Located to the southwest of the province of Valladolid, Medina del Campo is a town of pre-Roman origin whose capital is 45 kilometers away. It is the second most important city in Valladolid and is famous for its castle and its historical legacy since various cultures have passed through this land, such as Roman or Muslim.In fact, the word medina comes from Arabic and means city.
At present it is a very interesting destination for lovers of History, rural tourism and good gastronomy where its wine stands out, with the Rueda designation of origin. If you plan a getaway to Castilla y León in the coming months, here is what to see in Medina del Campo.
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La Mota Castle
Built in the XNUMXth century and enlarged in the XNUMXth, this castle was key during the Spanish Middle Ages. It receives this name for its location on a small hill or speck, a privileged place at a strategic level since from it a wide segment of the territory could be seen, which gave multiple defensive advantages.
The main function of the Castillo de la Mota from its origin was defensive, although throughout its history it has served as archive and prison for characters such as Hernando Pizarro or César Borgia. It lived its time of splendor during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs and was one of the objectives of the troops of Carlos V during the revolt of the Comuneros in 1520.
Upon reaching the castle of La Mota in Medina del Campo, the holes in the exterior façade that were used to shoot arrows at the enemies are striking. In it, the Torre del Homenaje also stands out. The general visit begins with the prehistoric site of the Iron Age, located in the lower part of the fortress tourist office. Then we go to the Patio de Armas where we can appreciate the timeless beauty of this construction and access the rest of the fortress rooms through a staircase located in this patio.
At present the castle of La Mota belongs to the Junta de Castilla y León and acts as a training center for courses and congresses and for tourist use.
Medina del Campo was a city that had great relevance in the Middle Ages because of the fairs that were held here when Valladolid was the capital of the kingdom, reaching a population of 20.000 inhabitants.
To go to the Mercado de Abastos or the Reales Carnicerías (as it was formerly called in the XNUMXth century), you have to cross the train tracks through an underpass from the castle to get to the other side. The building, with a rectangular floor plan, is divided into three naves by arches of columns that remind of the market markets and inside there are several establishments currently dedicated to gastronomy. Here, on the banks of the Zapardiel river, you can find delicious homemade tapas at a good price.
Hispanic Plaza Mayor
Considered one of the largest in Spain with an area and a half hectares, it is a square where the famous Medina del Campo fairs were held in the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, attracting merchants from all nearby regions. As a central space dedicated to commerce and which was a meeting point for locals and visitors, the most important buildings in the city were built in the main square: the Collegiate Church of San Antolín, the Town Hall and the Royal Testamentary Palace. Also noteworthy is the monument to Queen Isabella the Catholic who died here in 1504.
Inside the church of San Martín is the Museum of the Fairs, a place that reminds us of the great importance of the fairs in Medina del Campo during the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries. It contains samples of the fairs that exist in Spain with permanent and temporary collections.
Palace of the Dueñas
We are facing a XNUMXth century Renaissance palace, classified as a Historic-Artistic Monument. The building, which is currently used as an IES, has two floors and a turret in one of the corners. The beauty of its coffered ceiling and its cloister stand out.
Convent of San José
It is the first convent established by Santa Teresa de Jesús outside her city. Since 2014, part of the building's closure can be visited, specifically the oldest part of the building.
Chapel of San Juan de la Cruz
In the XNUMXth century, Saint John of the Cross sang his priestly ordination mass in Medina del Campo, in the now defunct Carmelite monastery of Santa Ana, in the chapel of Santo Cristo to be more exact.
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