Siguenza

Picture of castle Siguenza in Castille La Mancha is not a common stop for tourists in Spain. We spent an evening here because we wanted to stay in a Parador. Paradors are state-run hotels that are generally in restored buildings of historic interest. In this case, the building is the 13th century castle pictured here.
Picture of castle_front This is the view from the parking lot. We were rather excited about the whole castle-lodging experience until we got to our room. Our window looked out on the courtyard of the castle, but other than that there was nothing to differentiate it from a modern hotel. I suppose we were expecting actual stone walls, maybe half-timbered ceilings or something along those lines. Furthermore, there is no access to any parts of the original castle from within the hotel. So basically it looks really neat from the outside but once inside the hotel you could just as well be in a modern high-rise as a medieval castle.
Picture of downhill The town of Siguenza is clumped around the base of the hill that the castle sits on. It is equally old and somewhat decrepit in parts. There's a certain charm to wandering through the alleys though. All roads from the castle lead down, so being lazy by this point in the day we stayed up near the top (older portion) of the city so we didn't have to walk very far back up to the castle afterwards.
Picture of grapevine Every Parador in Spain has a restaurant within it that supposedly features local food. The (overpriced) restaurant in the castle had a menu that looked remarkably like the menus of most every generic restaurant we had seen in Valencia, Catalonia, and Andalusia. So we aborted our original plan and went into town to eat instead. The Medieval Restaurant (not far away at all) had more what we were looking for with roast kid and roast lamb which our guidebooks at least pronounced as typical cuisine of the region. Both were excellent.
Picture of wall_remnant Melanie was impressed with this architectural amalgam in Siguenza, an original tower wall has been incorporated into a couple of more recently constructed homes. Siguenza is a good place to see the evolution of building materials and methods over the past thousand years or so, sometimes all in one structure.
Picture of courtyard This is the castle courtyard, most of the castle was rebuilt after it was destroyed multiple times, but most recently during the Spanish civil wars.

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