Parador de Sigüenza
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- Single rooms (5)
- Twin rooms (62)
- Double rooms (14)
- Room with living room (4)
- Capacity (159)
- Conference room
- Central heating
- Air conditioning
- Canal plus
- Deposit box
- Ambiance music
- Credit cards
- Currency exchange
- Airport (115km)
- Station (3km)
Parador de Sigüenza - 12th century Medieval Castle (4*)
The ancient town of Sigüenza is situated to the northeast of Guadalajara, and was under the rule successively of the Romans, Visigoths, Moors and Castilians. Among the many historic buildings is the 12th-century castle, built on the site of a Moorish castle taken in 1123 by Bernard of Argén, its first bishop. The castle then became the fortress-palace of the bishops of Sigüenza, and in the 14th century it was the prison of Blanca de Bourbon, consort of Pedro the Cruel.
The castle is now the magnificent Parador de Sigüenza, situated at the highest point of the town, its austere fortified exterior of sheer walls, turrets and battlements belie the luxury and tranquillity that lies within. And its position offers stunning views over the medieval town.
Pride of place goes to the vast lounge, once the banqueting hall, decorated with banners and suits of armour. The inner courtyard, with its picturesque fountain and well is the perfect setting for taking an evening stroll, or enjoying the Parador’s impressive architecture in the sunshine. Along with the beautiful castle of Sigüenza’s Parador itself, a 13th-century Romanesque chapel is conserved and open to guests.
The bedrooms – some of which have four-poster beds and balconies – enjoy views over the town, courtyard, or the surrounding countryside, and are furnished in traditional Castilian style.
The numerous facilities available at Parador de Sigüenza include a garden, gym and a sauna. At the Parador's atmospheric restaurant, a number of local specialities are on offer such as Bacalao al estilo Trijueque (salt cod with oyster mushrooms and cheese), Cabrito asado a la Barreña (oven-roasted young goat) and Tarta Doña Blanca (a cake with cream and honey).
The castle truly is one of the focal points of Sigüenza, and through your stay this Parador you have the opportunity to become part of the town’s stunning skyline.
At first glance, the town of Sigüenza seems entirely untouched by modern influence. Like many towns in Castile-La Mancha, it has retained much of its old architecture, and with its narrow alleys and cobbled streets, you can be forgiven for believing you’ve stepped into the past. A historically important town, it has been under Roman, Visigoth, Moorish, and Castilian rule, and as a result, flavours of each of these cultures can be found in the town’s architecture.
The cathedral is undoubtedly the town’s most prominent feature. Rising up from the centre and seen by all who approach Sigüenza, it resembles a military fortress, which is exactly what it was used for when first built. Romanesque in origin with the addition of Gothic elements in subsequent years, it was constructed on the orders of Sigüenza’s first bishop, Bernardo de Agén, as a way to ward off any attacks by ousted Moors and took nearly four centuries to complete. Since then the building has suffered great damage through subesquent wars, until it was restored to its former glory by the Parador network.
The cathedral opens out onto Sigüenza’s main square, Plaza Mayor. With its cobblestones and surrounding arches, it adds to the impression of having being transported back to the Middle Ages. Originally constructed by Cardinal Mendoza in the 15th century to house the Town Hall and Treasury, it was later home to Castilian nobility, and today is popular with tourists looking to enjoy local delicacies and visit the open air market.
Situated between Zaragoza and Madrid, Sigüenza is perfectly positioned to visit these popular cities, yet escape from the hustle and bustle in a historical setting. As part of the Castile-La Mancha region, along with other cities, it is often cited as ‘Don Quixote country’, and as such, there are Don Quixote routes across this region offering visits to famous sites from the novel.
In keeping with the medieval feel and history of the town, the second weekend in July is dedicated to a medieval festival much lake many others in the region. Here all of the locals dress up in traditional medieval style and act out scenes from history. One of the key events is the storming of the castle, re-enacting the attempts of knights and townsfolk to free Blanca de Bourbon from Pedro the Cruel’s imprisonment.
Restaurant meal times & typical dishes
Breakfast is served from 8.00 to 11.00 and dinner from 20.30 to 23.30.
It may be possible to arrive up to 23.00 and still enjoy a meal.
At the Parador's atmospheric restaurant, a number of local specialities are on offer such as Bacalao al estilo Trijueque (salt cod with oyster mushrooms and cheese), Cabrito asado a la Barreña (oven-roasted young goat) and Tarta Doña Blanca (a cake with cream and honey).
How to get there
The Castle of Sigüenza dominates the town from its highest part, presiding over its historical and artistic heritage. It can be reached easily from Madrid and Zaragoza along the N-II. At Km 104 we turn off along the local road, 23 km from Sigüenza; or at Km 136, at the turning for Alcolea, 20 km from Sigüenza. The Parador is located 75 km from Guadalajara, the capital of the province.
Soria - 98mk
Alcala de Henares - 100km
Teruel - 150km
Cuenca - 175km
Madrid Airport - 110km
Region & Cuisine
CASTILLA LA MANCHA
The third largest in area of Spain’s Autonomous Communities, Castilla-La Mancha is also the least densely populated region on the Iberian Peninsula with just 21 inhabitants per square kilometre. Extending from the province of Guadalajara to the north of Madrid, down through central Spain to its southern borders with Murcia and Andalusia, this is a region of dramatic landscapes and extensive plains immortalized by Miguel de Cervantes in his world-famous work Don Quijote de La Mancha.
With mountains in the north, mountains in the south, high plains in the east and two major rivers, the Guadiana and the Tajo (Tagus), traversing the region from east to west the climate of Castilla-La Mancha is diverse, to say the least. Classified as ‘Continental Mediterranean’, in general winters are cold and summers are hot, with mild temperatures prevailing in autumn and spring.
Besides Guadalajara, the four other provinces which make up this region are Toledo (the city of Toledo is the region’s capital), Albacete, Ciudad Real and Cuenca. These five cities are really the only major conurbations within this whole vast region, the rest of which encompasses hundreds of small, tranquil villages together with three of the most important nature reserves in Spain: Tablas de Daimiel and Cabañeros National Parks, and Ruidera Lagoons Nature Park. Daimiel and Ruidera are wetlands of great ecological value, rich in wildlife, in particular migratory birds. Cabañeros is representative of the authentic Mediterranean Iberian forest.
Certainly one of the region’s cities, Toledo, is an absolute must to visit. One of Spain’s great artistic treasures, Toledo towers on top of a hill protected by a bend in the Tagus river to form a natural fortress complete with moat, as it were. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Toledo’s old quarter encapsulates most of the historic sights in the city which was for many centuries the capital of Spain and known as the ‘city of three cultures’ – Christian, Islamic and Hebrew. Without a doubt the best view of Toledo is to be had from the Parador, located on a hill across the Tagus valley, preferably in early evening when the light is just magical.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site is the city of Cuenca, dramatically set between two steep gorges and famous for its ‘Hanging Houses’, a number of which were originally built as a palace in the 18th century but are now property of the city. Much of the area of La Mancha traversed by Don Quijote and Sancho Panza lies to the south-east of the province of Cuenca and over the border into Toledo province, and a good place to see some of the famous windmills is in the countryside near the village of Campo de Criptana.
The cuisine of the region is varied. Guadalajara provides lamb and kid, and in particular ‘morteruelo serrano’ – a delicious rich paté of blended meats. Cuenca’s dish ‘par excellence’ is its own version of morteruelo, made here with ground pork liver, game, hen, nuts and a variety of spices. Albacete is known for its gazpacho made with a crunchy flatbread, and for mountain rabbit and hare, while in Ciudad Real you will find many game dishes, several versions of ‘pisto’ (similar to ratatouille), ‘asadillo’ (roast skinned peppers and tomatoes with garlic) as well as excellent lamb stews.
Toledo was, according to Alexander Dumas, ‘the Spanish city where he had eaten the best’. The province is rich in game and the best known dishes include Toledo-style partridge, marinated boar and ‘cuchifrito’ - crunchy pieces of suckling pig – together with many kinds of sweet biscuits and cakes.
The most emblematic product from La Mancha is Manchego cheese, made in over 300 towns and villages from the milk of over half a million sheep raised on the plains. Over the last twenty years or so the quality of La Mancha wines, especially red wines, has improved dramatically and excellent wine is now produced in the region, particularly in the area of Valdepeñas.
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.