There are a few places in Europe where you can feel the authentic atmosphere of the Middle Ages and Sigüenza is one of those places. The town is located in the province of Guadalajara in central Spain, an easy 2-hour drive from Madrid.
The Castle of Sigüenza seats high on the hill of the village spilling out beneath it. Imagine cobblestone-streets, narrow alley-ways, tiled roof-houses, and you get the picture of this mighty castle surroundings standing-round on it’s mound. In 1972, the Ministry of Tourism gave the castle the status of a “Parador” – Luxury Spanish Hotel Chain in Historical Places -. Restoration of the building began in 1964 and was completed in 1976. The castle was the residence of bishops and cardinals until the end of the nineteenth century, offering authentic royal lodgings in a palace which has preserved throne rooms and a 13th Century Romanesque chapel. It now features 81 rooms in total, and event spaces. Traditional Castilian furniture is found in the spacious, welcoming bedrooms.
The lounge is the original dining room of the castle. This huge room dwarfs the furniture made to accommodate mere humans with many chandeliers overhead lighting the vast area. The restaurant windows look out over the farming land surrounding the castle. Local classic Spanish dishes are served as well as seasonal menus.
As you walk down the hill from the Parador, you will find the Cathedral. The Cathedral of Sigüenza is the seat of the bishop of Sigüenza in Guadalajara, and declared place with Historical interest in 1931. The Cathedral is built in the Roman/Gothic style and found its origin in the 11th Century. There are so many beautiful cathedral in central Spain you can get overwhelmed, and this one is no exception. Its exquisite marble striped colors and fabulous stained windows are amazing.
Continue your visit around the Historical Center of the village or “Casco Historico” and stop at the Diocesan Museum. The collection, belonging to the Diocese of Sigüenza-Guadalajara, originates from the parish churches throughout the Diocese, from which the exhibits were rescued before the churches were abandoned. The central theme of the exhibits is of Romanesque religious art.
For further information on Spain, contact the Tourist Offices of Spain.