Parador de Ciudad Rodrigo Information

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Parador de Ciudad Rodrigo

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Facilities

  • Twin rooms (21)
  • Double rooms (12)
  • Room with living room (2)
  • Capacity (70)
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Telephone
  • Central heating
  • Air conditioned bedrooms
  • TV
  • Canal plus
  • Satellite
  • Deposit box
  • Minibar
  • Parking
  • Credit cards
  • Currency exchange
  • Garden
  • Disabled facilities
  • Airport (95km)
  • Station (0.5km)

 Parador de Ciudad Rodrigo - 14th century castle (4*)

The Parador

Dramatically situated on a rocky rise above the River Águeda, this ivy-clad medieval castle – now the exceptional Parador de Ciudad Rodrigo – once guarded the main road between Salamanca and Portugal. The site of Ciudad Rodrigo has been occupied since Neolithic times and the city takes its name from Count Rodrigo González Girón, who re-founded it in 1110. Its strategic position meant that it was an important prize during the peninsular war: Marshall Ney captured the city in 1810 for the Napolenic forces and two years later it fell to the Duke of Wellington as he pushed the French out of Portugal and back across Spain. The castle as it now stands was constructed on the orders of Enrique de Trastámara in the 14th century – hence the name of the Parador: Enrique II, and the castle featured heavily in the fighting between the 2 forces. Ciudad Rodrigo's Parador, located in the historical centre of the city, is dominated by an imposing two-tier castellated tower and is surrounded by a well-tended garden. The interior maintains a very historic atmosphere with a fine courtyard and Castilian furniture.

In the restaurant – which features fine old stone arches – a range of dishes from the Salamanca region are on offer, such as local sausages, roast suckling pig, acorn-fed Iberian cured ham, and Repelaos (a dessert made from almonds, sugar and eggs). Meat, goat's cheese and peppers are also popular of this region. 

Local area

From the 2nd century the Romans held the town and it was known as Augustobriga and later Civitas Augusta, before the Goths and the Moors controlled it and it became known as Mirobriga. It was later rumoured that Count Rodrigo Gonzalez Giron retreated to this region after the defeat of his forces at Guadalete, and the town was renamed Ciudad Rodrigo in his honour in the 12th century.  However the region spent many years in decline and it was only when King Fernando II brought Christians to the area and fortified the town that it began to regain its importance as a significant border town. The building of a cathedral was undertaken but took 2 centuries to finish. Eventually in the 14th century, Enrique II - who went on to be crowned King of Castilla and Leon - built the existing fortress facing Portugal. The 15th and 16th centuries were significant periods for the development of the city and some remnants of the palaces and religious monuments can still be seen today, despite the destruction of much of the city in the 17th and 18th century during the wars of succession. The fortress went on to feature heavily in the Napoleonic war, as it was first taken by the French in 1810 (Marshall Ney occupied the city after a 24-day siege) and later the British and Portuguese forces in 1812. The Spanish forces defended the city valiantly and only conceded when the wall was breached and defeat was in sight. The French also fought hard to keep the city theirs, but after 11 days of artillery bombardment from 2 hills overlooking the city, the wall was breached again and the British forced their way in. The city was a vital stepping stone for each army to control this route from Portugal to Spain and evidence of the heavy bombardments is still clearly viewable.

Ciudad Rodrigo remains today an attractive monument to the history of Spain, a small gem of a city that has featured in much of Spain's transition from Roman and Moorish colony to the unified regions of present day. In 1929, the fortress became the Parador de Ciudad Rodrigo and in 1944 the historic centre was declared a historic and artistic area for preservation. The Parador has since accommodated many famous figures including the King and Queen of Spain.

Click here for Lorna Robert's expert view on this Parador as she journeys through Castellon y Leon.

Restaurant meal times & typical dishes

Breakfast is served from 8.00 to 11.00 and dinner from 20.30 to 23.00.

It may be possible to arrive up to 22.30 and still enjoy a meal.

In the restaurant – which features fine old stone arches – a range of dishes from the Salamanca region are on offer, such as local sausages, roast suckling pig, acorn-fed Iberian cured ham, and Repelaos (a dessert made from almonds, sugar and eggs). Meat, goat's cheese and peppers are also popular of this region.

How to get there

The Parador is located in the historical centre of the city ("Conjunto Historico Artistico"), surrounded by the defensive medieval wall which begins and ends at the Castle of Henry II. The gateways to the city, the cathedral and other monuments form its privileged surroundings. Ciudad Rodrigo is 89 km from Salamanca along the N-620 and 28 km from Portugal along the E-80.

Nearby Hotels

Salamanca - 88km
Zamora - 150km
Carceres - 158km
Gredos - 171km
Madrid Airport - 300km

Region & Cuisine

CASTILLA y LEON

In 1983 the existing regions of Castilla la Vieja (Old Castile) and Leon were united to form Castilla y Leon. Occupying one-fifth of the country’s territory, Castilla y Leon is the largest of Spain’s Autonomous Communities and comprises much of the central and northern areas of the country.

Given its size – over 94,000 square kilometres – there is naturally an enormous variety of landscape within this region with mountains of varying grandeur to the north, west and south, and woodlands and fertile river plains dominating the central area. The river Duero, Spain’s largest river and the country’s principal source of electrical power, more or less bisects the region from east to west before flowing into Portugal – where its name changes to the Douro – and reaching the Atlantic in the city of Porto. The climate of Castilla y Leon is ‘continental’, typically with long, hard winters contrasting with moderately warm summers.

Along with the variety of terrain, the region also maintains a tremendous variety of plant and animal life. A hardy species of oak, the holm oak which can withstand both heat and cold, is found everywhere throughout this region. Chestnuts abound in the fertile areas of the Duero and its tributaries, while forests of Scots pine predominate in the Sierra de Gredos in the south. The wildest parts of the region are home to protected endangered species like wolf and brown bear; deer and wild boar are found in the mountains in the north, and mountain goat in the Sierra de Gredos, while also to be seen in this region are the imperial eagle, the tawny vulture and the ubiquitous stork.

But if only one word could be used to describe Castilla y Leon it would have to be ‘monumental’. The region comprises nine provinces and the nine provincial capital cities are collectively a living museum of the history, heritage and culture not only of Castilla y Leon but, to a large extent, of Spain itself.

A brief note on some of these cities:

AVILA. A medieval city, encircled by its hugely impressive and wonderfully preserved walls dating from the end of the 11th century, intimately linked to Saint Teresa and with a complex of palaces, churches, convents and monasteries.

BURGOS. One of the key links in the cultural chain running the length of the Way of Saint James, Burgos was the capital of Castile during the Middle Ages. Its Gothic cathedral, the third largest in Spain, is the most important of the city’s many monuments.

LEON. Another monumental city with two thousand years of history. The cathedral is considered one of the best examples of Spanish Gothic and the Cathedral Museum is one of the most comprehensive of its kind. The Parador here, a restored 16th century monastery, is itself one of the city’s most impressive monuments.

SALAMANCA. A venerable city, declared by UNESCO as part of the Heritage of Mankind in recognition of its artistic legacy. Salamanca’s university, founded in 1254, is one of the oldest in the world and is no doubt responsible for Salamanca’s reputation as one of Spain’s liveliest cities. Life here revolves around the magnificent ‘Plaza Mayor’ built between 1729 and 1755 and generally recognised as the finest main square in the country.

SEGOVIA . A city symbolic of the old kingdom of Castile, among Segovia’s innumerable treasures is the Castle in Spain ‘par excellence’ – the Alcazar, a medieval fortress reconstructed in 1862 after a devastating fire. The emblematic symbol of Segovia is the fantastic 2,000-year old Roman Aqueduct: 728 metres in length with 163 arches and constructed in granite blocks cut so perfectly that no mortar was needed, this is one of the best preserved monuments of Imperial Rome.

VALLADOLID. The capital city of Castilla y Leon, Valladolid preserves some of the finest examples of Renaissance art in this region – notably the College of Santa Cruz whose library contains around 13,000 volumes printed between the 16th and 19th centuries. A university city, Valladolid enjoys the reputation as the Spanish city where the most correct Castilian (Castellano) is spoken. And for those into castles in Spain, the surrounding countryside is full of them!

The culinary tradition of Castilla y Leon has something for everyone, with pride of place going to roast meats prepared in traditional wood-fired brick ovens – most famously ‘cochinillo’ (suckling pig) and tender lamb. Also for non-vegetarians, Avila is known for its excellent beef and veal, Burgos for its ‘morcilla’ (blood sausage) and much of the region for its many varieties of chorizo. There is no shortage of game throughout this region either, with some less-obvious examples being quail, partridge and pigeon which provide local speciality dishes in the provinces of Valladolid, Segovia and Zamora respectively.

Pulses also figure prominently in the region’s ‘country’ cuisine in soups and stews, particularly chick-peas in Zamora, lentils in Leon and succulent ‘El Barco’ large broad beans in Avila. A wide range of artisan confectionery is very much a feature of Casytilla y Leon, including the ‘rosquillas ciegas’ of Palencia, the sugared almonds of Salamanca and the delicious ‘yemas de Santa Teresa’, emblematic of Avila.

To go with all this, there’s no shortage of wine from this region. Rueda, Toro and El Bierzo all produce distinctive wines of high quality, but for the very best (and unfortunately the most expensive) it has the be the ‘denominacion de origen’ of Ribera del Duero, some of whose wines are nothing short of superb.

No description of Castilla and Leon would be complete without a mention of two of the region’s smaller towns, not least because two of Spain’s finest Paradors - in our opinion – are located there. LERMA, some 20 miles south of Burgos, is a town with great artistic heritage and a noble air exemplified by the Ducal Palace, begun in 1605 and now the Parador. And in LA GRANJA DE SAN ILDEFONSO, just 7 miles outside Segovia, is the magnificent Royal Palace of La Granja, built between in 1720 and 1735 in the style of the Palace of Versailles and with delightful French-style gardens complete with statues and fountains – a very popular place to visit for the people of nearby Madrid.  The impressive Parador here, opened by king Juan Carlos in June 2007, occupies the restored 18th century royal summer residence.

 

Please be aware of the following:

  • 'Special Offers' are subject to the availability of a number of rooms per night and/or a specific meal basis.
  • Age restrictions apply to the 'Golden Days' Offer (for those aged 55 and over) and the 'Young Persons' Offer (for those aged between 18 and 30). All reservations made using these tariffs are checked upon your arrival at the Parador(s) booked to ensure that at least one person in a room qualifies for the restricted tariff. In the case that you do not qualify for the restricted tariff, the Parador will apply the standard rate without exception and you will be required to pay a supplement locally. However only one person (per room) needs to qualify for either of these two reductions.