Museum Paradors: accommodation with a fascinating past
Hospice of the Catholic Monarchs
If, on your trip to Spain, you wish to stay in a special place that is full of charm, we suggest the Parador hotels: unique accommodations (many are old castles, palaces and monasteries) located in natural and historical places of great beauty. If you like the idea of discovering for yourself the legends and history behind the walls of some of these monuments, we suggest that you choose one of the six Museum Paradors.
The Museum Paradors form part of the Parador hotel network and of Spain's artistic and cultural heritage. If you choose to stay at one, you will receive, along with your room key, a guide for visiting the interior of the monument. Through drawings, maps, graphics and photographs, you can discover the most important aspects of the building where you are staying. You will find out about the people who lived there, what it was used for in the past and how to interpret the decorations in its courtyard and façades. Thus, when you pass through a cloister or climb a tower you will feel a special sensation, like a journey into the past... The Museum Parador project is still underway, but you can already choose from among six:
Santo Estevo Parador hotel. It is located in the region of Ourense (Galicia) and is a spectacular Benedictine monastery. It is in the centre of the Ribeira Sacra region, an area of stunning natural beauty. Do not miss the three cloisters (Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance) of this Historic-Artistic Monument. Find out about Abbot Franquila, the first to govern the monastery in the 10th century, and the legend of the rings of the nine Holy Bishops.
Santiago Parador hotel. It is one of the most emblematic monuments in Santiago de Compostela (Galicia). Also known as the Hospice of the Catholic Monarchs, if you choose this Parador hotel, you will be staying in a 15th century building that was used to house the pilgrims visiting the city. Regarded as one of the oldest hotels in the world, it is also one of the most beautiful. During your stay, you will discover secrets like the place where leeches were kept for “bleeding” the sick and grotesques figures made by stone carvers in the 16th century.
Granada Parador hotel. Experience spending a night in an old convent built by order of the Catholic Monarchs on the site of a Nasrid Palace. Enjoy its surprising Nasrid Room. Also, do not forget: this Parador hotel is located in the grounds of the famous Alhambra (in Granada, Andalusia). Do you want to know another curious thing? This is where Isabella and Ferdinand the Catholic were laid in rest until their bodies were transferred to the Royal Chapel of Granada.
Oropesa Parador hotel. Some of the attractions of this 14th century castle-palace are its keep (Torre del Homenaje), the columns and arcades in its courtyard and its magnificent views of the Gredos Mountains. Find out about legends like the kidnapped princess, the cell in which San Pedro de Alcántara lived, the balcony of Alfonso XIII and the Duchess's dressing room, and about the places where Frank Sinatra made the film “The Pride and the Passion”. You only have to travel to the region of Toledo (Castile-La Mancha, Spain).
Cardona Parador hotel. This medieval castle, with a tower and Romanesque church, await your visit in the area of Barcelona (Catalonia). As it stands on top a small hill, you will get a unique panoramic view of the city of Cardona. You will also discover the milestones of wars that occurred at the fortress, what clerical life was like on the site, and its links with the dynasty of the Lords of Cardona.
Úbeda Parador hotel. You find this 16th century Renaissance palace in the region of Jaén (Andalusia). You are sure to be struck by the inner courtyard's glass-topped double gallery. Opened as a Parador hotel in 1930 by order of King Alfonso XIII, it belonged to the Dean of the Sacred Chapel of El Salvador. Once there, you will be informed about the building's legends and the most important places in the town of Úbeda.
Parador de Cangas de Onís. In Asturias in northern Spain, you can stay in the monastery of San Pedro de Villanueva. One of its main attractions is the large quantity of artistic treasures that the Benedictine monks left during the millennium in which they inhabited it. The monastery was built in the 18th century on the ruins of a palace.
Parador de León. On the outskirts of the city of León, you'll have a chance to sleep in one of the most extraordinary monumental hotels in Europe. This is the Convent of San Marcos, a building which in the 16th century replaced what was previously the headquarters in this region of the Military Order of Saint James of the Sword. At all of them you can enjoy exquisite gastronomy, the charm of canopied beds, towers, walls, etc. This is just the accommodation you are looking for.
More information: http://www.parador.es