Situated in Castile and León in western Spain, Valladolid is a university town famous for its Renaissance architecture, historic museums, and luxurious shopping centers. Valladolid is also the birthplace of the famous author, José Zorilla. Zorilla was the primary figure of the nationalist
wing of the Spanish Romantic movement and plays such as Don Juan Tenorio is an example of his defining works. Valladolid has paid tribute to the epoch-defining artist in the form of a large monument in Campo Grande, the city’s park. As you delve further into the city’s history, you’ll
discover that Valladolid was also home to the Castilian court in the 17th century. Stunning castles are churches that date back to the middle ages attract several tourists each year. These heritage buildings represent the city’s status as a center for culture and politics. Additionally, the city also
hosts a range of artistic events including its International Film Festival, the International Street Theatre and, Arts festival and Holy Week. If you are an art aficionado, Valladolid is a must visit! Stay tuned as we list our top 10 things to see and do in Valladolid, Spain!
1. Museo Nacional de Escultura
The National Sculpture Museum is home to a decadent collection of art and sculptures that date back to the middle ages. The works of Spanish Renaissance and Baroque painters — Juan de Juni, Alonso Berruguete and Georgia Fernandez are integral to Spain’s history and feature as the
museum’s highlights. The various works of art on display encourage a plethora of interpretations and emotions from visitors across the world — it is an enriching experience. The building that houses these treasures also has an interesting history and can be viewed as a work of art itself.
Built in the 15th century, Colegio de San Grorio was a school for theology, attended by Dominican monks. Don’t miss the intricate detail of the carved tympanum above the door.
2. Placio de Santa Cruz
This building is central to Spanish Renaissance architecture and is the first of its kind. Constructed in the 15th century, this magnificent palace is the rectory of the University of Valladolid. Placio de Santa Cruz features a three-story courtyard with a delicately detailed
traverse on the balustrade. Additionally, the palace is also home today the Fundacion Jiménez Arellano Alonso — an exhibition of African Art.
3. Casa de Cervantes
As the name suggests, this two-story building was home to a famous writer, Miguel de Cervantes. The Golden Age author is noted to have lived in Valladolid during the publication of his infamous novel, Don Quixote in 1605. In the novel, Don Quixote is a middle-aged gentleman from La Mancha which is in central Spain. Being Obsessed with the ideals in the books he has read, he decides to take up his sword and lance to defend the who need help and destroy the wicked. The house has undergone significant maintenance changes, however, the interiors are more or the less the same. Visitors can also take a stroll in the lovely garden and breathe in the fresh air.
4. Iglesia de San Pablo
Constructed in the 1500s by Simón de Colonia, this church is an architectural marvel. Tourists are in awe of the beautiful details of the gothic facade inspired by Queen Isabella I. There are two parts to the infamous facade: Lateral limits determined by two needles are a featured of the first.
The door is wrapped with an ogee arch and above the door is the Coronation of the Virgin, in the presence of Fray Alonso de Burgos. The second part of the facade rises above the fascia that appears marled with gargoyles This part is compartmentalized in rectangular spaces.
Furthermore, the background of stars refers to the emblem of Rojas. This is a site for sore eyes and is on our bucket list!
5. Academia de Caballeria
The Academy dates back to 1850 and is the only active cavalry academy in the country. An estimated 800 students enroll each year and graduate as sergeants and lieutenants. The building is terribly picturesque and is another example of the beautiful architecture of Valladolid. The
Academy also houses a museum which showcases paintings, weapons, medals, and saddles. You can truly breathe the pride and love of a country in its interiors. If you’re an enthusiast of military history, this place is a must visit!
6. Plaza Mayor
Did you know that almost every Spanish city has a Plaza Mayor? Well, Valladolid’s Plaza Mayor or main square is the largest in the country! This is a must-visit for anyone spending some time in the city. Drop by the Plaza Mayor at any time of day to experience the beautiful, colorful buildings
and a relaxed atmosphere. Valladolid’s Town Hall is also situated here and you can find a range of restaurants and tapas bars, which were originally trading guilds.
7. Campo Grande
If you’re looking for the perfect getaway within the city, head for Valladolid’s version of central park, Campo Grande. Loaded with beautiful greenery, statues, fountains and a plethora of colorful wildlife, Campo Grande is the perfect oasis in the heart of the city. Walk through this lively
central park for a break from the city grind. Remember to keep a lookout for peacocks and the elusive Red Squirrel — will you be able to spot one?
8. Pasaje Gutiérrez
The Pasaje Gutiérrez is the only commercial passage of Valladolid, and one of the few that were built in Spain. This gallery was a response to the industrialization of the city — as the streets became busier, it made sense to build covered passages between buildings, creating
sequestered and opulent places for the bourgeoisie and upper class to shop. Gutiérrez Passage was constructed in a very short period of time and was built using the most modern technology — it is composed of iron roofs, glass tiles, and gas lighting. The gallery has 2 sections joined by a
central rotunda. It is also home to several bars and cafes where you can enjoy a delicious meal with friends.
9. Teatro Calderón de la Barca
The Teatro Calderón de la Barca was built in 1864 by architect Jeronimo Ortiz de Urbina and is one of the largest theatres in Spain. The theatre was named after the prominent playwright, Pedro Calderón and stages a plethora of performances, including — operas, plays, musicals,
and dances. Overall, the interiors of the building are palatial. If you want a slice of grandiosity, look up the performance programme to see if there’s anything’s playing during your time of visit.
10. Calle de la Plateria
The streets of La Platería is a perfect prototype of the Renaissance perspective of the late 16th century and is a valuable urban testimony of the time. Along this street ran the northern branch of the River Esgueva, for which it suffered frequent floods. For many years it was the main street
guild of Valladolid. Today, the street is full of fashion and decoration shops such as the Markus and La Coquette ‘boutiques’. If you’re looking for a nice cup of coffee, this is a great place to stop!