The City of Valladolid

The largest city in the north-west of Spain, Valladolid has twice enjoyed the status of the country’s capital, under King Charles I in the 16th century and again from 1601 to 1606 under King Phillip III.

It is now the unofficial capital of the autonomous community of Castile and Léon and has a population of just over 300,000.

The explorer Christopher Columbus died here in 1506 and the Christopher Columbus House-Museum displays items relating to his discovery of America.

Miguel de Cervantes and his fellow novelist Francisco de Quavedo both lived and worked in the city and you can visit the house where Cervantes completed his masterpiece, Don Quixote.

Situated on the Pisuerga River, historical gems in the centre include the unfinished, Renaissance-style Cathedral of Our Lady of the Holy Assumption, designed by Juan de Herra, which houses a magnificent Juan de Juni altarpiece (1562) and the diocesan museum, with its carved images attributed to Gregorio Fernández and a silver monstrance by Juan de Arfe.

There is also the Church of San Pablo and the College of San Gregorio, now the site of Spain’s National Sculpture Museum, and the Gothic-style Santiago church, with an altarpiece of the Adoration of the Magi designed by Berruguete in 1537.

The Plaza Mayor is in the heart of the city and includes the town hall, an imposing clock tower and an impressive statue of 11th-century governor Count Ansúrez.

Other attractions include the Museum of Spanish Contemporary Art in the Patio Herreriano in the cloisters of the old Monastery of San Benito, which contains more than 800 20th-century paintings and sculptures, and the Science Museum of Valladolid.

A university town, Valladolid cultural events include an international film festival in October, the famous Seminici, and an international street theatre and arts festival, the TAC, in May.

The City of Valladolid

Mass Times

Mass is celebrated in the college chapel at 10:00am every Sunday during term time.
Visitors to the city and English-speaking residents are very welcome to attend. Please call the college on 00 34 983 29 31 02 before setting out to check.


Valladolid Airport, ten kilometres north-west of the city, offers mainly domestic services. However, high-speed AVE train services connect the city with Madrid in as little as 56 minutes.


The city has dry, hot Mediterranean summers averaging around 30 degrees with cold, windy winters including regular snow and freezing temperatures often reaching -8 degrees due to its altitude and inland location.

Food & Drink

The main regional speciality is suckling baby lamb, lechazo, slowly roasted in a wood oven. It is also known for having a different bread to go with every dish and excellent wines are produced in nearby Rueda (white) and Ribera deal Duero (red). There are a huge variety of restaurants as well as bars serving delicious tapas.

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