parador de siguenza

Photos courtesy of Parador de Sigüenza









Once called Segontia, the ancient town of Sigüenza was a major center even before the Roman conquest. After a long campaign, the Romans finally subdued Sigüenza, destroying it completely. Later, the Moors recognized the strategic importance of the site and built an alcazaba.

During the period of the reconquest the fortress changed hands several times (El Cid once took possession). In 1124 bishop Bernardo de Agen claimed ownership, and from then on the fortress became the residence of the 100 bishops of Sigüenza.

A descendant of Christopher Columbus later transformed the castle into a palace.

Through the centuries the castle housed soldiers from various countries, including the troops of Archduke Charles of Austria, the pretender to the Spanish throne during the War of Spanish Succession; Napoleon’s troops during the War of Independence; and Carlist troops during the Carlist rebellion.

After centuries of abuse, the castle was left in ruins. The prelate of the diocese sold it in 1941 to the Ministry of Education and Science for a little more than 200,000 pesetas. Still nothing happened, and the castle seemed doomed to crumble away, until rescued in 1971 by the Ministry of Tourism, which restored and converted the castle into a national parador.

Pamela’s Perspective

The town of Sigüenza is full of history and quite interesting to walk around in. It can be quite busy on the weekends, including the parador. If driving from Barcelona to Madrid, Sigüenza makes a perfect stopover for lunch or an overnight.


Parador de Sigüenza

A 12th-century castle


Plaza del Castillo, s/n
19250 Sigüenza (Guadalajara)
Tel: ++34 949 39 01 00
Fax: ++34 949 39 13 64
Official parador website
Reserve with

Fast facts

81 rooms

Double rooms: 95–185 euros
Single rooms: 80% of double
room rate.
Rates include tax. Breakfast extra.
Free Wi-Fi

Open: all year

Getting there

Sigüenza is 135 km northeast of Madrid. From the main Madrid-Zaragoza highway (National Road II), turn off onto C-204. A sign for the parador shows the way. Sigüenza is a stop on the main Madrid-Zaragoza train line.

What to do

On site: sauna; gym
Nearby: Walks through the medieval town; the cathedral (which displays an El Greco painting; the Museo Antigua (with a painting by Zurbarán); horseback riding


The thick walls of this trapezoidal castle surround a courtyard holding a well remaining from the Moorish period.

Its entrance, flanked by twin towers, faces the town and has remained unchanged for seven centuries. Smaller towers flank the castle’s western side, and beneath them is a labyrinth of subterranean rooms, cellars, and dungeons.

Decoration inside the castle is in a medieval style, with one public lounge featuring two fireplaces, several enormous chandeliers, suits of armor, tapestries, and bright banners.

The sumptuous “Salón de Trono,” or throne room, was once a judicial courtroom. One tiny room is said to be the room where Doña Blanca was locked up by her husband Pedro the Cruel.

Like the rest of the castle, guest rooms are spotlessly clean and simply furnished with carved wooden furniture and hand woven rugs. Some have large canopy beds and balconies looking out over a valley filled with orchards and pine trees.

A wood-beamed ceiling highlights the main dining room. The menu features Castilian dishes such as roast kid, lamb, and succulent pork in wine sauce.

Something special

curlicueSigüenza is classified as a Spanish National Monument.

curlicue13th-century Romanesque chapel