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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.