Situated in the Spanish region of Castile-La Mancha, where the literary character of Don Quixote had his adventures, the city of Guadalajara was an important urban center in medieval times. The city has witnessed the Napoleonic occupation and the Spanish Civil War, with parts of the city having suffered by these conflicts. Nowadays, this vibrant city combines old and modern buildings with historical architectural treasures and a lively restaurant and bar scene that attract many visitors.
Cultural and architectural attractions
The Infantado Palace is one of the most iconic buildings in Guadalajara. The palace was built by the wealthy and powerful family Dukes of el Infantado, in the 15th and 16th centuries, with architectural details in the Gothic, Renaissance and Mudéjar styles. Currently is the home to the Guadalajara Museum.
Most of Guadalajara's historical architecture is found along the main street, in Calle Mayor, in the old district of the city. This street is one of the city's main tourist stops and a great place for a nice walk. Some of the more notable buildings found here include the Guadalajara City Hall building or the ornate houses surrounding the Plaza de los Dávalos. For religious architecture, start with the baroque church of San Nicolás el Real, famous for its fine tomb sculptures. A stunning building is also the Co-cathedral of Santa María la Mayor, which features a Renaissance facade from the 17th century and it was built in the late 13th and early 14th centuries incorporating the foundations of an old mosque.
La Alcarria is a rural area ideal for medieval castles straight out of Don Quixote's most romantic dreams. You can enjoy the tranquility and the charm of the nearby towns of Jadraque and Torija. Also worth seeing are the beautiful porticoes of the main square in the town of Hita and the castle and cathedral of Sigüenza, both dating from the 12th century. To get away from it all, you can head to Hayedo de Tejera Negra Natural Park in the northwest corner of the province or the Alto Tajo Natural Park in the southeast of the province for some rest in the rolling hills of central Spain. There one can enjoy a wide variety of active tourism activities such as canoeing, cycling, caving, rock climbing, etc.