muslim citadel, today it houses a Parador. The hotel provides the opportunity to discover all the beauty of the natural, historical and artistic riches of this region. The medieval feel of the interior, which you will note in the armor, fine tapestries and canopy beds, blends with the Renaissance style of the courtyard, glass enclosed wooden gallery and coats of arms. The hotel also offers two conference rooms, a refreshing swimming pool and excellent traditional cuisine.
Because of its strategic geographic location, Zamora serves as a crossroads on theVia Delapidata, a beautiful, peaceful place where a nice walk is a pleasant way to explore the city's wealth of cultural and historical heritage. The cathedral with its ribbed cupola, Las Dueñas Convent, the delicate modernist style and urban Romanesque of many of the city's buildings, Zamora Castle and the Baltasar Lobo Museum are just some of the historic and artistic sights that are sure to fascinate you.
Come enjoy the monuments, cuisine and glow of this city on the banks of the Douro River while lodging at a unique hotel.
Know the environment
Zamora is a municipality and city located in the northwestern part of the central Iberian Peninsula. It is the capital of the province of the same name. The city's old quarter is considered an area of artistic and historical importance. The core of the city is elongated and largely surrounded by walls, extending along the northern banks of the Douro River. These characteristics have led Zamora to be known as the "well enclosed."
Highlights include its many Romanesque buildings. Considered "the Romanesque City," it has 23 religious buildings and 14 churches in the old quarter, making Zamora the city with the largest number of the finest Romanesque religious structures in Europe. Its major historical landmarks include the cathedral, castle, city walls, a bridge, two palaces and nine stately homes, as well as a number of modernist buildings.
The Parador de Ciudad Rodrigo is located between the energetic cultural life of Salamanca and the wonderful charm of Portugal's Aldeias Históricas (Historical Villages). The hotel, once the castle of Henry II of Trastámara, overlooks the town from atop a high precipice like an eagle's nest. The elegant keep stands above the Águeda River plain, offering wonderful views of the countryside of the Campo Charro region. You will not fail to admire the stone arcades in the dining room, or the traditional Salamanca cuisine, including delicious charcuterie, tasty roasted meats and the best Ibérico ham. It is excellent! And if you imagine your wedding day in a medieval setting, or you would simply like to have a different kind of celebration, this is the ideal spot, because we offer unique theme weddings.
Immerse yourself in history. Ciudad Rodrigo has been declared an Area of Artistic-Historical Importance. It offers wonderful Roman and medieval architecture. The entire city is walled, inviting you to enjoy a lovely walk along the 2-kilometer perimeter. Wander the streets filled with palaces and stately homes, and discover the Plaza Mayor (Main Square) with its 16th-century Town Hall, the imposing cathedral, and more.
This beautiful and historic city is just over 80 kilometers from Salamanca (45 minutes by highway), and 25 kilometers from the Portuguese border. Ciudad Rodrigo is the heart of the area and from here you can visit such unique places as La Alberca and other villages in the Sierra de Francia mountains, with maze-like streets, stone houses with wooden balconies, lovely squares and fountains. You will feel as if time has stood still. There is also Almeida, in Portugal, a walled site and former defensive fortification on the border between the two countries.
Arribes del Duero Nature Reserve is another paradise that awaits you on the border between Zamora and Portugal. With a Mediterranean microclimate and exotic North African flora, it is the last refuge of species such as the juniper and hackberry tree. It also guards treasures like the Pozo de los Humos, an incredible 40-meter waterfall.
Visiting the scenic overlooks and taking a boat ride along the gentle waters of the Douro River, spotting the many birds that nest there, offer a one-of-a-kind experience.
Who has not heard of the Roman theater at Mérida, or its Roman circus? Who has not been told that a visit to this beautiful city, known by some as the Spanish Rome, should not be missed? In Mérida, a magnificent Parador awaits you. Located in the heart of the city, it offers the opportunity to discover a wealth of heritage without having to worry about driving. The hotel is a former 18th-century convent built atop the remains of a temple dedicated to the Augustan Concord. It is the perfect combination of tradition, comfort and good service, from which you can explore Roman, Visigoth and Arab Mérida, as well as the modern, contemporary city.
Over the course of its busy history, the building that now houses the Parador de Mérida has had different uses, including as a hospital, insane asylum and even a jail. Today it still houses historical remains dating back 2000 years. The interior cloister and Jardín de Antigüedades (Garden of Antiquities), a collection of Mudejar, Roman and Visigothic archaeological pieces, are both truly fascinating locations. The Parador stands on a peaceful square painted with orange trees. It is five minutes from the Roman theater, the jewel of Mérida's monuments, with an incredible stage that still hosts performances.
The amphitheater, where gladiatorial games, wild beast hunts and battles between wild animals were held on the large wooden platforms that formed the arena; Roman circus, one of the grandest and best preserved in the Empire; Los Milagros Aqueduct; Roman bridge; and Temple of Diana are other must-sees.
This city overflowing with vestiges of the past inspires calm and peace, revealing secrets like the beautiful sunsets over the waters of the Guadiana River. Here everything can be perfect.
The Infante Don Luis de Borbón Palace was a project executed by the Thomas brothers, but commissioned to the architect Ventura Rodríguez, which remained unfinished after the death of the Infante Don Luis de Borbón. Only the right wing of the palace and a part of the main facade could be built. It has a monumental portico of Roman inspiration, soberly decorated in the English neoclassical style.
The Infante Don Luis de Borbón Palace has been declared an asset of cultural interest (according to its Spanish acronym, BIC) in 2012. The Palace has 3 floors, which can be accessed from the portico and a large entrance hall that houses a large imperial-style staircase located in a double height space covered by a vault and delimited by arches and balconies around it.
The years that the Infante Don Luis de Borbón lived in this palace were years of cultural splendor. The Infante's life revolved around art, and he is considered one of the most important Spanish patrons, as well as a great collector. He obtained one of the most important and best equipped science libraries, especially in botany and zoology, with his extensive art collection and a Natural History Cabinet, which made it possible for Arenas to be at the forefront of his time.
Among the great figures who spent time in this palace were the composer Luigi Boccherini and the painter Francisco de Goya, who spent three summers in Arenas de San Pedro painting family pictures.
The Infante Don Luis de Borbón died in Arenas de San Pedro on August 7, 1785, which marked the end of the Infante's court in the town, the abandonment of his palace, and its almost total dismantling. Between 1785 and 1796, the palace was used as a barracks and years later it was occupied by Napoleon's troops, serving as a fortress, until it became a Catholic seminary in the 19th century.
In 1989 the City Council of Arenas de San Pedro acquired the Infante Don Luis de Borbón Palace, and began the work of revaluation and rehabilitation of the building and its gardens. The palace was not only configured as a cultural container, but was also provided with structural and aesthetic improvements, which makes it today one of the most representative emblems of this town, and a cultural and tourist reference for foreigners and outsiders.
Since 2018 the palace has been home to the Gredos Painting Awards Museum. It also hosts events with many years of importance: such as the Luigi Boccherini Festival, the “Palace Days”, Exhibitions, Festivals and Concerts. Undoubtedly, all the events obey to a calendar that tries to remember the golden years of the Court of Infante Don Luis de Borbón.
The Parador Museo de Oropesa is a beautiful building that transmits its history and legends through spectacular function rooms, columns and arcades, an imposing courtyard and the enigmatic keep. It was once the ancestral home of the Álvarez de Toledo family, counts of Oropesa, and in past times sheltered soldiers, religious persons and nobles. In 1930, it was converted into the first historic Parador in the government-owned chain, paving the way for a network of lodgings located in castles, palaces, convents and monasteries which is unique in the world. A stay at the hotel becomes a date with history in an enticing location where you can relax and enjoy the spectacular views of the Sierra de Gredos mountains and excellent cuisine.
In Oropesa, you will discover a pleasant medieval town dotted with historic convents and monasteries, churches and palaces. The Parador, which can be seen from the highway connecting Madrid with Extremadura, is the finest example of the historic and scenic riches this area has to offer.
In the month of April, you can attend Oropesa's Medieval Days, when the town recreates its magnificent past. The Parador becomes the perfect place to travel back to another time and feel like true kings and queens of the Middle Ages.
The Castle of Lorca, declared BIC (Heritage of Cultural Interest), was a defensive bastion during centuries (in the Middle Ages), on the frontier between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Nazarí kingdom of Granada. After some years of work for its consolidation and rehabilitation, it opened its doors in 2003 and can be visited every day of the year, finding different proposals, exhibitions, workshops for children, guided tours, extraordinary season activities, in short, a space to learn the History and Culture of Lorca.
The Castle is a symbol for all the inhabitants of Lorca. From its privileged location, in the Guadalentín valley, it has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, which has made it an exceptional archaeological site to know the past, from Prehistory to the present.
The current appearance of the Castle of Lorca is the result of the continuous changes that the different cultures have been carrying out in its 52,000 m² of extension. Thanks to archaeology we know the Argaric burials of 3.500 years and the Roman vestiges that hide its subsoil. Nevertheless, the definitive configuration of the Castle took place in the Middle Ages, a period during which most of the preserved remains correspond. Synagogue and a Jewish quarter from the 15th century are the most recent discovery that can be visited every day of the year.
Depending on the season you can do different activities that complement the cultural visit like music, gastronomy... There are also offers for different types of visitors: families with children, schoolchildren, groups and general public. Pets are welcome. The Castle is an area to learn and have fun at the same time.
Like a chest guards its treasure, the city walls of Ávila conceal beautiful jewels of cultural heritage, made up of churches, convents, monasteries and Renaissance palaces. And there can be no doubt that these gems include Piedras Albas Palace, the Parador de Ávila. Abutting the best preserved city walls in the world, the hotel puts you close to the city's most beautiful spots. The interior is cozy and charming. The guest rooms are spacious and perfect for relaxing. The dining room offers a view of the garden and the city walls through a glass-enclosed courtyard. Together, they make the Parador a majestic place, the perfect match for many of the buildings you will find in this World Heritage City. You will love strolling along the wall walk and wandering through the streets of the old quarter, where every square, every street and every corner are filled with charm.
The city walls, incredible Gothic cathedral, Theresian convents and palaces abutting the walls like a second line of defense, once bore witness to long-ago exploits. They will inspire you to discover the legends and stories told with gusto by the guides and actors charged with introducing visitors to this magical city.
The Castilian province conceals other treasures which the walls could not encircle, such as the pre-Roman settlement of Las Cogotas and the Bulls of Guisando, stone sculptures of Celtic origin. Sierra de Gredos Nature Reserve, an hour away by car, is another option for lovers of nature and green tourism.
The famous egg yolk sweets named for St. Teresa, the delicious shortbread and pastries of the Cistercian nuns, caramel-coated almonds from Diego Álvaro, and the almond honey of the region's local microclimates and floral areas will make your stay at the Parador de Ávila as sweet as you could ever imagine.
he town's Parador is located within stone walls that conceal medieval treasures, in a section of the majestic Palace-Castle of Olite, which has been declared a national monument. The hotel common areas and some of the guest rooms are located inside the palace, where the interior offers amazing stained glass windows, arcades and other characteristic medieval features. The palace is the most important example of Gothic non-ecclesiastical architecture in Navarre, and one of the most outstanding in Europe. Within these ancient stone walls, you will find yourself immersed in an oasis of peace and tranquility.
A walk through the narrow side streets of Olite will take you from the shelter of large fine stone houses bearing coats of arms to an exploration of the Roman walled area. You will also enjoy visiting Oliva Monastery, where Cistercian monks dressed in white tunics stroll and pray in the monastery cloister.
The Mediterranean climate makes the area an ideal paradise for grapevines and fine wine. You can visit local wineries and sample exquisite vintages. In addition, every August the town holds its Medieval Festival, where kings and princesses, magicians and minstrels, falconers and archers all gather, taking the city back in time to the Middle Ages.
Live the History
One of the most beautiful Civil-Gothic complexes in Europe is in Olite. There was the Palace of the Kings of Navarre whose oldest part has been fitted out as a Parador. Its capricious and anarchic profile full of nooks, towers, battlements, galleries and gardens are simply an evocation of the Middle
The Parador corresponds to the oldest part of all the palace complex, the so-called Palacio Viejo or Palacio de los Teobaldos. This area has been inhabited since the time of the Romans, whose archaeological remains appear in some of the towers. The Roman “praesidium” was the nucleus of the
palace until, in the Middle Ages, Carlos III of Navarre extended it and transformed it into one of the most beautiful palaces in Europe, attaching it to what was called the New Palace (Palacio Nuevo). The old medieval palace was structured around an interior patio surrounded by auxiliary dependencies, with the fi rst fl oor reserved for the royal rooms. When the Kingdom of Navarre was incorporated into the peninsular union in 1512, both the old and new palaces lost their condition of royal and their decadence began. During the War of Independence, it was practically burned down and, at the beginning of the XX
century, only the two eastern towers and the exterior walls were conserved. The reform work to adapt it to a Parador of Tourism began in 1966. The patio was rebuilt starting only from the foundations and, thanks to the documentation, it was possible to reconstruct the Gothic windows of the façade. The final result was a small Parador with a surface area of 800 metres and 14 bedrooms and common areas. Owing to its insuficient size, a differentiated annex was created for the bedrooms joined by a loggia in a style similar to the Palace complex.
Carlos de Viana, an unfortunated Prince.
Although Prince Carlos was born in Peñafi el in 1421, he was brought up in the Royal Palace of Olite where his grandfather, King Carlos III of Navarre, considered him to be his successor and created the title of Prince of Viana for him and educated him as a future king. However, his destiny was very different. Although he was the legitimate heir to the throne of Navarre as the son of Queen Blanca, his permanent disputes with his father, who never wanted to recognise him as king, decided his future. Moreover, after becoming a widower on the death of his wife, Queen Blanca, he married again this time to a Castilian, who always endeavoured that the rights of her son, the future king Ferdinand of Aragon,
should prevail over those of her stepson Carlos. The indecisive and excessively prudent character of Carlos and the political tensions of the epoch precipitated his end. His premature death and his sad destiny transformed him into a romantic personage which the XIX century magnifi ed in art and literature.
The Towers of the Old Palace
Olite is famous for its capricious and irregular profi le. The Palace alone, which is today the Parador, has three di erent towers. In the north east corner, the tower of the prison, with its battlements and ancient guard armoury; in the south east corner, the Tower of San Jorge, also with its battlements
and where Sancho el Fuerte built a small chapel. The highest tower is in the main façade, the Tower of the Storks (Torre de las Cigueñas), an ancient watchtower, with a square layout and crowned by a small circular tower.
In the heart of the Ribeira Sacra region, a uniquely beautiful natural area in inland Galicia that is home to the Miño and Sil rivers, concealed within a great cloak of green woods, stands Santo Estevo Monastery, which has been converted into a beautiful Parador. The monastery's origins are believed to date back to the 6th and 7th centuries. It is easy to distinguish elements of the baroque and romanesque styles and the building has three incredible cloisters: one Romanesque, one Gothic and the third Renaissance, where you can spend a peaceful evening in a subdued atmosphere with the soft sounds of religious music as an accompaniment. Its beauty and historical features led the building to be declared a historic-artistic site in 1923.
77 guest rooms, each of them different, offer views of the green landscape and the amazing Sil River Canyon. At the Parador, you will also enjoy the restaurant terrace beside the chestnut wood; a terrace café in the porter's office cloister; beautiful, spacious function rooms perfect for celebrations; and lovely gardens. Peace and tranquility await in this beautiful place, which also features an exclusive spa with incredible views ... all you have to do is come for a stay.
Starting from the Parador, you can follow a number of unforgettable, unique and beautiful routes in an area that is never overcrowded by tourism. On the Ruta de los Catamaranes (Route of the Catamarans), you will navigate the beautiful Sil River Canyon, which offers a spectacular explosion of color in spring and autumn; the Ruta de los Miradores (Route of the Scenic Overlooks) has lovely picture postcard views of the riverbanks; and the essential Ruta del Románico (Route of the Romanesque) will take you to churches and monasteries dating from the late 12th and 13th centuries, surrounded by magical forests of oaks and chestnuts.
If you accept our invitation to take a stroll through history, you will enter the city walls through the Arco de la Estrella (Star Arch) and come to the Parador de Cáceres, a Renaissance palace in the heart of the city's old quarter, which has been declared a World Heritage Site. You will fall in love with the Parador's elegance and exquisite refurbishment, enjoy pleasant chats in its function rooms and meals in the cozy garden.
The restaurant, outdoors areas, café and guest lounge are all pleasant places to meet and talk. The renovated Parador combines tradition and modernity. It is fully equipped with the latest technology and incorporates environmentally friendly features such as high-performance boilers, LED light bulbs, and heating and cooling control systems.
Follow any route through the cobbled streets of Cáceres and along your way you will pass house-fortresses, churches, the ruins of Old Cáceres or its Arab walls. And it is only a matter of time before you come upon Santa María Square, surrounded by Renaissance palaces, or discover treasures such as the museum's underground cistern and the Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe.
In Cáceres you can bear witness to the remaining traces of the Via Delapidata, a Roman road that once linked Seville and Astorga, also used by pilgrims heading for Santiago de Compostela. You may not be here to begin or continue on the pilgrimage route, but you may feel like traveling a little over an hour to visit Monfragüe National Park and its Biosphere Reserve. It is well worth it for the opportunity to see the Tagus and Tiétar rivers as they flow through the thickets and Mediterranean forest. If you are a bird watching fan, this is the ideal place to spot griffon vultures, peregrine falcons or eagle owls and let your imagination soar along with them.
The Parador de Jarandilla de la Vera has watched the centuries pass from its location in the heart of the fertile region of La Vera and the Tiétar River, amidst river gorges, natural pools, woods of chestnuts and oaks, and natural landscapes that affirm the wealth of its historic and monumental surroundings. This castle/palace once hosted Emperor Charles V for a period of several months. The hotel's noteworthy exterior features include the fortified towers, parade ground and excellent swimming pool, surrounded by olive and orange trees. Inside, the atmosphere is tranquil and private, making it the ideal choice for a very special stay. And in the restaurant, migas extremeñas (Extremadura-style fried breadcrumbs), patatas revolconas (paprika mashed potatoes with bacon), tomato soup, fried suckling pig, braised kid goat and repápalos (deep-fried breadcrumb balls) with milk and cinnamon, will entice your palate.
Jarandilla is one of those charming towns that only grow more beautiful with time. Examples of non-ecclesiastical architecture include the house of Don Luis de Quijada and a number of medieval bridges. There are also many religious buildings, including San Francisco Monastery and Ntra. Sra. de la Torre Church.
And you are sure to love the festival known as Los Escobazos, which is held on December 7 each year. At the high point of the festivities, the Virgin's standard is carried through Jarandilla by a rider on horseback accompanied by a number of other riders, and the entire town takes to the streets with burning brooms.
If you are a nature lover, you will enjoy visiting wonderful nearby spots such as the Jaranda Gorge and neighboring towns such as Garganta la Olla. You can hikethrough gorgeous sections of Extremadura, where the peace and tranquility of nature reign supreme.
With more than 13 centuries of history, the Parador de Alarcón will transport you back to the Middle Ages with its historic features, especially the castle keep and its elegant red and orange textiles. Perched high atop the craggy Pico de los Hidalgos in a meander of the Júcar River, almost as if it were an eagle's nest, the Parador overlooks one of Spain's loveliest villages. Small and charming, Alarcón has been declared an Area of Artistic-Historical Importance due to its beauty and harmony. Encircled by a wall, it is located next to the reservoir of the same name. You will love the wetlands, dotted with small sandy beaches along the banks, pine woods, coves and giant rocks. You can also go sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and rowing.
The waters of the Júcar River are ideal for fishing. The river slows as it passes Alarcón, flowing through many delightful spots, and encircling and protecting the town's former fortress. Santa María Church is a must-see and features one of the best preserved Renaissance altarpieces. Castañeda Palace, the Alarcón Mural Painting Center for Contemporary Art, Don Juan Manuel Square and Santo Domingo de Silos Church are other sights you will want to visit.
Hiking through the Alarcón Gorge will take you to many beautiful locations. There are two wonderful options: a long-distance footpath following the route of the Júcar River, and a short-distance footpath that skirts Alarcón, offering lovely views.
180 km from Madrid and 170 km from Valencia, this is an ideal spot to spend a weekend and get away from it all. All you have to do is get out of the city and relax, Alarcón and our Parador will take care of the rest.
In Lopera we find one of the best examples of a castle built by the Military Order of Calatrava in the province of Jaén.
Located right in the center of the town, the castle, with an irregular pentagon floor plan, has two enclosures: an external one formed by wall lines and protected by five towers and, an internal one, in which two imposing towers called San Miguel and Santa María, respectively stand, and which are linked together by two canvases. The first was used to control access to the fortress. The tower of Santa María, for its part, was La Torre del Homenaje (The Keep).
Declared an asset of cultural interest in 1991, this fortress preserves the original walled perimeter, although over the years, it also served as a residence and even as a winery in the mid-20th century, which significantly altered the original physionomy of the fortress.
Thanks to the restoration work carried out, the castle of Lopera has recovered its original appearance and, in addition, the logical deterioration caused by the passage of time in a fortress that is considered by some researchers as one of the jewels of defensive architecture has been avoided. That is why, when the visitor crosses the main door, located in front of the current town hall and which gives access to the enclosure, the image they see is very similar to the one that any neighbor would see back in the 13th century.
Today, the castle, together with La Casa de la Tercia (The House of the Third), is the most significant monument in Lopera and one of the most important on La Ruta de los Castillos (The Route of the Castles) and Las Batallas de Jaén (The Battles of Jaén).
And finally, like any good castle, this one also has its legend that was born back in the 15th century and that tells the story of our treasure that to this day has not yet been recovered. Do you want to know more? The Castle of Lopera encloses in its old walls multiple episodes that occurred with the passing of the centuries.
The Parador de Chinchón is located in a former Augustinian monastery. It offers large windows, beautiful common areas and guest rooms decorated with exquisite taste, with the perfect combination of colors and careful attention to every detail. The lovely courtyard filled with loquat trees and well-kept gardens will allow you to enjoy this beautiful and peaceful location. We also offer delicious dishes such as Madrid-style chickpea stew, garlic soup and roast lamb. Chinchón is an especially charming village located south of Madrid. Highlights include the Plaza Mayor (Main Square), with more than 230 wooden balconies on the surrounding houses. We recommend viewing it at night: the illumination makes it a distinctive sight.
Ancestral homes, gorgeous courtyards and galleries supported by lovely columns make Chinchón a uniquely beautiful town. In the center you will find sights such as the Torre del Reloj (Clock Tower), Nuestra Señora de la Asunción Church, the convent of the Sisters of St. Clare and the baroque Casa de la Cadena building.
You can take a relaxing walk around one of the nearby small oases: Laguna de San Juan, Laguna de San Galindo or Laguna de Casasola. On the south side of the last of these pools stand the ruins of Casasola Castle, overlooking the landscape from a hill. It is well worth the climb to feel the gentle caress of the breeze and experience the silence.
This palace better known as Casa de Pilatos, is a harmonious combination of the Gothic-Mudejar Late Middle Ages tradition and Italian Renaissance innovations which was first introduced in Seville by the Enríquez de Ribera family, Adelantados Mayores of Andalusia , main representatives of the crown in Baja Andalucia and former owners of this Palace.
Located in the historic centre of Seville, the core zones of the building began to be built at the end of the 15th century and eventually halls, patios and gardens were added turning it into the largest private residential complex in the city, an ideal setting for the development of a new lifestyle and elite society in a city which had undergone a transformation into the richest imperial overseas metropolis ever known.
Throughout the Spanish Golden Age, this palace acted as a sieve for new artistic tastes from Italy. Sevillians first knew them thanks to the marble pieces brought from Genova five hundred years ago by the I Marquis of Tarifa from his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, which eventually gave its name to the palace. Then, later on, new artistic trends were revealed to the city’s citizens in the extraordinary sculptures and paintings collected and still seen within, brought by two of the descendants of the Marquis, the I and III Duke of Alcalá, while acting as viceroys of Naples.
Due to its spatial organization, architectural quality and richness in decoration, this building became the canonical model of Andalusian civil architecture and the pattern of Sevillian palaces.
Loarre Castle is the oldest Romanesque castle and best preserved in Europe. It´s located on the natural border between Ebro river valley and the mountain range of Pyrenees, the castle dominates the Hoya de Huesca landscape from a cliff at 1070 m. above sea level.
The castle was built during the XI century in different stages that were meeting the different needs.
The first phase begins around the year 1020 by the great King of Sancho Sancho el Mayor, who in his eagerness to protect the Pyrenean counties from the Muslim attacks, takes advantage of the mountains of the Huesca pre-Pyrenees to install a series of forts that will create an authentic fortified border, of which Loarre will be one of its last links. Of this first phase the two main towers and the Romanesque chapel of Santa María stand out. The second phase is initiated by his grandson, the second king of Aragon Sancho Ramírez, around 1071, who with the support of the Holy See decided to surround the old fortress of his grandfather, which was still a frontier, with a large monastery that will house a order of Augustinian canons, uniting in Loarre the sword and the cross, the military and the monastic function. Of this phase highlights the impressive Church of San Pedro, a unique jewel of Romanesque architecture crowned by a spectacular dome.
Supported by the Pope, Sancho Ramirez surrounded the old castle of his grandfather with a great monastery for an order of Agustinian Canons monks, joining the cross and the sword, the military and monastic function in the same building. The most prominent build of this phase is the impressive St. Peter’s church, a wonder of Romanesque architecture, crowned by a dome.
The last phase of construction will be delayed until the end of XIII century, and it is the wall marked by semicircular towers that runs over 170 m of perimeter, and that surrounded not only the fortress, but also a small town emerged under the castle, and that is the origin of the current Loarre. It will be already at the dawn of the Renaissance when such a great fortress is finally abandoned leaving its presence undaunted at the top of the Sierra de Loarre.
The Castle of Buñol built on two masses of rock, dominates the town of Buñol and the surrounding area know as La Hoya de Buñol. Its strategic importance was based on its proximity to the frontier between Valencia and Castilla.
The castle, whose origins date back to the 11th century would be later extended and modified in Christian times. The structure of the current architectural complex is of Christian chronology, made in phases between the 14th, 16th, 18th and 19th centuries. The restoration works of the fortress began during the second half of the 20th century and continue today.
In 1238, Jaime I donated it to the knight Rodrigo de Linaza, who occupied it in 1245, transferring it to the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, together with the castles of Macastre and Montroy. The sites soon returned to Jaime I, who handed them over to Berenguela Fernández and their son, Pedro Fernández. In 1304, Jaime II bought it for his son Alfonso.
After several years of conflict for its possession, in 1424, Alfonso V acquires it and sells it to Berenguer Mercader on the 20 of May, 1425. Years later Felipe III turns the area into a county on the 3rd of May, 1603, granting the first title of count to Gaspar Mercader i Carrós.
After the expulsion of the Moors in 1609, the county suffered a great depopulation, forcing the count to repopulate the area by granting a new Carta Puebla to people coming mostly from the Kingdom of Valencia, but also from Castilla, Mallorca and Navarra with the obligation to reside in the villa.
In 1787, the inhabitants of the county requested their incorporation to the Crown. This was obtained in 1836 after a lawsuit of nearly forty years between the counts of Buñol and the inhabitants of the Hoya de Buñol
It was from then on that the population began to build houses within the site taking advantage of all the existing constructions and building their houses in the empty spaces of the fortress, thus transforming the area into another neighborhood of the population.
Previously, during the War of Succession, the War of Independence and the Carlist Wars the castle was used as a barracks and jail. During the War of Independence, the French army plundered the castle and its church.
The Association Pro-Castillo de Buñol was created in 1957, with the aim of recovering and restoring the castle. After its dissolution, the City Council of Buñol has taken over all the restoration works.
The castle of Buñol is located in the center of the city (the city grew around it), taking advantage of a rocky spur, surrounded by a ravine and the river Buñol. A location that allows the domain over the town and over the whole region of La Hoya de Buñol. Its location is strategic; close to the old Royal Road from Valencia to Madrid.
Of Muslim origin, its functions have varied in its more than one thousand years of history: castle, manor house, barracks, jail, administrative center, popular neighborhood and now tourist attraction.
The first enclosure is a polygon, formed by a straight wall, its angles flanked by two towers and a central tower built to defend the entrance gateway. Here we find La Plaza de Armas (military courtyard), where visitors will find a path of surveillance that runs around the upper wall completed with loopholes for shooting arrows. This area today, still contains a number of built houses against the original wall.
In the center of the castle we find a tower know as Torre del Homenaje (Main Tower) which serves as a passageway to the castle’s second enclosure (southern enclosure).
The southern enclosure houses the residential structures of the fortress. Part of the Gothic palace is conserved - the hall known as El Oscurico where exhibitions and cultural events are held - still contains inside the original ashlar arches.
The old palace of the counts – La Casa Señorial - is the structure of the south façade. Inside we can currently find the Tourist Office and the Archaeological Collection along with the Muslim remains of a waterwheel well and a cereal silo.
The church of El Salvador today houses an ethnological exhibition. It was most probably built between the second half of the 13th century and the first half of the 14th century. It is a nave with a semicircular vault, lunettes and two transverse arches that divide it into three sections.
This area also contains some inhabited houses. The street of the Castle ends on a steep slope that gives access to the old quarters of the town - Mallorquines Street- after crossing the fortified gate called La Torreta. This access is composed of a staircase on a layered axis and a tower located at the lowest level of the castle site.
In 1957 the Asociación Pro-Castillo de Buñol was created and the need to recover and restore the monument as a vestige of historical and strategic importance was raised.
In 1964 it was declared a National Historic-Artistic Monument. Today it is the center of the urban nucleus that has been growing around it.
Spend the night in the Alhambra complex, among gardens and fountains that evoke a past in which the Arab and the Christian intermingled. This is the exclusive opportunity offered by the Parador de Granada, a former monastery built on the orders of the Catholic Monarchs on the site of a Nasrid palace, the remains of which have been preserved in the Nazarí Room. The hotel has an enchanting interior, in keeping with the magic exuded by every corner of the city. Works of art and exceptional furniture decorate the cloister and interior rooms. In the dining roomand on the cool summer terrace, we offer Andalusian gazpacho, habas a la granadina (fava beans with artichokes) and piononos (sponge cake rolls topped with cream), which are originally from the small local town of Santa Fe. Come experience this idyllic spot, a magical city, a one-of-a-kind experience.
The Alhambra and Generalife Palace complex, Granada's most emblematic monument, exudes beauty at every turn. Its gardens are among the most romantic spots in the city. Its colors, the scent of the flowers and the sound of water create a truly intoxicating atmosphere. Another marvelous area is the old Arab neighborhood of El Albaicín, made up of a network of white houses on a hill, with baroque churches and Arab cisterns. La Cartuja Monastery, the cathedral, the Arab baths and Parque de las Ciencias (Science Park) are just some of the city's infinite treasures. Travelers will also not want to miss an evening visit to see a zambra (gypsy dance) in one of the caves in the Sacromonte neighborhood.
In addition to its World Heritage Site monuments such as the Alhambra and the Albaicín quarter, Granada is also a university town that never sleeps. Its streets invite you to experience the fascinating and magical night-time atmosphere.
On the banks of the Sella River, surrounded by the spectacular Picos de Europa mountains, the Parador de Cangas de Onís awaits you in an incomparably beautiful spot. The hotel is located in the former San Pedro de Villanueva Monastery, a beautiful building with spectacular rooms of stone and wood. The décor is elegant, warm and traditional. The function rooms and riverside garden are ideal places for a unforgettable celebration. We take meticulous care with every detail and offer the best cuisine, allowing you to fully enjoy this idyllic spot. The Parador is two kilometers from Cangas de Onís, making it an ideal starting point for visits to Picos de Europa National Park, the shrine and lakes at Covadonga, and even charming coastal towns such as Llanes and Ribadesella.
Asturias is synonymous with natural beauty. Its steep mountains, white beaches, hidden caves, beautiful lakes, deep green woods and rivers of crystalline water are all just a short journey from the Parador de Cangas de Onís. A half hour away by car is the town of Cabrales, where you can visit a museum in a natural cave which offers a demonstration of the traditional method of making the town's famous cheese. Another lovely option is the hiking trail through Cares, a spectacular 12-kilometer canyon, or the driving route through Beyos Gorge, another amazing canyon parallel to the Sella. On the way, you can stop at the salmon ladder and marvel at the amazing sight of salmon swimming upriver.
This is the place to enjoy picture postcard scenery, perfect hiking trails around the lakes and mountains, and the idyllic tranquility of a Parador located in a spectacular spot.
The Marquis of Villena, Don Juan Pacheco, ordered it built in Mudejar Gothic style in 1456. He was trusted man of King Henry IV of Castile, and the most powerful lord in the kingdom at the time.
The star-shaped layout of the castle is one-of-a-kind, and its palatial interior decorated with luxurious Mudejar roofs in the halls and galleries, as well as the "medieval bestiary" sculpted in stone, are nonpareil in Spain. All this undeniably makes for one of the most emblematic castles in our country.
The castle has been perfectly preserved thanks to the efforts of its owners over the centuries, completed with the latest restoration. On this occasion, the Ducal House of Peñaranda and Montijo, descendants of the Marquis of Villena and owners of the Castle, have been supported by public institutions.
The Castle of Belmonte reopened its doors to the public in July 2010, offering the visitor a cultural tour throughout the history of this emblematic monument, all the way from the 15th century to the present. The cultural tour provides an audio guide in 4 languages (Spanish, English, French and Italian), an audio-visual room with a large-screen 12-minute projection as an introduction to the tour, and light and sound technology that make visitors travel to a different time.
Moreover, since August 2018, the largest historic-thematic park with real-scale siege machines in the world, Trebuchet Park, has been located at the foot of the fortress.
Throughout the tour, visitors can observe 40 siege machines in four different thematic areas: the Christian world, the Muslim world, the Eastern world and the Renaissance. Regarding the timeline, the artefacts in the first three spaces are from the 5th and 14th centuries, and the Renaissance area set in the 15th–16th century.
All of the machines have been tested and they work just as they did at the time, reconstructed with the same period materials. Historically rigorous, they used available documentation (miniatures, engravings, period texts, iconographic depictions and archaeological remains)
Castillo de Láchar, declared as a Monument of Cultural Interest, holds an interesting history. Two years ago was opened to the public visits for first time.
It’s located in La Vega de Granada, in the village of Láchar. Only 15 minutes drive from Granada city center, 5 minutes drive from the Granada – Jaén Airport and 60 minutes drive from Málaga. Based in the main street of the municipality, where there are also some restaurants, tapas bar and shops nearby.
From its first opening to the public in 2017, it’s receiving a great recognition. This fact, suprises to all the public organisations and it’s helping the monument to become in one of the “must-see” in the province of Granada.
Castillo de Láchar has its own tourist informants team. They will guide the visitors during the route through the castle. All the tourist products we offer have a guided tour.
The most ancient evidences we have from Castillo de Láchar’s history are from the 14th Century, when a vigilance tower is built in order to protect the Nasrid lands located in Láchar. When the Catholic Kings conquest these lands, they decide to offer them to Cañaveral’s family, very influent in that times. They made some modificactions in the structure of the tower. After some generations until reach the 19th Century, Julio Quesada Cañaveral decides to extend the enclosure and built the Palace area, linked to the rest of the structure. As he was a very important person, Julio it’s declared as “Duque de San Pedro de Galatino y Grande de España”, it’s when the castle-palace lives its great splendeur moments. Some important personalities visited the castle during this period, as the painter Joaquín Sorolla, Marquis of Viana or even King Alfonso XIII, who slept in the palace in many ocassions.
The castle was constructed in an Alhambra or neo-arab style, plenty of ornament such as ceramic tiles and yeserías (typical plaster-works). There are also pieces of great value like Nasrid capitals from the 14th Century and woodcarving doors from the 16th Century. In addition, there is furniture with high artistic value. The castle has a very rich history with unique moments and important historic elements.
The fortress began to be built in the middle of the 9th century during the splendour period of the caliphate of Cordoba, its construction being completed in the middle of 13th century by the knights of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, over 350 years of uninterrupted construction and since then three different castles can be visited in a single building.
The order made it the capital of an extensive priory. The cession of the castle and its alfóz was made in 1183 by Alfonso VIII to the knights, although the fortress had been already reconquered by Alfonso VI, exactly one hundred year before, being the place of constant war, it was lost going from Christians to Muslims repeatedly so that finally moving to the kingdom of Castile.
The enlargements and reforms of the castle continued throughout the centuries to adapt gradually to the uses and customs of each era, providing it with a archive, chapel, chapterhouse, water cisterns, powerful defenses (it was necessary to break 7 doors to access to the central core of the strength and the average thickness of its walls is 4.5 meters and the height of its towers of 30 meters, which together with its strategic position, gave it an impregnable aspect).
Its last extension was made in the XVII century with the intention of housing a new hermitage. The fortress remained inhabited until the beginning of the 19th century. In the year 1813 the building was blown up by Napoleon's troops and left in ruins. In 1837 Mendizábal expropriate the castle to be finally acquired by the City Council in 1962.
It is currently in the rehabilitation phase having recovered 50% of the castle. Today it is possible to visit two of three water cisterns, gallery, archives shed, hermitage, chapterhouse, albarrana tower, terraces, garden, barbican and the steps of the round, being used for theatrical performances and cultural events.
The Castle of Santiago was built by Don Enrique Pérez de Guzmán, the II Duke of Medinasidonia, VII lord of Sanlúcar at the end of 15th century. It is one of the best documentated castles in the country and the biggest in terms of Surface in the province of Cádiz.
The duke started the construction of the fortress, after increasing his fortune and making his dynasty one of the main ones in the kingdom of Castile. It is believed the castle was finished by 1477, when the Queen Isabella, sovereign of Castile, saw the sea for the first time.
It was from here that Christopher Columbus started on his 3rd voyage, Magellan gathered all the necessary things for his travel around the world and from the watchover Elcano was named the commander in charge to finish the adventure after the death of Magellan.
One of the most luxurious and beautiful hotels in the Paradores chain is located in Santiago de Compostela. In this city, the destination of millions of pilgrims, rays of sunlight illuminate the building façades in summer and the rain creates a magical ambiance that overtakes the cobbled streets in winter. The Parador de Santiago, known as the Hostal dos Reis Católicos, is a blend of history, art and tradition, the dream of pilgrims and emblem of Santiago. It is located on Obradoiro Square near the cathedral, creating an area of spectacular beauty in one of the most visited provincial capitals in the world. A stay at this Parador means a visit to a truly unique and exclusive location.
The hotel was built as a royal hospital in 1499 to accommodate pilgrims traveling to Santiago. Today, it continues to invite visitors to enjoy a city that is as universal as it is fascinating. Inside this Parador Museum, considered the oldest hotel in the world, you will discover four beautiful cloisters, elegant rooms, spectacular guest rooms and a luxurious dining room that offers fish and meat prepared in the Galician style, along with classic apple filloas (a type of crêpe) and crème brûlée.
Santiago is a magical city of almost indescribable beauty, where you will not only look, but you will also feel. In addition to the cathedral and the spectacular Obradoiro and Quintana squares, other sights include Santa María A Real do Sar Collegiate Church. Together with the cathedral, this is the church that has preserved the largest part of its original Romanesque stonework and it has an interior with lovely proportions. There is also the Renaissance Colegio de Fonseca (Fonseca School) and the magnificent San Martiño Pinario Monastery. These are just some of the places well worth visiting in the city's fine historic district.
The charm and the hustle and bustle of Abastos Market in the morning; the beautifully maintained Alameda Park, which boasts spectacular views of the old quarter; the church, convent and park of San Domingos de Bonaval, home to the Pantheon of Illustrious Galicians; and the green spaces around the capital, extending all the way to the sea, just half an hour away, will guide you through this city brimming with history and beauty. It marks the end of the Camino (Way of St. James) and the start of a one-of-a-kind experience we invite you to enjoy in exceptional accommodations, the Parador de Santiago.
Live the History
The Royal Hospital of Santiago was a project of Fernando and Isabel in order to alleviate the thousands of pilgrims who arrived at Compostela. Centuries later, the pilgrims have been replaced by travellers as, since 1954, it has been a magnifi cent hotel which, year after year, renews its long commitment to hospitality.
The fi rst building was the work of the Royal Architect, Enrique Egas who, brought the Renaissance to Galicia with its design. Although its basic structure was fi nished about 1509 and it began to function, the decorative part was not fi nished until 1527. In this second stage, the French Masters, Martin de Blas and Guillén Colás were responsible for the main doorway which was resolved as a magnifi cent
Plateresque façade-tableau with a candelieri decoration, small sculptures under inset and grotto like canopies. The decoration of the hospital chapel was also concluded, but its transept tends towards the Gothic with its starred vault. This fi rst hospital of the XVI century was rather smaller than the current structure as it was composed of a church, only two cloisters and two di erentiated areas for men and women.
The extension arrived in the XVIII century. A partial demolition and a greater need for space led to the construction of the two rear patios in stone and the Baroque stairway of Ferro Caaveiro, which connected the left patio to the fi rst floor. In this epoch, Fray Tomás Alonso reformed the Renaissance
façade adding two large balconies supported by brackets, together with three new windows. In this way, the Royal Hospital was confi gured with its present day Greek cross design with four interior patios which receive the names of the Four Evangelists. The patio of San Lucas is outstanding due to its original octagonal design. In July 1954, coinciding with the Year of Compostela, it was inaugurated as a hotel of the State.
The Royal Hospital of Santiago was a project of Fernando and Isabel in order to alleviate the thousands of pilgrims who arrived at Compostela. Centuries later, the pilgrims have been replaced by travellers as, since 1954, it has been a magnifi cent hotel which, year after year, renews its long commitment to hospitality.
“Both the rich and poor pilgrims must be charitably received and venerated by all the people when they go to or come from Santiago. Whoever welcomes them and accommodates them diligently will not only have Santiago as a guest, but will also have Our Lord … “
The pilgrimage of the Monarchs
After the pilgrimage of Fernando and Isabel in 1488 and, as they themselves witnessed, the pilgrim hospital was old and insufcient, they ordered the building of a new one “capable of providing due and decorous service to all the devotees, ill persons and healthy persons who might arrive in the city...” Once Granada was taken, Fernando and Isabel stipulated that a part of the “revenue of war” be assigned to paying for the construction of the new hospital.
The origins of Riudabella go back to prehistoric times, as evidenced by the existence of different sites in the area. The beginning of the building is located in the Iberian period, since in this location an Iberian defensive tower was found. Later in this same building there are different references to the settlement of a considerable Roman villa.
Towards century XII, after the Saracen occupation, Ramón Berenguer IV reconquests these territories and fields for the monks of the Cisternian orden who founded the Monastery of Santa Maria de Poblet, and were in charge to develop different farms dedicated to the agricultural operation and the care of its surroundings.
Between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries, Riudabella becomes an important "farmhouse" where they build on the existing elements, a fortified farmhouse with different rooms dedicated to accommodation, prayer and agricultural work by monks such as the cultivation of the vineyard and the elaboration of wine, honey and saffron. That explains the existence in the premises of an important "Celler" or winery of the time.
In the fifteenth century the abbot Delgado made several buildings and a chapel. Throughout the sixteenth-eighteenth centuries the monks made improvements.
During the period of the confiscation of Mendizábal, Pedro Gil i Babot, father of the great grandfather of the current owner, bought the farmhouse. The restoration was made during 1860 and it was when the buildings were rebuilt with a neo-medieval style, turning Riudabella into a castle.
It started as an agricultural farm and summer residence of the family, for private use, but over the years, the new concerns of society as well as economic changes in general, have made the family rethink and decide to open our home to the public,to be able to preserve it and face the costly maintenance that this type of buildings imply.
In that sense, it seemed more appropriate to open a topic "rural tourism" because of the unique environment in which the Castell de Riudabella is located. We started in 1992 with an apartment for 6 people in a wing of the castle and little by little we were adapting the adjoining facilities to provide pool and garden service.
Then we opened another apartament for 2 people.
With this idea, we continue working at this time. Our dream, would be to turn the Castell de Riudabella into a landmark of historical tourism, with a maximum of 20 people staying in apartments for 2/4 pax. located in different places outside the main building (garages, stables, huts ...) and keep the main building it to give special meals, hold events and meetings.
We also offer our guests the opportunity of a private guided tour of the castle with an explanation of its history and that of our family.
We have also adapted some rooms in the old barn, to offer them to celebrate weddings, events, business meetings... and thus expand the offer.
Our last great milestone will be to recover the old romantic garden and include it in our tourist offer and enjoy a privileged environment
The castle of Monclova, which has its origin in the SXIV, is located on the city of Obulcula S.II b.c. It constitutes the last avatar of a secular population nucleus of the prehistoric, turdetana and roman epochs, and the perduration of the city in the form of farmstead through the Muslim domination, as the historians and geographers of antiquity affirm, in their repeated mentions. Its name of indigenous origin, is the diminutive of the other great Iberian city called Obulco, in Porcuna (Jaén).
In the year 1342, King Alfonso XI granted the castle of Monclova to his Admiral of the Sea Micer Egidio Bocanegra as a reward for the services rendered. In the sixteenth century these lands belonged to the family of La Vega until the death of the famous poet Garcilaso related to the House of Mendoza by marriage of Leonor de la Vega, with Don Iñigo Lopez de Mendoza, Marquis of Santillana.
On September 20, 1617, Mr. de la Monclova, Mr. Antonio Portocarrero and Enriquez de la Vega were awarded the title of Count of La Monclova and on May 5, 1706, the greatness of Spain. Already in the eighteenth century these lands fall to the Marquis of Ariza and then joins the house of the Duke of Infantado.
In the year 1910, Joaquín de Arteaga y Echagüe, XVII Duke of the Infantado rebuilt the castle.
At present, it has diversified its activity to welcome visitors and guests who wish to explore the charming residence, learn about its centennial history and enjoy this emblematic place.
The castle of La Monclova had a rectangular plan, and had rectangular towers, of which vestiges are preserved in the north and east angles. Although they were very remodeled with the later works, the oldest remains that are conserved of this castle date back to the XIV century, being these the tower of the Homage and three canvases of the walled enclosure. The keep is rectangular in shape, and has two overlapping chambers and a roof with a parapet and hooded battlements.
This tower must have been originally massive, although today it houses the main staircase of the palace. The entrance to the castle is made through a portico with a semicircular arch over columns and family shields in the spandrels. In a frieze can be read It is over 1668.
From the entrance you walk into a large patio porticoed on three sides with semicircular arches on columns and shields of the Order of Mercy in the spandrels. Today the chapel has an altarpiece of Castilian tendency of the sixteenth century, from the Castillo de Viñuelas, in Madrid, which was the property of the Duque del Infantado. The wooden doors are a sample of the size of the seventeenth century.
The World Heritage City of Úbeda is located in the province of Jaén, west of the Cazorla and Segura mountains near the Guadalquivir River. You will find the Parador in the old quarter, housed in a 16th-century palace on Renaissance-styleVázquez de Molina Square. The local architecture will remind you of an Italian Renaissance city, but with the folklore, age-old handicrafts, cuisine and joyous atmosphere of Andalusia. The hotel façade conceals an extremely beautiful interior courtyard and some of the guest rooms offer a spectacular view of the square.
Just a short stroll separates the Parador from some of the loveliest buildings in Úbeda, including El Salvador Chapel, the palace of the Marquis of Mancera and Vázquez Molina Palace, now home to the city hall.
The city's wealth of cultural heritage is reflected in its walls, palaces, churches, monasteries and convents. Begin your tour on Redonda de Miradores Street, Úbeda's viewpoint overlooking a sea of olive trees. Continue along its winding streets, visiting antique shops, museums, neighborhoods such as San Millán, and picturesque Valencia Street, where you can still find artisan potters working in their shops. You will discover a truly unique place.
Know the environment
The quality and state of preservation of its many Renaissance buildings and the unique urban environment led this municipality in the province of Jaén to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site on July 3, 2003.
Known as the ‘city of the hills’, it is located in the La Loma district (top producer of olive oil in the area), near the Sierra Mágina mountains. The essence of Úbeda lies in its magnificent Renaissance buildings and monuments, in its palaces, walls, monasteries, convents and stately homes. It is truly the jewel of the Andalusian Renaissance.
The Castle-Palace of Valderrobres is a Gothic work built between the 14th and 15th centuries by the archbishop of Zaragoza, feudal lord of the area, who used the castle as a temporary residence. It was built with the parish church during the same period and both buildings were united by a passage that allowed getting to the tribune built over a lateral chapel inside the church.
The set of buildings preside the town. We can get to the castle area through two different doors. The first one is located next to the church, and the other one is under the passage which communicates both buildings. Crossing those doors, we first arrive to the parade ground, which was originally surrounded by a wall.
The castle is an irregular polygonal ground plant building and It was built surrounding a rocky hill. The builders used the mountain rocks as a quarry and gained that way new space in each floor up to the last where still today you can see the top of the hill.
On the ground floor we can find the stables with the servant’s rooms. The main floor features the kitchen, the pantries, a necessary one, the great hall of the chimneys, the library and the private rooms of the archbishop. On the upper floors are the oil stores, galleries and granaries and finally the round passage flanked by battlements, merlons and towers.
In the historic city of Trujillo, birthplace of discoverers, you will find this lovely Parador, occupying the former convent of Santa Clara and preserving the peaceful and calm atmosphere of the convent buildings. Inside there are two lovely cloisters, one with Renaissance arches and columns. The second gives the complex a touch of brightness that makes the atmosphere even more beautiful. This is an ideal hotel for relaxation and leisure, as well as work. The rooms are peaceful and the Parador offers beautiful, elegant function rooms, along with a seasonal swimming pool.
In Trujillo, all roads lead to the Plaza Mayor (Main Square), the heart of the city, surrounded by very beautiful and important buildings. In the middle of the square stands the bronze statue of Francisco Pizarro astride his horse. Together with San Martín de Tours Church, the Palacio de la Conquista (Palace of the Conquest) and the Casa de las Cadenas (House of the Chains), it will leave you with the memory of a truly beautiful square. Trujillo Castle is another lovely spot. It is visible from any point in the city and houses a sanctuary dedicated to the patron saint, the Virgin of Victory.
Trujillo is blessed with all the charm of a historic city and the beauty and serenity provided by the passing of time. This is a place you will love discovering.
Do you dream of turning back time and spending the night in a castle high above a lovely town filled with history and tradition? Make your dream come true at the Parador de Alcañiz. Unique landscapes, architectural heritage, tradition, adventure sports, hunting, cuisine, and more. It all starts here.
This castle/monastery dates from the 12th-13th centuries. The keep, belfry, sacristy and a section converted into an Aragonese palace have all been preserved. Contemplating its Gothic wall paintings, Plateresque sepulcher and baroque façade or strolling through the peaceful garden offer many pleasures for your senses.
The Teruel town of Alcañiz conceals secrets beyond your wildest imagination. You will be astonished by the beauty of its medieval underground passageways, the Fountain of 72 Spouts and the Gothic Lonja (market). It is also a place for fun. The MotorLand Aragón track offers a place for sports like autocross, karting and motocross, as well as competitions such as the MotoGP Grand Prix of Aragón.
Another appealing option? Grab your bicycle and head to the Val de Zafán greenway, less than an hour from town. You will find a secluded route that travels along old train tracks which have been adapted for cycling tourism and horseback riding, crossing the Matarraña, a river of spectacular ravines and magical waterfalls. If history is your thing, the province of Teruel offers more than 70 cave painting sites. You can also view examples of this form of artistic expression in Alcañiz.
Don't leave without introducing your palate to the exquisite local cured ham, black truffles, olive oil from the Bajo Aragón region, saffron from Jiloca and traditional sweets. Close your eyes, breathe deep, relax and enjoy, because this is a one-of-a-kind experience.
This beautiful Parador is located in the Monastery of San Francisco, 800 meters from the historic town center of Santo Domingo de la Calzada. The building is divided three sections: church, workshop/museum and guest house, with the hotel being located in the last of these. The décor features predominantly contrasting elements, with red tones and blue-grays in the guest rooms, oil paintings with religious themes and works by modern graphic artists. Because of its location on the Way of St. James, the Parador is the ideal spot for rural tourism. Visitors can also enjoy sports such as golf or hiking and the Valdezcaray ski resort.
Santo Domingo de la Calzada stands beside the banks of the Oja River on a vast plain. The town's founding is linked to the branch of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela known as the French Route. Legend has it that in the 11th century, this location was a large holm oak forest on the banks of a tumultuous river that descended from the nearby mountains, now known as the Sierra de la Demanda. A hermit named Domingo took up residence in the heart of the forest, dedicating all his energy to making it easier for pilgrims traveling to Compostela to cross this difficult terrain.
Today you can enjoy the town by visiting sights such as the cathedral or Plaza de España (Spain Square) and savoring La Rioja's delicious cuisine.
The Royal Residence of La Granja is a beautiful small town just 11 kilometers from Segovia, at the foot of the Central System mountain chain. La Granja boasts a spectacular Parador housed in the Casa de los Infantes (House of the Infantes), built by Charles III in the 18th century as a home for the infantes Gabriel and Antonio, and the headquarters of the Guardia de Corps, which contains a modern conference and convention center, just 55 minutes from Madrid.
This exclusive location offers 16 meeting rooms with a capacity of more than 600 people. The décor is modern and the rooms are bright and comfortable, all located in a historic and natural setting. The hotel is in the heart of the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains, near the Royal Palace of La Granja, with its beautiful gardens and fountains, and the Royal Glass Factory, now the Museum of Glass, making it the perfect spot to rest and relax, enjoying the elegant beauty of the area.
La Granja is an enchanting place and the Parador allows you to enjoy it to the utmost. Modern facilities, including a spa and spacious, well-equipped guest rooms, make it ideal for conference tourism or for a romantic getaway with your partner. You will find it difficult to forget strolls through the gardens of the royal palaceand the incredible show offered by the water flowing through the fountains.
Live the History
In austere Castile there is a place which evokes the refi ned splendour of the European baroque courts, La Granja de San Ildefonso. In the French style, is the most hedonistic of the Royal Sites in Spain, built around the baroque palace and with one of the most beautiful gardens in the country.
The building which has been a Parador de Turismo since 2007 stands beside the Palace of La Granja. The enormous four fl oor building measuring two hundred metres long is the old Casa de Infantes (House of the Princes), constructed in 1770 in order to accommodate the servants of two of the children of King Carlos III, Gabriel and Antonio. This is a very long rectangular building, organised around three patios which lead onto narrow corridors which provide access to the dependences. What is most noticeable is the sobriety of its facades where only the pediments which crown the gaps and an entrance door break the most absolute simplicity. In its interior, totally rehabilitated after a fi re in 1984, the three interior patios planned for grand archery meetings. Behind it are the Barracks of the Guardia de Corps converted into a Convention Centre of the Parador. In this case, we fi nd a building designed for military use where the troops and services were centralised, thus its T design, its towers and rear patio. As in the current Parador, only the facades were conserved and, after their rehabilitation, they recovered their trompe l’oeil classical columns and the very original classical green colour.
The Two Borbon Princes
The Princes, Gabriel and Antonio de Borbón y Sajonia, the sons of King Carlos III, could not have been more di erent. Gabriel was the “Enlightened prince”, while his brother was well known for his good natured character. He was very keen on bookbinding and carpentry. Destiny did not treat them equally either, Gabriel died young while Antonio witnessed his nephew Fernando VII reigning after the War of Independence. Both had been born in Italy where their father, the future King Carlos III of Spain was King of Naples and Sicily. However, when they were children, they moved to Madrid where they would live for the rest of their lives. Gabriel soon showed signs of his interest in culture. He translated from Latin, composed pieces for organ and brought together an important collection of art. His life was soon cut short when he died of smallpox a few days after his wife and his new born son. This family tragedy deeply a ected King Carlos III who was said to have felt a special predilection for this son. While his brother had a long and polemical life. Pérez Galdós confessed that he had made a mistake with him. In the “Los Episodios Nacionales” (National Episodes) he termed him “the most benevolent of men”, however, he demonstrated that he was a fi rm supporter of his nephew, King Fernando VII and the implacable return to monarchic absolutism. He occupied important posts in the Spain of King Ferdinand VII.
A complex system.
The interior of the Parador is structured in three interior patios with four heights visible through galleries of semi-circular arches. Especially outstanding is the patio of the sink. This was a large patio for the evacuation of unclean water located in the middle of the building and which had spouts on each fl oor separated by dovetailed brick walls and which terminated in the basement in a clearing well. It was a very modern system for the epoch.
The Condestable Dávalos Castle has been a historical and artistic monument since 1931. It was built between 1395 and 1422 by Ruy López Dávalos, in granite stone, with a square floor plan, and four towers on each corner. Its most characteristic element is the Homage Tower, with a rectangular floor plan, 26 meters high, with round arch doors and windows and defensive balconies. The Castle has a parade ground surrounded by the wall, which originally housed the servants' quarters, stables, warehouses and kitchens. The Homage Tower was the nobility residence.
The Condestable Dávalos Castle was the residence of important people in the history of Spain, such as Rodrigo Alonso de Pimentel or Doña Juana de Pimentel, who received the castle as part of her dowry for her marriage to Don Alvaro de Luna, and for whom the Castle receives the nickname "Castillo de la Triste Condesa".
Until the 18th century, Condestable Dávalos Castle was the residence of the Dukes of Infantado, until it became the property of Don Luis de Borbón, who abandoned it because he considered it was not a worthy place to make it his residence, which is why he began the construction of a Palace, which became his residence, and which also has a BIC declaration.
During the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries the castle was used for different purposes: prison, cemetery, warehouse, and so on. It is currently owned by the Arenas de San Pedro Town Hall, and since 2006 it has been the most emblematic, touristic and cultural site in the town, after being fully restored.
The Homage Tower has 4 floors where you can find: The Condestable Dávalos Castle Information Office, the Conference Room, the Medieval Room, the Souvenir Shop and the Exhibition Hall.
The Conference Room is also used to celebrate weddings and cultural or musical events. The Exhibition Hall houses the permanent exhibition of the local painter Manuel Aznar. From the Homage Tower you can access the adarve that surrounds the entire parade ground to enjoy spectacular views of the town and the Gredos Mountains.
The parade ground is the perfect place to hold summer concerts, local folklore festival performances, theatre performances, and specialty fairs.
Infante Don Juan Manuel Palace was the first fortress of Belmonte ordered to be built by Don
Juan Manuel in the year 1323 on a previous Visigoth building. It was the birthplace in 1419 of
Don Juan Pacheco, first Villena, Marquis who ordered the construction of the current
The second Villena Marquis Don Diego Lopez Pacheco, turned it into a monastery for that
reason in 1499, he moved Santa Catalina de Sena nuns from Villa de la Alberca to Belmonte,
staying in the palace until 1960.
Among the walls of this building plenty of history is now our hotel, restaurant and spa,
with the most current facilities for your getaways
The history, tradition and culture of the place blend with the modernity, quality and comfort
of our hotel, a haven of tranquility where you will enjoy an unforgettable stay.
Discover the facilities of Infante Don Juan Manuel Palace Hotel and Spa and go back in time
from its facilities, completely rehabilitated while preserving the essence and inspiration of the
original architecture and history.
The Hotel has single, double, triple and family rooms (with capacity for up to five people). The Hotel has spacious suites for special events such as weddings. The rooms are large and have all the necessary amenities to enjoy a unique and relaxed
In addition, our walls have lots of history, in many rooms you can see remains of the original
building, rehabilitated forming the historic building mixed with modern elements, make a very
cozy and comfortable mix.
Also the views from the rooms are towards the Belmonte Castle on the one hand, and the
Collegiate on the other. A view with a history that is hard to forget.
We have 39 rooms equipped with private bathroom, shower, hairdryer, safe, heating and air
conditioning, as well as TV and WIFI. They are also equipped with piped music to complete the
An extra addition that our accommodation has is the SPA. On it you can enjoy a thermal circuit,
as well as a sauna and Turkish bath. Without forgetting an extensive menu of aesthetic
treatments and massages to relax.
Also available for the summer season, an outdoor pool with solarium, where you can enjoy anice swim with the tranquility that the environment gives.
Accommodation in different types of regime.
Prices 70 – 225 €
The accommodation can be completed with different breakfast, lunch and dinner.
You can also choose a spa session, massages and different aesthetic treatments.
The Parador de Carmona offers beauty, tranquility, exquisite cuisine and lovely scenery. The building is built over the ruins of a stunning fortress standing high above the town. It offers a fabulous swimming pool, terraces with views of the countryside and a delightful interior courtyard surrounded by pleasant lounges. The dining room is located in the former refectory and is one of the most spectacular in the Paradores chain. It offers lovely views of the swimming pool and the light-filled landscape of Andalusia, as well as traditional cuisine, which of course includes exquisite confectionery and partridge dishes. Decorative elements such as the tilework will remind you that you are in the land of Andalusia, where the light is special and the people are friendly.
Many different peoples found Carmona to be an ideal spot to settle and they left behind traces that still remain today. Must-see sights include the Puerta de Sevilla (Seville Gate); the Roman necropolis, evidence of a magnificent past; and the Museum of the City of Carmona, which provides a journey through the town's history.
It is less than half an hour by car from the tranquility of our Parador and the lovely town of Carmona to the magic and light exuded by Seville. It is almost impossible to express the beauty of Andalusia's capital in words. The city is home to some of the most spectacular sights in Spain, including the Giralda, cathedral, Torre del Oro (Golden Tower), Triana neighborhood and Reales Alcázares palace complex. In this city bathed by the Guadalquivir, religion and celebrations are lived with special passion. You are sure to think back on enjoying tasty tapas at a sunny terrace café and magical hidden spots with special nostalgia.
The amazing ducal palace at Lerma, now a Parador, is located in the upper part of the city. The hotel features a central courtyard surrounded by lovely columned galleries. The elegant majesty of this palace from the era of the Hapsburgs and its lovely interiors, with beautifully designed lighting and décor, will make your stay an unforgettable experience.
The Plaza Mayor (Main Square) is opposite the main façade of the palace. At night, the lights of the Parador make it look even more magnificent and stately. The medieval quarter, Arch, Cárcel Bridge, San Blas Convent, Santo Domingo Monastery, Pasadizo del Duque (Duke's Passage) and former collegiate church of San Pedro are just some of the treasures you won't want to miss.
The area around Lerma is well worth a visit. 22 kilometers away is Covarrubias, a lovely village where San Cosme y San Damián Collegiate Church and Doña Sancha and Doña Urraca squares invite travelers to enjoy a leisurely visit, imagining that time has stood still in the Middle Ages and that little has changed since the year 987, when Count Fernán González founded the town.
About half an hour away by car is another treasure: the Monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos, a Romanesque jewel which has become a place of spiritual and artistic pilgrimage. It is also not far to beautiful Aranda de Duero, city of wine, monuments, history and culinary expertise.
Live the History
The Palace of Lerma is the main building of one of the most important urban projects of its epoch. Beside it there are several convents, a large square and the enormous terraced gardens over the River Arlanza made this city an artifi cial and ephemeral court of the Spanish Baroque period.
The grand, new palace planned by the Duke, the royal favourite of King Felipe III, took advantage of the ancient medieval castle of Lerma and entrusted the building to Francisco de Mora, the king’s architect. It was built in successive phases: in the fi rst in 1602 the castle was adapted and, subsequently, in a second phase (1613-16) a new annexed building was built beside the north façade. In a fi nal phase (1616-18), both houses were joined, to give it its current aspect, with the fi rst house-castle fi tted inside. This complexity is scarcely visible in the fi nal result of a building with a rectangular design and the typical layout of the Castilian palaces of the XVII century: a large central patio surrounded by arched galleries where a wide stone stairway starts. In the exterior, the contrast between the stone and the slate roof gives it an air similar to the Escorial enhanced by the four corner towers spire. The only outstanding part of the simple two fl oor façade with lintel like hollows is the main door fi nished o by a by a curved pediment and, over this a wide balcony fl anked by two ducal coats of arms. The architectural sobriety concealed a rich and sumptuous interior which housed the splendid collection of the Duke of Lerma, one of the most important of in Europe in the XVII century.
The Duke of Lerma, the Royal Favourite
For twenty years, he was the most powerful man in Spain. The Royal Favourite since 1599, he transferred the Court to Valladolid for fi ve years (1601-1606) in order to weaken the power of his enemies in Madrid, converting Lerma into a strategic point due to its proximity to the new Court. When he fell into disgrace in 1618, his town and palace were condemned to oblivion. The Duke of Lerma has passed into history as an example of the concentration of power, corruption and nepotism in a century which witnessed a very serious economic and political crisis. He began the policy of royal favouritism which was none other than the abandonment of the functions of the monarch in the hands of a strong man who, as in this case, had all the resources of power at his disposal. Before dying, King Felipe II was afraid of the infl uence which Lerma might infl uence over his son, the young and fi ckle Felipe III, and he cast him out of the Court. This was in vain as, after the death of the king, Gómez de Sandoval returned to Madrid and began to exercise absolute power for twenty years, dominating the new monarch and accumulating one of the largest fortunes of his time through favours and scandals. He approved the signing of a Peace Treaty with the Netherlands for twelve years and the expulsion of the Moriscos (Muslim converts to Christianity). Both of these occurred in 1609, and are considered to be the two most important events of his time as Royal Favourite.
The Virgin on the Throne.
A carving is exhibited in the Parador and is considered to be one of the most valuable pieces of the artistic collection of Paradores due to its antiquity (XIV century) and its large size. It is a fi gure of Our Lady made in a single, polychromatic gilded plaster piece in the Flemish style. Its transitional style is evident in the contrast between stateliness of its frontal pose as compared to the naturalism of its expression. The angels who hold the crown are posterior, probably from the XVIII century.
The Castle of Almodóvar was built in the Arab period in the year 740. It received the name Almudawwar, which means the round, in honor of the shape of the land where it is settled.
It belonged to the Caliphate of Córdoba during the years of Abderramán III. When Al-Andalus was divided into different kingdoms independent of each other, known as the kingdoms of Taifas, the Castle belonged first to Seville’s kingdom and later to Carmona’s one and finally to Toledo’s kingdom.
In 1240, four years after the reconquest of Córdoba, the Castle was acquired by Fernando II “The Saint”, who rebuilt it and enlarged part of it.
During the reign of Peter I “El Cruel” or “El Justo”, the bastion reached one of its most splendid times, serving as a dwelling, prison and treasure chamber, thus establishing itself as a military function.
Among other personalities, the dungeons of the Castle of Almodóvar were occupied by D. Fadrique and Mrs. Juana de Lara.
It is in 1900, when its owner, D. Rafael Desmaissières and Farina, XII Count of Torralva, dedicates -for 36 years- his fortune and part of his life to rebuild the fortress.
We are located in the municipality of Alcaudete, which is in the Comarca of the Sierra Sur of Jaén. Alcaudete is a prosperous land in olive groves, fruits and water. It was a strategic passing zone during the Middle Ages and the Arab domain, as it was on the road that went from Cordoba to Granada and border place for more than a hundred years, once conquered by Christians.
This make us to think about one thing: why is there a Castle in Alcaudete? It was the year 711 when the Muslims entered the Peninsula and began the conquest of what was called Al-Andalus, reaching the Duero’s and Ebro’s valleys. However, by the year 1030, their power got weaker and, because of that, Christian kings began an offensive to recover the conquered lands and protect the territory and its inhabitants. In that way they created a powerful defensive system to prevent the lands recovery by Muslims, based on a wide variety of large castles, watchtowers and fortresses, such as the Castillo of Alcaudete. Alcaudete was known in the ninth century as al-Qabdaq or al-Qibdaq, being a place of refuge for peasant populations in the area. To this aim, a fortress was built at the top of the hill, taking advantage of the steep slopes, rocky complexes and natural gorges for its defence. Thus, during the Almohad domain, a great wall was built around the urban core, as well as a fortress on the summit. All of that to protect in case of attack the inhabitants and soldiers of Alcaudete. Inside the fortress there was a tank that collected rainwater to survive and tents used as home, in order to live there and sleep.
Afterwards, the Castle of Alcaudete was part of the defence belt that King Ferdinand III The Holy entrusted for the protection of the western border of the kingdom of Jaen against the Nasrid kingdom of Granada. It was built between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. This Castle has had several stages throughout its life, which have impregnated its walls with legends and stories, memories and adventures, which have left their mark on its structure and which make the monumental complex possess a unique beauty that leaves no one indifferent to their visitors.
Fernando III and his son Alfonso X granted manors in the Kingdom of Jaén as payment for their help in the conquest of the Upper Guadalquivir Valley, and with the clear objective of serving as a protective belt against the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada. For this reason, Alcaudete was handed over to the Order of Calatrava in 1245. Hence, the castle was renamed Castillo Calatravo of Alcaudete.
The Castle of Alcaudete has had several stages throughout its history. When the Calatrava Order leaved, this land and the village became a manor zone, and the Castle was transformed into a private Palace, where the lords of Alcaudete who inhabited it placed the shields of the Cordoba and Montemayor family on the door. Currently these shields are so deteriorated that they hardly distinguish.
The Hospital de San Juan Bautista, better known as Hospital Tavera, was built in the 16th century with a double function: a charitable one for being a hospital “for those afflicted by different illnesses” and a sepulchral one, for being a mausoleum for its founder, Cardinal Juan Pardo Tavera, Archbishop of Toledo, Inquisitor General, Governor of Castilla and Governor of the Kingdom in the absence of the Emperor.
Its palatial appearance is due to its first architect Alonso de Covarrubias, Senior Master of the Main Cathedral and Royal Architect who in order to come up with a new concept for a hospital modelled it on the large Roman private double patio house described by Vitruvio.
Its construction, started in 1540, the architectural and urban renewal program that the humanist circles in the Court of Emperor Charles V designed in order to match the image of Toledo with its status as Imperial capital city. This was depicted years later by El Greco in his famous "View of Toledo" in which this Hospital is reversely situated in the foreground, floating on a cloud, this way the painter helped in the furnishing of the building.
The outlandish sum of half a million ducats that had already been spent in 1599, according to the Hospital administrator, Pedro Salazar de Mendoza, when there was still much of the church to build makes it one of the most splendid constructions of the period, perhaps only comparable, according to the art historian, Fernando Marias, to the monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial.
Castle-Palace of the Fernández de Heredia family, XIV century (Mediterranean Gothic style).
The largest castle you can imagine.
Mora de Rubielos Castle is a representative building of the Mediterranean Gothic style situated in the highest part of the town, on a rocky hill.
The Castle is a solid stone construction built on an irregular, quadrangular ground plan with four fortified towers, a porticoed parade ground and a cloister gallery. It covers an area of 4,300 sq m (67 by 65 m). The Castle can be accessed through a zig-zag ramp with loopholes (long narrow windows through which arrows could be fired against attackers) along its length, which reveal the castle’s former defensive function. After going through the gate, a slight slope with some steps leads us to:
Porticoed parade ground (cloister when the building was used as a convent). It covers an area of 1,400 sq m (38 by 37 m). Its ground plan is a slightly irregular square, surrounded by pointed arches of different sizes. Some of the capitals are decorated with animals or monsters, but they are badly damaged.
Stables. They are in the basement that can be accessed through an oblique arch next to the angle formed by the walls, going down a slight slope with steps which once was a dirt slope. At the bottom, we get to a large space where there used to be troughs.
Stonemasons’ marks: These can still be seen engraved on some of the keystones that form the transverse arches situated closer to the entrance, as well as in some other rooms of the castle. They are the “signature” of the stonemasons who shaped these stones.
Great dining room or multi-purpose room, depending on whether it was a time of peace or war at the castle, something quite common in medieval times.
Antechamber, which could have possibly been used as an armoury, a scriptorium or a dressing room. Nowadays, this room hosts part of the Ethnographic Museum, where you can see different pieces which have been obtained in Mora de Rubielos.
Main bedroom in the castle of the Fernández de Heredia family. This chamber is inside the east tower. The walls are very thick here, something that can be appreciated in the thickness of the window, as well as in the reinforced ceiling, with twice as many beams as normally needed.
The dungeon. It used to be a high security prison. The Great Stairway, Outside tower and gate, Spiral Staircase, The Sacristy (when the castle was used as a convent), The Great Hall (with an area of 284 sq m), The Well, First and Second Level Basements, The Burial Crypt, The Crypt and The Chapel.
The Castle was awarded the status of National Monument in 1931 and Mora de Rubielos was declared a national heritage site in 1978. Restoration works in the castle began in 1972 with the removal of debris and the cleaning and consolidation of arches and structures.
We would be delighted if you would make the Parador de Cuenca your choice for exploring the many unforgettable spots in this uniquely beautiful World Heritage City. The hotel is in a former monastery with an enviable location atop the Huécar Gorge, site of sheer walls and dense vegetation in the outskirts of the city, opposite the magical Hanging Houses. You will be charmed by the glass-enclosed cloister and the former chapel, now a cozy café, our swimming pool and the lovely panoramic views of the city that can be enjoyed from some of our guest rooms (superior rooms).
Cuenca is full of interesting sights. The city itself is beautiful. Sit and enjoy chocolate con churros (drinking chocolate and donut sticks) in the lovely Plaza Mayor (Main Square), surrounded by history and monuments with virtually no traffic. Visit Santa María y San Julián Cathedral, and of course, don't miss the amazing vertical Hanging Houses, overhanging the Huécar River.
Just over 30 kilometers from Cuenca you can visit one of nature’s wonderful caprices, the famous Ciudad Encantada (Enchanted City). The limestone rock formations in this natural area create the illusion of walking past streets, squares, tall buildings, wooded areas, animals, Roman bridges and even ships, all watched over by an enormous giant's head.
A stay at the Parador de Cuenca will allow you to discover a city of magical beauty that is sure not to leave you indifferent.
The Parador de Jaén stands high above the city atop Santa Catalina Hill. Its emblematic figure dominates the horizon, so that as you approach Jaén, it will always be the first to welcome you. The hotel is your departure point and destination for exploring all of the charm of Renaissance Andalusia. The monumental appearance of its interior is maintained in the spectacular cross vault 20 meters high in the main function room, the dining room and the guest rooms with incredible panoramic views of the city.
Jaén's Barrio Antiguo (Old Quarter) has preserved the vestiges of a spectacular city. Nuestra Señora de la Asunción Cathedral; the Arab baths, the largest and most important in Europe; the Provincial Fine Arts Museum; and San Lorenzo Arch, recently declared a National Monument, are just some of the sights well worth visiting.
A visit to the surrounding area is an excellent option, allowing you to explore the Sierra de Cazorla mountains and Sierra de Segura region, with their exceptional nature reserves. Olive groves and the Guadalquivir River, which flows through this land, add special appeal to a place where the characteristic light of Andalusia never fails to make its presence felt.
The Castilian city that is home to the Parador de Almagro has been declared an Area of Artistic-Historical Importance. According to tradition, the city was originally an Arab castle known as Almagrib. The name refers to the characteristic clay of the region, which has a red ochre (almagre) color. You will find it in the Plaza Mayor (Main Square) and other buildings in the historic district. Our Parador is just five minutes from the Plaza Mayor. The building is a former monastery dating from the 16th century. It is very comfortable and peaceful, with a swimming pool, interior courtyards, bright galleries and beautiful woodwork. We offer an ideal location to spend the night and enjoy the unforgettable experience of exploring every corner of Almagro, with sunny afternoons at the terrace cafés in its squares, and one-of-a-kind sunsets amid the bounty left to us by nature in nearby spots such as Las Tablas de Daimiel National Park.
You won't want to miss the Corral de Comedias in Almagro, the only open-air theater to remain intact and in operation since the early 17th century. It still serves as a theater, with a busy schedule of performances, as you will see when you visit the city. This historic/artistic site also hosts the prestigious International Classical Theater Festival.
The Corral de Comedias is one jewel in Almagro's crown, but it has many more! You can follow its Route of Castles, which will take you from Old Calatrava Castle to the Alarcos-Calatrava Archeological Park and New Calatrava Castle.
Less than one hour from the Parador, the lovely natural areas of La Mancha offer unique spaces such as Cabañeros National Park, Lagunas de Ruidera Nature Reserve and Tablas de Daimiel National Park, a festival of nature's beauty, an oasis in the middle of the plains of La Mancha, the perfect panorama to gaze upon. An experience you are sure to love.
The Parador de Sigüenza is an imposing medieval castle situated in an Arab fortress built atop a Roman settlement. These are the perfect accommodations, inviting you to enjoy an ancient city, where the stones speak of history, tradition and legend. The hotel's traditional Castilian furnishings are displayed with fine taste in the spacious, welcoming guest rooms. Some feature canopy beds that will make you feel as if you are lodging in a real palace. Within the thick stone walls there is a cobbled courtyard, a stately dining room and function rooms which are ideal for meetings and celebrations.
In Sigüenza you will enjoy a real journey back in time as you visit the cathedral, with its famous sepulcro del Doncel (tomb of the youth), chapels and cemetery. You can stroll through historic neighborhoods, medieval Travesaña and the baroque neighborhood of San Roque. There are a number of typical small Castilian villages located throughout this large municipality, where traditional customs interact with rural architecture and nature, and where ancient taverns coexist with sophisticated restaurants.
You can also enjoy the city's natural surroundings. The Río Dulce Nature Reserve, the Pinar de Sigüenza (Pine Wood of Sigüenza), large Mediterranean forests, holm oak and oak woods, valleys carpeted in green, home to the griffon vulture, peregrine falcon and eagle owl, all offer up a one-of-a-kind splendor any time of year. Surely you won’t miss a chance to visit?
The Parador de Zafra, Palace of the Dukes of Feria, occupies a majestic castlewith elegant, spacious rooms. Construction on this residence for the dukes of Feria was begun in 1437. The value of the palace is evident in the spectacular façade. It is an ideal location for exploring the historic surroundings and sights in the area. You will be amazed by the magnificent interior, which still contains beautiful coffered ceilings, large chests, ironwork, banisters and other decorative elements from the former palace. Stately, spacious guest rooms, a swimming pool and a beautifully maintained garden round out the Parador's offerings.
Gates in the outside walls lead to the lovely city of Zafra. One of the most beautiful entrances is through Jerez Gate, where narrow Clavel Street will captivate you. Framed by an arch and decorated with tiles, small balconies bedecked with flowers overlook the street, creating the perfect picture postcard. Strolling through Grande and Chica (Big and Small) squares, the shops along Sevilla Street, the collegiate church, and amazing churches such as Candelaria are just some of the attractions in this town, which is also known as La Sevilla Chica (Little Seville).
Come discover this land of Templars and nobles, villages with simple, charming folk, rich in culture and learned in gastronomy.
A short distance from Santiago de Compostela, on the Pontevedra border of the Ulla river valley, is Galicia’s most visited manor house, the palacio de Oca, also widely known as "The Generalife of the North" or the "Galician Versailles”. Comparing the stone and plant architecture of this monument with that of those abovementioned, widely known, allows us to highlight the uniqueness and importance of the most stately and best preserved of the Galician pazos (stately homes). Although built far from the Court, this comparison (despite been hyperbolic) reminds us aptly that its design evokes that of the Barroco court gardens.
According to the words used in 1945 by historian and academic Javier Sánchez Cantón in an effort to protect these gardens, the most outstanding aspect of this ensemble is the inextricable link between water, stone and vegetation which make this monument a masterpiece of architecture, engineering and gardening.
The early fort home was built by order of Álvaro de Oca in the middle of the 15th century and was lost shortly afterwards to the Miter of Compostela in the fights between the Galician nobility and the archbishop of Santiago. In 1564, it passed to King Felipe II who sold it to María de Neyra and thus it was passed down from generation to generation until the XVIII Duchess of Medinaceli who in 1978 donated it to the Casa Ducal de Medinaceli Foundation after its formation
The Parador de Lleida is a 4-star hotel located in the Convento del Roser which dates back to the 17th century and is comprised of two buildings: the church, where the Parador's restaurant will open, and the hotel complex. Its 53 rooms distributed across three floors and around a beautiful central cloister from which guests can access the church which has been converted into a Marmita Restaurant.
Multi-purpose meeting rooms, a gym, common areas to enjoy your stay and free WiFi are some of the other services on offer at this new hotel in the heart of Lleida.
Lleida invites the visitor to lose themselves in the narrow winding streets and to discover the city centre, just ten minutes' walk from the Parador. Atop a hill sits La Seu Vella or Lleida's Old Cathedral, which was built back in the 13th century and which offers great views of the city and surrounding flatlands of Segre. The New Cathedral, built in the Baroque style is located in the city's commercial heart, just five minutes from the Parador. Lleida is an interesting destination for those looking to follow the Romanesque Routes, such as that area of Alta Ribagorza which boasts no fewer than nine Romanesque churches in the Vall de Boí, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Nature is also close at hand with the Arboreum Dr. Pius Font y Quer nearby. This is an immense botanic garden of more than 7 hectares, with 18 spaces, each representing a different area of the planet. If you like to stay active, the perfect place for playing sport and observing the flora and fauna is La Mitjana, a surprising natural area, which stretches along the edge of the city by the riverside.
Lleida is the perfect location for lovers of wine tourism, as from here wineries and vineyards can be visited as it is in the centre of the Costers del Segre Designation of Origin. Here at the Parador we can provide you with information so that you can go on wine tourism routes in the area.
In the southern Rías Baixas region, protected from the open sea by a lovely bay, stands Monterreal Peninsula, where the Parador de Baiona awaits. The fortress offers up its walls for a stroll, or to relax and enjoy a beverage by the sea, and magical sunsets where the Cíes Islands in the distance beckon, inviting you to visit their cliffs, beaches and dunes, exploring their underwater depths and virgin trails.
Elegance is a key feature of every room of the Parador. The stately function rooms, spacious guest rooms with sea views and spectacular stone staircase that welcomes you at the entrance are just a few examples of the majesty of this medieval fortress. The Parador de Baiona offers perfect function rooms for your celebrations, with space for up to 400 people. An intimate ambiance, exquisite décor, well-kept gardens and an idyllic landscape make this a truly unique spot.
If you enjoy hiking or love water sports, this is your Parador. The Baiona Royal Yacht Club is located inside the walled area of the town, offering the opportunity for sailing or nautical tourism. You won't want to leave Baiona without walking the Monte do Boi path and the Serra da Groba mountains, without seeing the sunset from Cape Silleiro or without visiting the Virgen da Roca viewpoint.
In Baiona you will find peace and quiet, as well as an urban environment. This is the ideal destination if you are looking for a lively atmosphere on summer nights; you can enjoy a drink at terrace cafés by the sea and many popular nightspots. The regional cuisine will be a pleasure for your senses. Try the fish and seafood, they are magnificent.
Baiona is also known as Villa de la Arribada (Port of Entry), as it was the first town in Europe to learn of the discovery of America. To the south, the Rías Baixas region offers you spectacular locations, including Oia Monastery, built atop the rocks by the sea, forever gazing out at the horizon and splashed by salt water.
The fishing village of A Guarda is only a few kilometers away. It is crowned by the Celtic fortified settlement of Santa Tecla, from which you can get a view of the spectacular mouth of the Miño River, where Galicia and Portugal meet. And if you have got this far, you might even feel like heading south to Portugal's Costa Verde region, where the beaches are endless and pine woods embrace the sea.
Protected from the open sea by the wall of this former fortress, from our outdoor pool you may contemplate the sun as it sets over the Cíes Islands or find peace and quiet away from the everyday hustle and bustle in our Sauna and Jacuzzi. A return to a luxurious lifestyle from the frenetic pace of modern life.
The Parador de Argómaniz is an elegant Renaissance palaces in a small town just a few kilometers from Vitoria, offering views of the Álava plain, Sierra de Gorbea mountains and Ullibarri Gamboa Reservoir. This pleasant, peaceful, relaxing spot is an excellent choice to get away from the noise of the city, or as a place to stay while you visit beautiful Vitoria and enjoy the wine and cuisine of the Rioja Alavesa region. You will find it easy to relax in the reading areas or on the terrace and enjoy fine dining in the restaurant, beneath spectacular wooden ceilings. The trails in the surrounding area invite you to take an easy walk, and the reservoir offers up its banks as the perfect spot to sit and listen to the sounds of nature as you gaze upon the small waves that form in the water. Here you will enjoy the peace and tranquility that only the countryside can offer.
The Parador de Argómaniz is the best choice for a relaxing stay in the Vitoria area, or a visit to the city, just 15 minutes away by car. Vitoria is both modern and historic at the same time. It has a lovely old quarter, which has been declared a Historic Site and has preserved its medieval plan. The charming district takes the shape of an almond. You will love wandering along streets such as Herrería, Zapatería or Pintorería, whose names recall the craft guilds of long ago. A walk along the green belt that surrounds the city offers a view of what remains of the city walls and the characteristic silhouette formed by the four towers of the churches of San Miguel, San Pedro and San Vicente and Santa María Cathedral.
And if you have not done so yet, here you will succumb to the temptations of the wines of the Rioja Alavesa region: their texture, bouquet and exquisite flavor. You can accompany them with carefully crafted pintxos (snacks) in the city's bars and terrace cafés, or at our Parador, where we welcome you with the best cuisine, and as is our custom, excellent service.
Garcimuñoz Castle is a small town in the province of Cuenca, which was declared a historic complex in 2002. Its main peculiarity is that it is made up of two different castles: one on top of the other. Namely, the castle that was inhabited by Don Juan Manuel since 1312 and the other that was built by the Marquis of Villena Don Juan Pacheco in 1458.
The first references to the Castle of Arab origin date back to the year 1172 when the Emir Abu Yacub Yusuf, by way of Huete, destroys and enslaves its women and children. Restored by Garcí-Muñoz, it was inhabited by Don Juan Manuel who controlled the manor of Villena from this settlement, and so continued the successive marquises until Don Juan Pacheco moved the control center to Belmonte.
In the visit to this castle you can see the North-south wall that protected it, and various spaces organized around an inner courtyard that acted as a distributor.
The castle of Don Juan Pacheco began to be built in 1458 on the remains of the previous one that had been demolished. The master who built it was Martín Sánchez Bonifacio, one of the members of the School of Toledo.
It's a transition castle to Fort Bastions, built in Elizabethan Gothic style as testified by its billiard of Çross and Orb and the decorative frame that surrounds the castle below the windows of the second floor, the diamond tips and Avila´s balls of its cover, etc
Its destruction and the recess of its canvases and towers occur from the year 1663 when a Castle's bay becomes the current Church of St. John the baptist, inaugurated in 1708. The Castle's walls served as a quarry for the works of the Church.
The castle has been recently restored (2010-2016) by Izaskun Chinchilla in postmodern Style. It is a controversial restoration, where the sculpture is mixed with the architecture, but it is worth the visit to assess the different styles of restoration of Castles.
The rehabilitation carried out permits the visit to:
- The homage tower with 16.5 meters in diameter whose original cistern has been recovered.
- The four Gothic windows on the second floor and the singular windows of the First.
- The inside of the Southwest tower that ends the visit to this castle and leads to the platform that gives access to the castle of Don Juan Manuel, in it we find 40 solar chimneys today which are only decorative.
While being amazed by the Templar Castle is very easy, getting to know it is not that simple. With its 8,000 m2 of surface, it is considered one of the most important castles in the northwest of Spain and it is the main emblematic feature of the city of Ponferrada.
Its military architecture answers to centuries of history, where different inhabitants have left their imprint through subsequent constructions, reforms, abandonments and restorations. Having being declared National Monument in 1924 and Cultural Heritage Site (BIC, for its Spanish initials), it is not until the end of the 20th century when a great effort is made to restore the walls and rooms of the Castle.
The result is a multipurpose monument, where different exhibitions, musicals and recreational, didactic and religious activities take place. It has always had a privileged location in every respect. Geographically, it is an obligatory stopping point between the Plateau and Galicia, and a must for the pilgrims on their way to Santiago.
Tactically, its location on a hill on the banks of the Sil River has allowed the protection and defence of its territory and of the Way of Saint James. Locally, it is a reference landmark in the old town. Around it, we find important monumental buildings: the church of San Andrés, “las Cuadras” (Tourist Information Office), “Casa de los Escudos” (Coats of Arms House) (Radio Museum), the Basilica of Our Lady of the Encina, the convent of la Purísima Concepción, the old prison (Museum of El Bierzo), the Tower clock and street, the Town Hall and the old main square of las Eras.
The Templar Castle, the Way of Saint James and the city of Ponferrada have a closely linked past and future, since their stories are intertwined and it is not possible to get to know one without explaining the relationship with the others.
The Fortress of La Mota, in the province of Jaén surprises by being a natural watchtower in a sea of olive trees that houses the site of the city of Alcalá la Real until the 16th century. Currently the best preserved medieval urban group in Andalusia.
Its strategic location between the Alhambra of Granada and the Mosque of Cordoba houses the Interpretation Center Life in the Border, which reveals the importance in the history of Al-Andalus.
Qal'at Banu Said or Benzayde was his name from 713 to 1341, at which time Alfonso XI took it definitively and granted him the title of Royal, becoming a key, guard and defender of the Kingdoms of Castile against the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada, for 150 years.
Testimony of this definitive conquest is the Hidden City, a network of underground galleries, which had a major importance in the taking of the fortified city in the 14th century.
The Monumental Ensemble of the Fortaleza de la Mota retains its original urban layout and numerous vestiges of the medieval life system. Crossing its doors you will discover the elements of a fortified medieval city, such as the walls, towers and adarves, that together with the Alcazaba and the Military District of the city were part of the defensive system. Or its wineries, nevero, neighborhoods like El Bahondillo and palaces that have been here testimonies of another time so that you can contemplate them and transport you to a time of fusion of cultures and creeds. An audiovisual innovator in the Greater Abbey Church will thrill you and tell you his fascinating story.
The historic site of San Vicente do Pino is located in the uppermost part of the town of Monforte de Lemos. It is made up of the keep, San Vicente do Pino Monastery and the palace of the counts of Lemos, which houses the Parador de Monforte. The monastery dates back to the 9th century, although the current structure was built in the 17th century in the neoclassical style. The building has a neoclassical central cloister with exceptionally well carved stonework. It is the ideal space for events, or simply to enjoy a stroll amid the silence and beauty of the stone.
You won't want to miss a visit to the Colegio de Los Escolapios (Piarist School), a majestic building more than 100 meters in length. Construction of the structure was begun in 1593 and completed in 1913, after more than three centuries of work. Its grandeur evokes El Escorial Monastery and its walls bear the coats of arms of the counts of Lemos, the House of Alba and the Piarist Fathers, who were responsible for completing the work. The school's museum, previously the sacristy, houses paintings by El Greco and Andrea del Sarto, among others.
Monforte de Lemos is also an exceptional location for exploring the Ribera Sacraregion, with its rivers, vineyards, Romanesque churches, gastronomy and festivals. In the area around the town you will discover indescribably beautiful landscapes, including the Sil River Canyon and the magical Sierra de O Caurel mountains.
While surrounded by the history embedded in this 9th Century palace you may exercise in the facilities of the Wellness Area including a gym and a jacuzzi or rest in the outdoor swimming pool accompanied by the silence and beauty emanating from the stone of this Neoclassical building. The perfect balance between fitness training and relaxation.
There is a town that guards itself from the dangers that come by sea, and protects the medieval treasure that is its old quarter with the remnants of thick, high walls. It is the same seaside village you can find outside the walls, with colorful, eye-catching houses, lively taverns and beautiful views of the sea. That town is Hondarribia, and the Parador de Turismo is just the hotel you were looking for to enjoy it. Also known as the Castle of Charles V, its construction dates to the 10th century. Here you will feel as if you are in an authentic medieval fortress. Highlights include the immense bare stone walls that frame the courtyard, surrounded by green creepers and crowned by spaces adorned with arches, wrought iron and coffered ceilings. The views of the coast of France and the sea from some of the guest rooms and the terrace complete the indescribable beauty of this place..
Hondarribia sets the standard for tourism on the Bay of Biscay coast. The city offers any number of leisure options: beaches, mountains, hiking and adventure sports will allow you to enjoy it with all of your senses. If you are a golf lover, you will be pleased to know that you can play at either of the two courses in town: Justiz Golf and Real Club de Golf.
Walking along the cobbled streets of the walled area of Hondarribia is one of the pleasures you won't want to miss. A stroll along Paseo Ramón Iribarren, one of the busiest streets in the city, will take you to the new marina, as well as the beach and docked fishing boats, which enhance the beauty of each sunset with their constantly shifting silhouettes.
San Marcos Castle, located in El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz, was built in the 13th century configured as a border fortress-church with the Nasrid kingdom of Granada under the reign of Alfonso X the Wise, who took the population of Alcanatif and integrated it into the kingdom of Castilla y León.
San Marcos Castle is built in a key place both strategic and spiritual. The oldest construction on this site dates from the Ist century; a Roman temple built in what was the highest point of Portus Gaditanus, a small fishing village dedicated mainly to obtaining salt and fishing in the bay.
This structure was marked by the different vicissitudes faced by the entire surrounding area such as the Visigoth invasion and the subsequent Arab conquest from North Africa, transforming the temple into a church and mosque respectively.
With the population increase experienced by the entire Andalusian Caliphate in the 10th century, the Alcanatif village was founded where Portus Gaditanus once stood and, erecting the mosque that today keeps this emblematic castle. It is precisely the structure of the mosque that first stands out inside the Castle: a temple of “Córdoba” tradition that uses the marble columns of the now disappeared Roman temple to support the roof and the vaults inside the building.
Highlights in the mosque not only the horseshoe arches that are distributed throughout the space, but the Mihrab located in the Quibla wall. Mihrab that has endured to this day surviving 7 centuries of Christian worship.
After the capture of Alcanatif by Alfonso X, it became part of the kingdom of Castilla y León under the name of "Santa María del Puerto" and the same monarch ordered not only the conversion of the mosque into a Christian church but the beginning of the works to turn it, also, into a fortress and border post with the Nasrid kingdom of Granada, giving it the name of "Castillo de San Marcos" in honor of the onomastics of the day of the conquest of Alcanatif, on April 25th.
Until the 14th century, the Castle and the village of Santa María del Puerto were part of the crown of Castilla until Luis de la Cerda, the first Duke of Medinaceli, was granted the duchy who owns the castle until the 19th century and under his orders the different works of the castle of extensions and adhesions that we can see today were made.
The most representative dates from the 15th century, a period in which the ducal house invests a good amount of resources in the population, also financing the construction of the city's Basilica.
Already in the 19th century the ownership of the castle passes to the town hall that manages to keep it barely carrying out reforms and reconstructions trying to seek its conservation. Today, it belongs to the Caballero Group that has managed to maintain successfully and in good condition this emblematic monument of El Puerto de Santa María.
Located in the Sierra de Gredos, barely 90km from Madrid, the castle of La Adrada has dominated the landscape of the Tiétar Valley since the 14th century. Built on a Gothic church dated 1250 which, in turn, seems to have been built on another castle of Roman origin, the castle gains in relevance from the 14th century with the designation of La Adrada as Villa (township). It was a temporary residence of Enrique III, Juan II, Enrique IV and the Catholic Monarchs (Fernando and Isabel), expanding in size and in facilities that guaranteed better security, such as the case of ts walls until, from the 19th century onwards, it begins to fall into ruins. The castle was victim to plunder from locals and foreigners alike. It remained in that state until the end of the 20th century, at which time, it was transferred to La Adrada Town Hall and with the support of various institutions, it was restored and began being open to the public in 2004.
Since then and to date, the castle of La Adrada has recovered use and life. With a €3 entrance fee, reduced for groups and free entrance on Wednesdays, visitors can stroll through the castle and its walls, learn about its history through a short film, and visit the Tiétar Valley Historical Interpretation Center. This Interpretation Center explains the origins and traditions of the many beautiful villages that make up the Tiétar Valley, its most representative mountains and other curiosities of the area.
But the castle is not limited to only being a monument worthhy to be seen and admired, but rather it is also a public building that is being used for many cultural and social events including weddings.
Since 2004, the Castle has been the epicenter of the La Adrada Medieval Fair with archery tournaments, madrigal concerts, and theatratrical performances.
Since 2018, it has also been the main stage of the Tiétar Summer Festival - La Adrada festival - hosting an average of 15 performances a year. Artists such as Carlos Núñez, Bebe, Paco Ibáñez, Luar Na Lubre, Hevia ... have performed on this stage which is located in the original apse of the 13th century Gothic church.
Also, for more than five years, it has been one of the favorite set locations for film and television series recording studios such as Águila Roja, Reinas, El Ministerio del Tiempo, Isabel, El Cid…
In short, a very charming place ready to receive your visit.
With its lovely interior courtyard filled with lemon and orange trees, secluded swimming pool, function room with fireplace, and views of the mountains and monastery, the Parador de Guadalupe will let your imagination soar, carrying you back to distant times and immersing you in the magic of a medieval village. The hotel enjoys an incredible location on the site of the Royal Monastery of Guadalupe, which has been declared a World Heritage Site. The monastery complex is made up of four parts: church/basilica, auditorium building, Mudejar cloister and Gothic cloister. All are spectacularly beautiful. The garden, a fertile area with native plants, flowers and fountains; the beautiful corridors and cozy guest rooms will make your visit an idyllic experience.
Guadalupe is a delightful town in the Cáceres district known as Las Villuercas, a lovely village with cobbled streets and houses built in the traditional vernacular style. It is home to an extremely valuable area of artistic and historical importance dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. It has been preserved with its original structure intact, making you feel as if you are on a film set. Santa María Square, where the Parador is located, and the old Jewish quarter are well worth a leisurely visit. From here you can travel to mountain villages in the surrounding area, including Cañamero, Logrosán and Berzocana. Another of the region's attractions is the delicious Extremaduran cuisine.
The Parador de Benavente stands at one of the most important confluences of communications routes in Spain, a crossroads between the northern and southern parts of the peninsula, and where various pilgrimage routes to Santiago pause to take a breather. The hotel is located on the site of an old castle, of which Caracol Tower has been preserved. You will be fascinated by the beauty of the tower's exterior and the spectacular Mudejar coffered ceiling inside. In the other rooms, tapestries, wrought iron lamps, woodwork and Castilian brick will make you feel almost as if you were on a film set. Our function rooms are fully equipped to handle your social events, and the lovely gardens that surround the Parador are ideal for a stroll.
Situated at one of the most important confluences of communications routes in Spain; its enviable location in the northwestern part of the peninsula has made it an important crossroads throughout history. It lies on various pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela: the Vía de la Plata (Silver Route), Camino de Oriente (Eastern Asturias Route), Valladolid Route, Tera Valley Route and Asturias Route.
The venue for the legislative assembly in 1176, the Parador de Turismo de Benavente is located on the site of the former castle/palace of the counts of Benavente. Construction of the building began in the 12th century and it was subsequently expanded by successive occupants in the 13th, 14th and 15thcenturies.
The hotel is connected to the Renaissance-style Caracol Tower, the only part of the former structure to be preserved. It is also next to La Mota Gardens, Benavente's most important green space, with excellent views of the Tera and Órbigo river valleys.
The tower features a magnificent Mudejar coffered ceiling and a period bar.
The castle was built in the 15th century by the 1st Duke of the Infantado, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza. The works were carried on by his son Íñigo López de Mendoza, who brought the architect Juan Guas into the project. Guas was one of the highest representatives of the late gothic style in Castile and the architect of the Catholic Monarchs.
The Dukes of the Infantado were the son and grandson of the Marquis of Santillana, the author of the renowned Serranillas genre of poetry. This building is the architectural hallmark of a society that bridged two eras, that of medieval chivalry (defensive elements such as the outer wall or the angled entry) and the renaissance humanist era, with its great drawing rooms, decorated façades and vantage points more often found in palaces.
Even though there was already a castle in the town, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza decided to build a new one from the materials of the old to create a building in keeping with the relevant position the ducal house was acquiring. The entire building is enhanced with the robust defensive outer wall and the wall walk. The castle has undergone successive refurbishments such as the one completed in 2007 involving various building works to create an interpretation centre and to refurbish the interior rooms, with a décor that sought to match the historical era of the collection of tapestries that bedeck the monument.
Furthermore, in recent times the castle’s landscaping has been reconditioned and a space created featuring different aspects of life as it was in the late 15th century.
More than two thousand years of history make up the cultural and historical heritage of Tortosa, a city which has been declared an area of artistic and historical importance. Located on the Ebro River, near the mouth where the delta begins, Tortosa enjoys a Mediterranean climate and charm. The Parador is situated in the spectacular Zuda Castle, overlooking the city from high above, offering a combination of monumental beauty and the attractions of the various natural areas that surround it. At this inviting hotel, you can enjoy the seasonal swimming pool, a cozy dining room with Gothic windows, comfortable guest rooms and magnificent views of the banks of the Ebro along the river's final stretches.
In Tortosa, you will discover a city with a special charm. Beautiful Santa María Cathedral, the Jewish quarter, the open-air sculpture museum of sculptor Santiago de Santiago, and Mirabel Castle are just some of the lovely sights it has to offer. A wonderful way to explore Tortosa is by following a walking or bicycle route around the walls and fortifications, beginning at the Parador and visiting the fortified complex known as the Avanzadas de San Juan, Inmaculada Square, the wall-walk and Célio Tower.
Its streets, artistic and cultural heritage, the scenery offered by the Ebro Plain, and the people, cuisine and festivals make this city unique. If you come to Tortosa during the second half of July, you will experience the Renaissance Festival, when thousands of locals dress in period costume and there are daily performances in the streets, transporting Tortosa five hundred years back in time.
The hotel occupies a former 12th-century hospital near the cathedral, erected by St. Dominic to take in pilgrims traveling on the Way of St. James. It has a regal, elegant style, with majestic function rooms and a lobby filled with Gothic arches and wood coffered ceilings. Fine materials and eye-catching colors—whites and blues—give way to comfortable guest rooms decorated with exquisite taste. You will find a warm, harmonious environment which is also highly suited to social events and meetings.
Santo Domingo de la Calzada stands beside the banks of the Oja River on a vast plain. The town's founding is linked to the branch of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela known as the French Route. Legend has it that in the 11th century, this location was a large holm oak forest on the banks of a tumultuous river that descended from the nearby mountains, now known as the Sierra de la Demanda. A hermit named Domingo took up residence in the heart of the forest, dedicating all his energy to making it easier for pilgrims traveling to Compostela to cross this difficult terrain.
Today you can enjoy the town by visiting sights such as the cathedral or Plaza de España (Spain Square) and savoring La Rioja's delicious cuisine.
How would you like to travel back in time to the Middle Ages? At the Parador de Cardona, you will feel as if that is just what you've done. The hotel is a beautiful medieval castle with centuries of history, standing high atop a promontory and watching over the charming town of Cardona. On this 9th-century fortified site, you can also visit Minyona Tower and a lovely church, both dating from the 11th century. We have taken great care with the décor to ensure that the castle retains all of its charm and so that the fosses, towers, walls and gothic elements can be seen in all their glory. Panoramic views of the town and the lands along the Cardoner River are visible from anywhere you look out, a gift to which you will awaken each morning.
Cardona has retained all the charm of a medieval town. It is filled with incomparably beautiful spots and narrow side streets that you will want to explore every inch of. Here you can pay a visit to Montaña de Sal Cultural Park, an old salt mine with spectacular interior galleries, where you can tour the museum and see the old shaft machinery. The different folds and veins of the salt deposit and the wide variety of minerals contribute to the spectacular nature of this site, making it unique in the world. You will love it.
The Parador de Cardona is the ideal setting-off point for hiking or bicycle trails, including Los Molinos de la Sal (The Salt Mills), which runs past three old stone mills beside the Cardener River. Other nature trails you can enjoy include the Vía Salaria (Salt Road), the Camino de los Monjes (Monks' Trail) and the Camino de la Frontera (Border Trail), which will guide you along the paths that once ran around the territories on the former border with Muslim Al-Andalus.
At the Parador de Cardona, we offer you a one-of-a-kind experience: you will be reunited with tranquility, nature and history and enjoy all the delights of Catalan cuisine. If you visit us, you are sure to return.
The Parador, once the residence of the counts of Maceda, is located in the old quarter of the magnificent city of Pontevedra. You will be welcomed by a stately carved stone staircase leading to comfortable guest rooms. The building is decorated with antiques and very valuable classic furniture. It combines regal, noble and stately styles with charming rural elements. The surrounding area invites you to visit coves and beaches, and to enjoy fine seafood and excellent wine.
You won't want to leave without taking a walk through the well-preserved old quarter of Pontevedra, most of which has been pedestrianized. Visit Santa María la Mayor Basilica, a jewel of Gothic architecture, and La Virgen Peregrina Church, a chapel with a scallop-shaped floor plan and beautiful night lighting. Other highlights include Pontevedra Museum, whose collection is held in five different locations: Santo Domingo Monastery, Sarmiento Palace, and the Castro Monteagudo, García Flórez and Fernández López buildings.
A few kilometers from the city, the Rías Baixas region opens onto the Atlantic. You can enjoy fantastic sunsets in spots such as A Toxa Island, urban beaches like Silgar Beach in Sanxenxo, or vast areas of golden sand like A Lanzada Beach.
Event: Medieval festival
Date: First weekend in September
La Peregrina Festival
Event: Festival of the Virgin Peregrina, patron saint of Pontevedra province
Date: First two weekends in August
Rapa das Bestas (Capture of the Beasts)
Event: Wild horse mane-cutting festival
Date: First Sunday in June
Place: Sabucedo, 20 km
Come & visit the best non urban hotel in Spain, Condé Nast Traveller 2014 awards. The Parador de Corias is located in the lovely Asturias town of Cangas del Narcea, in a spectacular monastery that has been declared a National Historical-Artistic Monument. Known as El Escorial of Asturias, the name alone will give you an idea of its elegance and monumental structure. The basement houses a lovely museum where you can view the archaeological remains of the original building, which dates to the early 11th century. The view of the mountain landscape and Narcea River from the windows of the guest rooms is spectacular. The Tuscan-style church with its ample spaces and large baroque altarpiece is also worth a visit. The hotel offers function rooms equipped for banquets, conferences and any other event you might wish to hold. This Parador sets the standard for tourism and gastronomy in an area of great natural beauty, surrounded by magical forests and rural landscapes which display different colors for each season of the year.
Next to the Parador there is a Roman bridge, on which the passing of the centuries has left ruts in the stones, inviting you to set out on a walk through the area, leave all of your cares behind and relax. These same trails will take you to gorgeous spots such as the Fuentes Nature Reserve, Muniellos Reserve or El Cuetu d’ Arbas Reserve, where bears and capercaillies leave their tracks on the beautiful green mantle of vegetation. In the mountains surrounding the Parador, vineyards of Mencia, Albarin, Carrasquin, Verdejo Tinto and other grapes grow to maturity, painstakingly cared for by local growers.
The town of Cangas de Narcea is just two kilometers from the Parador de Corias. Dotted with beautiful churches, palaces and mansions, it is a charming village you will enjoy visiting. Some of the loveliest sights include the collegiate church of Santa María Magdalena, Omaña Palace, Toreno Palace and Virgen del Acebo Chapel.
We look forward to welcoming you to one of the largest Paradores in Spain, an oasis of peace and tranquility in the midst of a fairytale landscape.
The most distinctive element of the town is the “Alconchel Castle", also called today as “Miraflores Castle” because it is located on the hill of the same name. Nestled on top of the hill of the same name, dominates with its imposing presence all the territories of the environment. Of Arab origin, and rebuilt in the 12th century by the monarch Alfonso Enríquez, was later consolidated by the Templars, becoming one of the most important bastions of this order.
Originally it was composed of triple enclosure, reinforced the intermediate with cubes pointed towards the south. It is presided by a powerful homage tower, completing the whole a good yard of weapons, cisterns, dungeons, chapel and other dependencies of which are preserved different remains. Today it is inside the centre of interpretation of the fortifications of the Great Lake of Alqueva, it already has a unique space for conventions, congresses and exhibitions and prepares for the lodging.
From the historical point of view, it should be remembered that a Muslim enclave existed here, of which no trace remains. In the first place it was occupied by the Portuguese, late in the 12th century, in the time of Alfonso I, in 1166. It passed into Castilian hands a hundred years later, in 1264, and was given to the Templars first and to that of Alcántara later. The fortress is full of History of the struggles between the Kingdoms of Spain and Portugal.
Most of the bulk of the fortress is built with stones, with ashlars in the corners of the keep and masonry. The wood is used in a few places such as in ranguas bars, floors of the tower and possibly in the rake of the current entrance door and in the mechinales of the upper part of the north side of the tower.
The castle has not escaped the local heritage either and there are some local traditions that revolve around it. Despite being many of them exaggerated data, they turn out to be curious and worthy of being traced documentary.
Thus, in Alconchel it is often stated that a tunnel leads from the fortress to the parish church and another to the nearby Ermita de la Esperanza, indeed some castles have had mines or passageways that served as an escape in situations of siege, but in In this case at hand, it has not been possible to attest to the presence of said tunnels in any way. Of course, what is proven is that the presence of mines in castles was a serious detriment to it since in the same way that it could serve to escape, it could also serve to enter by enemies, with which the presence of them is almost ruled out.
The Parador de Monterrei is located atop what many historians consider the largest acropolis in Galicia. Defensive site, pilgrim hospital...over the centuries, this location has been put to a number of different uses. And now you can stay here and experience the essence of Paradores for yourself.
The guest rooms of this enchanting hotel offer the best view in the area. The Parador's architectural layout makes it possible for guests to stay in the former Palacio de los Condes (Palace of the Counts - 7 rooms) or the Casa Rectoral (Parsonage - 5 guest rooms), both situated within the walled site. The Parador is located in Monterreal fortress, 2 km from Verín on the Madrid–Benavente–Vigo road, National Highway 525.This historic hotel is a travel destination in itself. The site houses the Castle, Palace of the Counts and Parsonage, accommodation areas, 13th-century Santa María de Gracia Church and the Watchtower, of which part of the walls have been preserved.
Know the environment
Verín is a lovely town in the southeast of the province of Ourense, on the banks of the Támega River. In addition to the medieval fortress of Monterrei (opposite the Parador), other areas of interest include La Merced Square, the spring at Cabreiroá, San Lázaro Chapel, Viriato Square, the avenue along the Támega River, La Alameda Gardens, El Rey Square and the Main Square.
The town was originally a Roman villa. During the medieval period, the villa lost its dominance and Monterrey became the focal point of the territory, with life in the district revolving around its counts and lords. It was a peaceful farming town in the Middle Ages, although often caught up in the military conflicts of the successive rulers of Monterrey, as well as border disputes between Spain and Portugal.
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