Ciudad Real was founded during the 13th century by King Alfonso X 'the Wise'. Located in the autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha, of which it is the main city, it is situated near the Campo de Calatrava, a truly splendid hilly place.

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We reached this destination by car, arriving from La Ciudad Encantada (undoubtedly one of the most spectacular places in Spain) and, along the way, we had to stop to admire endless fields of sunflowers.

We never took a highway so - doing only state roads - the wonderful views we saw rewarded our choice. An incredible spectacle!

Worth a visit

The Cathedral of Santa María del Prado

The Plaza Mayor

The Casa del Arco

The Carillon Clock

The Town Hall Building

The Statue of Alfonso X the Wise

The Palacio de la Diputación

The Plaza de Toros

The Puerta de Toledo

The Puerta de Santa María

Where to spend the night


The Cathedral of Santa María del Prado

The Cathedral of Santa María del Prado is the main place of worship in the entire municipality. Built in the 16th century, it has the second largest nave in Spain and a magnificent Baroque altarpiece.

It is a transitional Gothic building, although its origins date back to a Romanesque sanctuary. It has been restored several times, the last of which gave it its current appearance.

Photos By Fernando – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=122833122

The Plaza Mayor

In the heart of the historic centre there is the Plaza Mayor, which over the centuries has always remained the meeting place for inhabitants and visitors.

Its origins are mixed with those of the city itself: since its foundation in the 13th century, it has been the square where the weekly market was held. One of the most representative buildings to see is the Casa del Arco, the city's first town hall in the 15th century, entirely rebuilt after the Lisbon earthquake of 1755.

The Casa del Arco

One of the most important buildings to admire in the Plaza Mayor is the Casa del Arco, which was the first town hall built in the 15th century (ricostruito dopo il terremoto di Lisbona del 1755).

It takes its name from the large brick arch on the ground floor, which in the original construction was made with stones. Under the arch there is an image of the Immaculate Conception and a beautiful 17th century lantern.

The Carillon Clock

In 2005, a new element was added to the Arc House: the carillon clock. It was inaugurated by the Prince and Princess of Asturias to celebrate the 750th anniversary of the founding of the city and the 4th centenary of the publication of the first part of Don Quixote de la Mancha.

Three automaton figures appear on the balcony: Don Quixote, his faithful squire Sancho Panza and Miguel de Cervantes, creator of the two fictional characters.

Orologio a carillon La Casa del Arco in Plaza Maior Ciudad Real blog in giro in giro

The Town Hall Building

Opposite the Casa de Arco you will find the City Hall of Ciudad Real, the most particular, and at the same time most controversial, building in the Plaza Mayor. It is a neo-Gothic style building, with influences of Nordic architecture.

It was designed by the Madrilenian architect Fernando Higueras and its daring style caused great controversy, as it was considered to be out of keeping with the traditional Castilian style of the rest of the square.

Municipio di Ciudad Real Plaza Mayor blog in giro in giro

The Statue of Alfonso X the Wise

The only statue in the Plaza Mayor represents Alfonso X the Wise, founder of the Villa Real in 1255.

It is a bronze sculpture by Joaquín García Donaire, in which the seated monarch is seen looking at passers-by. At his feet is a multi-level fountain.

The Palacio de la Diputación

The Palace of the Delegation is located in Plaza de la Constitución. It impresses visitors with its monumentality and contrasting colours. It was designed by architect Sebastián Rebollar y Muñoz and is a jewel of late 19th century architecture.

It has three different façades, but all of them have in common the use of exposed brick and limestone for contrast. The main façade is presided over by a tribune surmounted by a coat of arms of the city. The façade in the Plaza de la Merced also features a tribune, but is crowned by a triangular pediment.

The Plaza de Toros

It is one of the oldest arenas in Spain, which is why it has been recognised as a 'historical arena'.

Its main characteristic is its hexagonal shape, but this has something to to do with its origin. In fact, initially, there were twenty-four dwellings in this space dedicated to the mine workers, which over time became rooms for parties, meetings and the occasional bullfighting festival.

This extraordinary area will be soon to a hostel. In fact, this will be one of five hostel projects in the province of Ciudad Real promoted by the Provincial Council, which is part of the hostel network of Castilla-La Mancha.

The Puerta de Toledo

The Puerta de Toledo, built on the ancient Camino Real from Toledo to Seville in the northern part of the city, is the only still-preserved gate that is definitely worth a visit.

The 13th-century city walls are clearly of Muslim origin and include on both sides two large square towers, twelve meters high, decorated with battlements and six arches. King Alfonso X demanded the construction of an oval wall to protect the city, which was composed of 130 towers and eight gates: Toledo, Calatrava, La Mata, Granada, Prugna, Alarcos, Santa Maria and Carmen.

The Puerta de Santa María

In the Middle Ages, the Puerta de Santa María was one of the gates that crossed the walls of Ciudad Real and led to the Alcazar. At the spot where this gate used to be, today there is the gate belonging to the former convent of Nuestra Señora de Altagracia, demolished in the 1970s, also called Santa María.

Where to spend the night

At the end of the day we reached Camping Los Arenales in Ciudad Real. We had a great time at this campsite. The cleaning service and the facilities were excellent. We highly recommend it!

Email: info@campinglosarenales.com

Web site: http://campinglosarenales.com/

If you like information about the countless festivals that the city hosts throughout the year, click on this link https://www.turismociudadreal.com/conoce-ciudad-real

We wish you a wonderful promenade!

Ciao da Cris e Marco del blog in giro in giro

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