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Capture the World

CTW Explores

Valladolid

Country: Spain               Language: Spanish               Currency:  Euro (€)

Valladolid is a lively city in northwest Spain. It features medieval architecture, charming old pedestrian streets, and a stunning Plaza Mayor. Valladolid has a number of museums, providing insight into Spanish history and art. This is the city for drinking wine, as Valladolid is located near Spain’s wine region!  During the day, the city feels calm and quiet, allowing plenty of room to explore, take photos, and live like a Spaniard. By night, watch the city come alive, as the university students fill the streets, cafes, and bars.

CTW Must See

Iglesia de San Pablo

The Church of San Pablo is an absolutely jaw-droppingly impressive church that will stop you dead in your tracks as it reveals its detailed and exquisite facade. The building was officially completed in 1616, and is one of the most significant buildings in Valladolid. In this church, Kings Phillip II and Phillip IV were baptized, and Napoleon is said to have visited here during his time in the city.

Palacio de Pimentel

The Palace of Pimentel, located beside the Church of San Pablo, was the birthplace of King Phillip II. The palace features a famous plateresque window on its corner, and its facade displays a beautiful Renaissance style. The building has much historic significance to the city, and is a beautiful example of how the Spanish Royal family once lived.

Museo Nacional de Escultura

Entry to the Museum of National Sculpture also allows access to two other museums, Casa del Sol and the Palacio de Villena. The first, Cloergio de San Gregorio or the Museum of National Sculpture,  features a large sculpture collection dating from the 13th to 18th centuries. Casa del Sol holds a number of art adaptations made in the 19th and 20th centuries. And finally, the Palacio de Villena,  a large palace across from the Museum of National Sculpture, holds great historic significance. Visiting all three museums will take roughly 1-2 hours, depending on how quickly you move through the galleries.

Church of San Benito

The Church of San Benito was built of limestone in the early 1500s. It features a grand Gothic interior and a unique Renaissance-styled exterior. The tall gate towers were once taller than they are now, but were shortened due to concerns regarding structural integrity. The Church of San Benito sits at the top of the Old Quarter and until 1965, was used as a barracks!

Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor is the central square in Valladolid, and one of the largest plazas in Spain. The plaza is rectangular in shape, surrounding you with bright red architecture  granite pillars, and narrow streets leading into the plaza. Originally, the houses that surrounded the square featured balconies on the first floor, railings on the second, and merely a window on the third floor, like many traditional Spanish plazas. However, as time progressed, the floors all have balconies, often with decorative flower pots hanging from them. The most prominent building in Plaza Mayor is the town hall, dating back to 1892.

Plaza Salvador 

Plaza Salvador is a quaint square tucked into the depths of the historic pedestrian streets. The main feature of the square is the Church of the Most Holy Savior. This large chapel was built between the 15th and 18th centuries, and stands tall in the small square. This charming square gives an insight into the laid back Spanish lifestyle, as you will likely find many people relaxing and enjoying a coffee at the cafes nearby.

Pasaje Gutierrez

This passage was built in 1886 and is the only commercial passage gallery in the city. The building was completed in one year, and used some of the best technology of its time. The passage has two hallways and is connected by the central roundabout, featuring a statue of Mercury. Inside the passage, you will find boutique shops and cafes, giving you an opportunity to relax and enjoy the gallery space.

Santa Maria la Antigua Church

Dating back to the year 1095, the Santa Maria la Antigua Church is a small Gothic and Renaissance style church near the center of the Old Quarter. The church features a tall bell tower, enriching the city’s skyline with its charm. The building was restored in the 20th century to display its original design, rather than the version that it evolved into over the years.

Valladolid Cathedral

The Valladolid Cathedral is an impressive grand cathedral beside Santa Maria la Antiqua Church. Originally, this cathedral was built to be one of the largest cathedrals in Europe. However when only about 45% of the building was built, they realized they lacked the resources needed to complete the plans. The Valladolid Cathedra  stands tall among the low-key architecture found in the rest of the city.

Academia de Caballeria

The Academy of Cavalry was built in 1920, making it one of the more modern buildings in the city. The current building replaced one that stood before it, but was designed to resemble its predecessor. The museum holds a number of artifacts, art works, and documents from the Spanish Cavalry, and can be visited by appointment only. In front of the Academy sits Plaza Zorilla, which provides a gateway into Campo Grande.

Campo Grande

This large triangular park is located in the heart of Valladolid. It is a peaceful, green oasis; the perfect place to enjoy a stroll or a paddleboat ride with a friend or loved one. The park features grand fountains, gardens, ponds, and some very photogenic peacocks! 

Museo Oriental

At the bottom of Campo Grande, you’ll find Museo Oriental. The Oriental Museum, established in 1874, features a collection of Filipino, Chinese, and Japanese works from a range of eras and regions. The Oriental Museum is one of the best of its kind in Spain!

Christopher Columbus Monument

This large monument to Christopher Columbus stands tall at the end of Campo Grande and in front of the train station. The detailed monument is full of history as it displays four panels depicting some of the most significant moments in Columbus’s life, and some important mottos of Spain at the time of his discoveries. As Valladolid is where Columbus passed away, this monument is of great importance to the city. 

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