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Sigüenza or in Latin Segontia which means “dominating over the valley” is a city located in the province of Guadalajara in Spain. It is approximately 130 km. from Madrid and strategically positioned to control the Henares Heights and the valleys of the Rivers Dulce and Salado. Sigüenza generally experience a Mediterranean climate throughout the year.
The location of the ancient Segontia of the Celtiberian Arevaci is half a league far from the present Sigüenza, it is now named Villavieja. The city fell under Moorish, Roman, Visigothic and Castilian rule. It was taken by its first bishop Bernard of Agen in 1123. It played a big role in the civil wars of the 13th and 14th centuries. In 1297, the fortress palace of the bishops was captured by the partisans of the Infantes de al Cerda. It became the prison of the Blanche of Bourbon in 1355.
The Castle of Sigüenza
The castle is positioned on a small mountain near the town of Sigüenza, explaining its name. It was built during the 5th century and fortified by the Moors in 712. It was converted into a bishop’s fortress after Fernando I and El Cid drove the Moors of out of the region it in 1123. It also served as a residence to cardinals, bishops and kings.
In 1976 the Castle of Sigüenza opened as a 4-star luxury hotel. The original dining room of the castle was turned into a lounge. The ground floor is where to find the very famous red room or throne room. This room is designed with walls in bright red tone with numerous mantles and lambrequins. The huge Renaissance fireplace and square pillars bordering the room makes it more magnificent and provides a very enchanting environment. it was also where the nobles and bishops of Sigüenza communicate their justice, either ecclesiastical or civil. The guest rooms on the upper floor are furnished with traditional Castilian furniture. The views on each room offer a spectacular sight of the town and some parts of the castle such as the courtyard.
Other places to visit
Cathedral of Sigüenza
It is considered that the Cathedral of Sigüenza is one of the most beautiful and unique structure in Spain. It is a combination of Romanesque and Gothic styles. Another reason for its popularity is because of the statue of “El Doncel de Sigüenza”. This figure is part of the Vazquez de Arce ancestors, a Knight of St. James.
University of Sigüenza
Formerly known as the College of San Antonio Portaceli of Sigüenza; the University of Sigüenza begun in 1476 through the initiatives of Don Juan Lopez de Medina. It was ratified by Sixtus IV in 1483, the courses of Theology, liberal arts and canon law were initially offered.
Located right in front of the Cathedral of Sigüenza, the Diocese Museum holds various Sigüenza artifacts and history as well as significant works of art.
The city of Sigüenza remains to be one of the most attractive sites in Spain. It was able to preserve the medieval atmosphere that many tourists find appealing. Its history clearly defines the different stages the city has undergone to become a unique and magnificent site.