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 is a historic city and municipality in north-central Spainmarker, upon the Pisuerga Rivermarker and within three wine-making regions: Ribera del Duero, Rueda marker and Cigalesmarker . It is the capital of the province of Valladolidmarker and of the autonomous community of Castile and Leonmarker.


One suggestion for the origin of Valladolid's name comes from its apparent similarity with "BaladulWalid" (in Arabic بلد الوليد) meaning The City of Walid in memory of one of the Ummayad dynasty's greatest caliphs in Damascus; but no good reason has been given as to why the Moors should have given such a grand title to what was then a remote village on the much contested frontier of their empire. A more likely suggestion is a conjunction of the Latin: VALLIS, "Valley", and Celtic: TOLITUM, "place of confluence of waters. Ruins of a Roman settlement have been found in the area and the area was occupied by Celtic tribes when it was conquered by the Romans. Another suggestion is Valla (derived from VALLIS "valley") de (Spanish preposition) Olid ["olives"] so the name means something like "Valley of Olives".

It is also popularly called Pucela, a nickname whose origin is not clear, but probably refers to a few knights who accompanied Joan of Arc. Other theory tells that it was called Pucela because Puzzeli's cement was sold there, the only city in Spain that did.


Valladolid was captured from the Moors in the tenth century, being a small village which was then improved by count Pedro Ansúrez in the eleventh century; in 1469 Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon were married in the city and by the fifteenth century it was the residence of the kings of Castile and remained the capital of the Kingdom of Spainmarker until 1561, when Philip II, born here, moved the capital to Madridmarker. Christopher Columbus died in Valladolid in 1506 in a house which is now a Museum dedicated to him. It was made the capital of the kingdom again between 1601 and 1606 by Philip III. It was in that period when Cervantes published his first edition of Don Quixote in 1604.

Plaza Mayor and city hall, Valladolid
The city nonetheless boasts few architectural manifestations of its former glory. Some monuments include the unfinished cathedral, the church of Santa Maria la Antiguamarker, the Plaza Mayor (Main Square)(the template for that of Madridmarker and of future main squares in the Castilian-speaking world), the National Sculpture Museum, next to the church of Saint Paul, which includes Spain's greatest collections of polychrome wood sculptures, and the Faculty of Law of the University of Valladolidmarker, whose façade is one of the few surviving works by Narciso Tomei, the same artist who did the transparente in Toledo Cathedralmarker. The Science Museum is next to Pisuerga river. The only surviving house of Miguel de Cervantes is also located in Valladolid. Although unfinished, Cathedral of Valladolidmarker was designed by Juan de Herrera, architect of El Escorialmarker.Valladolid is an economic motor of the autonomous community, having an important automobile industry (IVECO, FASA-Renault, Michelin). There is an airport at nearby Villanubla, with connections to Londonmarker-Stansted, Parismarker, Brusselsmarker-Charleroimarker, Milanmarker, Lisbonmarker, Barcelonamarker and Vigomarker.

Main sights

The capital of Castile-León preserves in its old quarter, a heritage of aristocratic houses and religious buildings. Among them, the unfinished Cathedralmarker was commissioned by King Philip II and designed by the architect Juan de Herrera in the 16th century. Their respective deaths left the church unfinished and its nave was not opened until 1668. Years later, in 1730, Master Churriguera finished the work on the main front. Inside the cathedral, the great chapel houses a magnificent reredos made by Juan de Juni in 1562. The complex is linked to the Diocesan Museum, which holds carvings attributed to Gregorio Fernández and Juni himself, as well as a silver monstrance by Juan de Arce.

The large Gothic church of Saint Benedict (San Benito) was built between 1500 and 1515, with an unusual tower. The Saint Michael Church (San Miguel), built at the end of the 16th century by the Jesuits, hosts excellent reredos by Gregorio Fernández. The façade of the San Pablo Churchmarker is famous by its Gothic statues and decoration. The Savour (El Salvador) Church has a façade built around 1550 and a picturesque brick tower dating from the 17th century. The church of Saint Jamea (Santiago) has reredos depicting the Adoration of the Magi (1537) created by Berruguete. The Gotic church of Saint Mary the Ancientmarker (Santa María de La Antigua) has an unusual pyramid-shaped Romanesque tower from the 12th century. The Monastery of Santa María la Real de las Huelgasmarker was originally built in 1600. The Monasterio de Santa Ana has various paintings by Francisco de Goya. San Juan de Letrán Church has an outstanding Baroque façade built in 1737. Beside this last church is the Monasterio de los Padres Filipinos, designed by the famous architect Ventura Rodríguez in 1760.

The heart of the old city is the 16th-century Plaza Mayormarker, presided over by a statue of Count Ansúrez. On one side of it stands the City Hall, a building from the beginning of the century crowned by the clock tower. In the nearby streets is the Palace of Los Pimentel, today the seat of the Provincial Council, is one of the most important, as King Philip II was born in it on 21 May 1527. The Royal Palacemarker, the 16th-century Palace of the Marquises of Valverde, and that of the banker Fabio Nelli - a building with a Classicist stamp built in 1576 - should also be pointed out. The Museum of Valladolid occupies this complex, exhibiting a collection of furniture, sculptures, paintings and ceramic pieces.

The University, whose Baroque façade is decorated with various academic symbols, and the Santa Cruz Collegemarker, which as well as housing a valuable library forms one of the first examples of the Spanish Renaissance, say much about the cultural importance of Valladolid.

The city preserves houses where great historical characters once lived, like the Casa de Cervantes, where the author of Don Quijote lived with his family between 1603 and 1606. As a curiosity, it was in this house where the writer gave his masterpiece the finishing touches. A visit to the house-museum enables you to get to know the way of life of a noble family in the 17th century through possessions and furniture from the time. You can also visit the Christopher Columbus House-Museum, where the navigator spend the last years of his life. Nowadays the palace exhibits various pieces and documents related to the discovery of America.

From nineteenth century Valladolid, the house where one of the provincial capital's most illustrious characters - José Zorrilla - was born is preserved. The house, which is open to the public, brings together various personal possessions, furniture and documents that belonged to the Romantic writer.

As a city that has experienced notable urban growth in the last few decades, Valladolid offers a wide range of leisure and cultural opportunities: cinemas, theatres and museums, like the National Sculpture Museummarker, at its site in San Gregorio College. This splendid Flemish Gothic style building - one of the most outstanding buildings in the provincial capital - is important for its exhibition of polychrome carvings made by artists like Alonso Berruguete or Gregorio Fernández. The Museum of Contemporary Spanish Art, located in the Herreriano Courtyard, one of the cloisters of the former Monastery of San Benito, preserves more than 800 paintings and sculptures from the 20th century. The Christopher Columbus Museummarker remembers Christopher Columbus, the Italian navigator who died in Valladolid.

File:Valladolid - Catedral.jpg|Cathedral of ValladolidmarkerFile:Valladolid SanPablo.jpg|San Pablo ChurchmarkerFile:Valladolid - Academia de Caballeria.jpg|Academy of CavalryFile:Iglesia de El Pilar, Valladolid, interior.JPG|Our Lady of the Pillar ChurchFile:Valladolid - Iglesia de San Juan de Letran 001.jpg|San Juan de Letrán ChurchFile:Casa Mantilla, Acera de Recoletos.jpg|Casa MantillaFile:Valladolid - Iglesia de Las Angustias.jpg|Church of Las AngustiasFile:Iglesia sobre casetas.jpg|Tower of Church of Santa María la AntiguamarkerFile:Fachada principal del Convento de los Agustinos Filipinos, Valladolid. Obra de Ventura Rodríguez.JPG|Agustiniano monasteryFile:Valladolid - Universidad.jpg|University of ValladolidFile:Calle Regalado desde Constitución.jpg|Calle RegaladoFile:Calle Regalado desde la Catedral.jpg|Calle Regalado from the Cathedral

Population of Valladolid (1900-2005)


As of the 2004 census, the population of the city of Valladolid proper was 321,713, and the population of the entire urban area was estimated to be near 400,000.


Hispanoamérica Bridge
Valladolid's province is revealed through different tours like those along the Red Wine Route and the Knight's Route, which lead to the "Alma de Castilla" and the "Tierra de Campos". The first of these routes leads to the wine-growing country of Quintanilla de Onésimo, Vega Sicilia, Pesquera de Duero and Peñafiel. Here you can visit the castle and Wine Museum as well as interesting cellars.

The Knight's Route unfolds to the south of the provincial capital and here you can get to know the cellars of Boecillo, the Mudejar architecture of Mojados and Olmedo and the medieval wealth of Iscar and Portillo. Historic towns like Simancas, where the General Archive of the Kingdom can be found; Tordesillas, of great historical and artistic importance; and Medina del Campo, famous for its markets, fairs and spa, lie in the so-called “Soul of Castile”. Meanwhile, the Tierra de Campos brings you to medieval towns like Medina de Rioseco and beautiful examples of popular Vallodolid architecture like Villalón de los Campos or Castromonte, known for its medicinal waters.

Old streets in Valladolid
To tour this whole area you can stay in the excellent facilities of the Parador de Turismo at Tordesillas. It is also a good place for trying Valladolid cuisine, where the roast lamb and suckling pig are famous. Castilian soup (made with bread, garlic and ham), cod with garlic and game dishes are also famous. To accompany these recipes there is nothing better than the wines with Denomination of Origin from the province: Ribera del Duero, Cigales, Rueda and Toro.


The city is also host to one of the foremost (and oldest) international film festivals, the Semana Internacional de Cine de Valladolid (Semincimarker), founded in 1956.

Local cuisine

The Arroz con Leche, was originated from Valladolid.
Pasteles de San Lorenzo

Despite being an inland province, fish is quite commonly consumed. Brought from the Cantabrian Sea, fish like red bream and hake are a major part of Valladolid's cuisine.

The main speciality of Valladolid is, however, lechazo (baby lamb that has only drunk its mother's milk). The lechazo is slowly roasted in a wood oven and served with salad.

Valladolid also offers a great assortment of wild mushrooms. Asparagus, endive and beans can also be found. Some legumes, like white beans and lentils are particularly good. Pine nuts are also produced in great quantities.

Sheep cheese from Villalón de Campos, the famous pata de mulo (mule's leg) is usually unripened (fresh), but if it is cured the ripening process brings out such flavour that it can compete with the best sheep cheeses in Spain.

In the area of bread Valladolid has a bread to go with every dish, like the delicious cuadros from Medina del Campo, the muffins, the pork-scratching bread and the lechuguinos, with a pattern of concentric circles that resemble a head of lettuce.

The pastries and baked goods from the province of Valladolid are well-known, specially St. Mary's ring-shaped pastries, St. Claire's sponge cakes, pine nut balls and cream fritters.

Valladolid is also a producer of wines. The ones that fall under the Designation of Origin Cigales are very good. White wines from Rueda and red wines from Ribera del Duero are known for their quality.


Santa Cruz palace

Easter holds ("Semana Santa" in Spanish) one of the best known Catholic traditions in Valladolid. The Good Friday processions are considered an exquisite and rich display of Castilian religious sculpture. On this day, in the morning, members of the brotherhoods on horseback make a poetic proclamation throughout the city. The "Sermon of the Seven Words” is spoken in Plaza Mayor Square. In the afternoon, thousands of people take part in the Passion Procession, comprising 31 pasos (religious statues), most of which date from the 16th and 17th centuries. The last statue in the procession is the Virgen de las Angustias, and her return to the church is one of the most emotional moments of the celebrations, with the Salve Popular sung in her honour.

Easter is one of the most spectacular and emotional fiestas here. Religious devotion, art, colour and music combine in acts to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ: the processions. Members of the different Easter brotherhoods, dressed in their characteristic robes, parade through the streets carrying religious statues (pasos) to the sound of drums and music – scenes of sober beauty.


Valladolid is represented in La Liga, the top football league in Spain, with their own club, Real Valladolid, or Pucela as they are nicknamed.

CR El Salvador, current champions of Spain's División de Honor de Rugby compete in the European Challenge Cup.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

See also

External links




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