Just two hours by car from Madrid and on a hill in the Jalón Valley is Medinaceli, one of the most beautiful Castilian towns in Spain where diverse peoples such as Celtiberians, Romans, Muslims and Christians left their traces throughout of the centuries.
The historic center of this Castilian-Leon town is, without a doubt, exceptional and well worth a visit. If you are planning a getaway in the future, put Medinaceli on your list. You'll love it!
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Arch of Medinaceli
This arch capable of being seen from a distance was built in the XNUMXst century AD as part of the Roman road that linked the cities of Caesaraugusta and Emerita Augusta, that is, the current Zaragoza and Mérida.
The arch and the 2.400 meters of walls closed off the ancient Medinaceli and constituted an impregnable defensive complex for the enemies of Rome. Later, the Muslims rebuilt it by order of Abderramán III.
So did the occupiers of the Christian kingdoms. In the XNUMXth century the defensive complex and its structures were given functionality again.
During a visit to Medinaceli, we recommend that you go to the area called "Arab gate" and from there take the coastal path that led to the old fortress, another of the treasures of this beautiful municipality. This door also receives the name of the Market, since it was one of the most frequented accesses to the town, and merchants settled and exhibited their goods on market days.
The Plaza Mayor de Medinaceli is the typical wide, closed and arcaded Castilian square surrounded by notable buildings. An example is the Ducal Palace, in the Herrerian style. A construction that evokes the rule of the powerful dukes of Medinaceli during the first half of the seventeenth century, when they had their palace built. Now this building houses an interesting contemporary art center.
Another prominent place in the Plaza Mayor de Medinaceli is the old alhóndiga, a building where cereal grain and other edible products used to be stored.
The Collegiate Church of the Assumption
Another of the great late Gothic monuments of Medinaceli is the Collegiate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption. A temple whose construction dates back to the days of ducal rule.
Its architecture is interesting but its true value lies behind its walls because on its main altar there is a replica of the famous Christ of Medinaceli, whose original is in Madrid and is highly revered.
Convent of Santa Isabel
Its foundation takes place under the shelter of the Ducal House of Medinaceli. The Duchess was devoted to Saint Francis and offered some buildings for the establishment of a monastery. At an architectural level, the building appears sober in its façade, dominated in the central axis by the main door of the convent and above it a molded window in the Elizabethan style.
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