Sigüenza, the historic town with one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Spain that deserves a weekend getaway

Just over an hour from MadridSigüenzain the province of Guadalajara, stands imposingly on the Henares river basin. His story, like that of Oliteaccompanies the majesty of the site: a city since the Celtiberian era, its privileged location made it an episcopal seat during the Visigothic period and, for more than four centuries, it was in Islamic hands. It was in 1124 when the Reconquest of Sigüenza by the Castilian troops under the command of Bishop Don Bernardo de Agén “recovered the dignity that the city had lost when it fragmented into two villages”. But, what to see and what to do in Sigüenza?

With a vast cultural, historical and artistic heritage, our first stop in the visit to Sigüenza begins in its Cathedral, dedicated to the invocation of Santa María. In it, erected on a hill and protected by its imposing castle, the Cathedral of Santa María de Sigüenza celebrated the 850th anniversary of its consecration in 2019 and is an impressive work in which the Romanesque of its robust defensive-looking towers and the Gothic of its central nave, its wide transept, its apses, its ribbed vaults and its three rose windows embrace in a perfect symphony, finished off with Cistercian influences reflected in the plant and geometric decoration of the archivolts of its triple doorway.

Accompanying its overwhelming architecture, the chapel of the Doncel, its impressive high altar, the altarpiece of Santa Librada, the choir, the sacristy of the heads, the chapels of the Annunciation and the Conception, its Flemish tapestries and the imposing Annunciation, of El Greco, make the Cathedral of Sigüenza, one of the most imposing in Spain.

But Sigüenza is much more than a beautiful cathedral (one of the few that are still walled in Spain, by the way): its medieval historic centerpresided over by his imposing defensive castle that watches over the city from the top of a hill, tells history in every corner and gives us places such as the Casa del Doncel Martín Vázquez de Arce, the Church of San Vicente and that of Santiago, multiple towers, vestiges of the two walled enclosures with its doors (the Iron, the Arquillo de San Juan or the Sol), the majestic Renaissance-style Plaza Mayorthe façade of what used to be the Palace of Fadrique de Portugal, the Diocesan Museum (with the Immaculate Girl of Zurbarán), a monumental baroque street, the University, the baroque buildings of the Palacio de Infantes, the convent and church of San Francisco, the neoclassical hermitage of San Roque or the neoclassical Alameda, green lung of Sigüenza.

And as if that were not enough, it is the sky of Sigüenza, which has just been recognized with the Starlight certificate and which places it as a world reference in star tourism. In the vicinity of the city, there is the Sanctuary of the Virgen de la Salud, imposing pine forests for nature lovers, or you can follow historical routes such as those of El Cid or El Quijote.

For sleepingthe Parador de Turismo, the Hotel HC Sigüenza or the Hotel El Doncel are good options, as well as being seduced by the typical flavors of the area with avant-garde notes in the two Michelin star restaurants of which the city can boast: El Doncel or the Molino de Alcuneza.

In 2024 the IX Centenary of the Reconquest of Sigüenza will be celebrated, a historical event that the city council wants to use as a catalyst to achieve the long-awaited appointment of UNESCO World Heritage Site. And it is not a subjective opinion: it deserves it.

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