Day Trip to Pedraza

 

Pedraza is located 127 km north of Madrid. It is best to make a day trip to this unique medieval walled town by car because there is no bus to the town from Madrid. The car trip from Madrid takes 1 hour and 28 minutes. The town has a population of only 500. It is a walled town and it has one of the most beautiful squares in Castille-Leon. The town was declared a National Historic-Artistic Site in 1951. The area was lived in starting in 400 B.C. However it was only in the 14th century when the Christians reconquered the town from the Moors that people started living in it. The nobility built their homes here and the town is full of large houses. The houses were run down until about 25 years ago when people started renovating them. The town has cobbled streets and arcaded houses. It is one of the best conserved medieval towns in Spain. It has received the Europa Nostra Prize for the respectful way its buildings have been rehabilitated. It has very good restaurants and is a popular visit by Madrileños on weekends. There is good shopping in the town with things made by artisans and furniture. There is no modern building in the town which breaks the architectural heritage of the town.  

When one enters the town, follow the signs to the large parking lot, which is free.

Plaza Mayor   

The Plaza Mayor is one of the most beautiful squares in Spain. It is in the Castilian model, with many arcaded buildings. There are two arcaded houses in front of the church from the 16th century. The square is irregular and was formed little by little over the years. It was not designed by anyone, yet it is a beautiful medieval square. 

Church of San Juan Bautista  

The Church of San Juan Bautista is located on the south side of the Plaza Mayor. It was a Romanesque church built in the 12th century. Most of the building was constructed in the 16th century. There were renovations in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Of interest in the church is a Romanesque baptismal font from the 13th century. The base of the tower has the Green Balcony, constructed by Juan Perez de la Torre to see the bullfights that took place in the plaza. Its tower can be seen from any place in the town. The church has some sculptures from the 17th century. The interior of the church is very Baroque due to the renovations. 

Pedraza Castle (Ignacio Zuloaga Museum)  

Tel: 921-509-825  

Hours:  

Open all year from Wednesdays to Sundays. The visits are guided. 

Summer opening hours: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  

Winter opening hours: afternoons, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

Web: http://www.museoignaciozuloaga.com/es...  

The Ignacio Zuloaga Museum is located at Pedraza Castle. Ignacio Zuloaga lived between 1870 and 1945. He was born in Eibar (Guipuzcoa), near the monastery of Loyola. He lived in Paris for a time and became one of Spain’s best known painters, painting in the realist style. He enjoyed living in Segovia. In 1925 he decided to paint in the Castle of Pedraza and bought the castle. He found peace in this place. His granddaughter, Maria Rosa Suarez Zuloaga, has placed many of his paintings in the museum, as well as other art objects that he collected over the years. There is a Christ created by the school of El Greco, a painting of the Condesa de Baena by Goya, and a bodegon from the 17th century.  

The castle was constructed in the 13th century and reconstructed in the 15th century by the Dukes of Frias. In the Battle of Pavia in 1525, the troops of Emperor Charles I took as prisoner Francis I of France. He was freed when he signed the Treaty of Madrid. To ensure that he would abide by the treaty, he had to send his two sons as hostages and they were jailed in the castle of Pedraza. The sons were really guests and brought all their servants. The castle was in ruins when Zuloaga bought it. He restored one tower where he put his studio. The heirs of Zuloaga rehabilitated the other tower for the museum.  

Restaurant  

Restaurante El Soportal 

Plaza Mayor 

Tel: 921-509-826  

Restaurante El Soportal has a special menu that costs 28 euros per person and is a very good deal. This includes the main dish of roasted lamb and also four appetizers of local food. A salad, dessert and wine are included in the price. The food is very good. On weekends it gets crowded and one needs to make a reservation.

 

Good video:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjaXaU...