Spain Guide

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Valladolid Tourist Attractions Things to Do

Valladolid offers a wealth of historic and artistic treasures to explore by day and is also ideally placed to tour Castile Leon with its many ancient castles and beautiful medieval towns.

Visit the cathedral which dominates the heart of the city in Calle Arrive. King Felipe II, who was born in Valladolid, commissioned the project in 1580 but work came to a halt for 18 years after his death in 1598. One of its most striking features is the altarpiece in the main chapel, adorned with intricately carved and painted wooden sculptures from the age when this style of "polychrome art" reached its pinnacle in Valladolid. Entrance is free but there's a small charge to visit the cathedral museum.

For one of the world's most impressive collections of polychrome art, visit the Museo Nacional de Escultura (National Sculpture Museum) in the San Gregorio College. The building itself is a magnificent piece of Renaissance architecture with an extravagant façade, cloistered interior and gruesome gargoyles. It houses priceless sculptures from the 15th and 16th centuries religious figures carved and painted by some of Spain's greatest artists of the time.

The Museum of Oriental Art, housed within the 18th century Convento de Agustinos in Paseo Filipinos, contains one of the most unusual and important collections of artwork in Spain.


The collection is the fruit of the Augustine missionaries who first started visiting Latin America and the Far East in the 16th century. From 1565 till the present day more than 3,000 missionaries have gone to these two regions to preach Christianity and amass converts.

The extraordinary collection of Chinese and Filipino artwork includes bronzes, painted silks, weaponry, musical instruments, clothes and tobacco pipes.

More valuable works of art and priceless paintings are to be found in the churches of San Miguel, La Cruz and Las Angustias. The medieval churches of San Pablo and Santa Maria Antigua are also well worth a visit.

See the house where Spain's famous literary son Miguel Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, once lived and penned many of his most famous works. Casa de Cervantes, in Calle del Rastro near the cathedral, has been preserved very much as it was in the great author's day.

You can also visit the house where Christopher Columbus lived before his death here in 1506. He was buried at the Franciscan convent in the city but his body was later moved to Seville and eventually to Cuba.

Try to fit in some excursions beyond the city to the many historic places of interest to be found in Castile Leon. Tour the castles which have given the province its name; visit Salamanca with its fantastic university, ancient Roman bridge and beautiful museum of stained glass artwork; see the birthplace of St Teresa of Avila in this medieval town which is still encircled by 11th century walls.

Burgos, to the north east of Valladolid, is a splendid city awash with magnificent buildings including the majestic Gothic cathedral where you can see the coffin of one of Spain's greatest heroes, El Cid.

Madrid is only two hours drive away and offers a huge number of major attractions including the Prado and Reina Sofia art museums, an excellent zoo and the sumptuous royal palace.