Palencia,Spain-Castilla y León Youth Council


Called “The Unknown Beauty”, it is a temple of Catholic worship characterized by the plurality of styles, among which the Gothic and Renaissance elements stand out. It has important works of painting and sculpture. The current Gothic building was built on the old Cathedral, in the Romanesque style. In its basement is the “Crypt of San Antolín”, the oldest part of the Cathedral where, according to tradition, the remains of the martyr San Antolín rest. It is located at the lowest point of the entire building. It is a Visigothic remnant from the second half of the 7th century. Currently it is a tradition to take its waters on September 2, the day of Saint Antolin, patron saint of the city. The first stone of the current building was laid in 1321 but the oldest part of the Crypt of San Antolín dates from the 7th century, built with and on Roman remains. It is the third largest cathedral in Spain. In addition to the Visigothic, Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles, it has Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical decorative elements. The plan of the Cathedral is of Latin cross, as a peculiarity it has a double transept, so it has five doors, forming a plan in the shape of a patriarchal cross. Inside there are more than 20 chapels. The last part of the cathedral built, the Chapter House and the cloister, were built in the 16th century, nowadays they house the Cathedral Museum. The exterior of the cathedral is characterized by its sobriety and nudity, only broken by the richness of some of the covers and the volumetric play of the apse. – Western facade: it is oriented towards the bank of the Carrión river, in the Plaza de san Antolín, with the Chapel of the monument (18th century) attached. The upper part is closed with a pediment in the centre of which a classic decorated Gothic rose window opens. Two thick buttresses run along the sides of the wall; between them opens a stained glass window in blue that represents the Annunciation. – Northern facade: It is oriented towards the Plaza de Cervantes. On the left, next to the head, is the Puerta de los Canónigos. To the right is the main transept, and in its lower part the Puerta de los Reyes or San Juan, highly decorated in flamboyant style. Another curiosity of this cathedral is on this door, in which we find two figures of opposing aliens crowning the outer archivolt. In 1995 a project was planned to restore this cover. This type of intervention must be done according to the existing door, its decoration and the Heritage regulations. The volumes were restored with artificial stone and the entire sculptural ensemble was reinterpreted so that both its iconography and its invoice, the expert could identify that it belongs to a later restoration. – Head: The oldest part of the cathedral is the head, which follows the patterns of the classic Gothic style. Strange gargoyles appear among the pinnacles; they are based, as was the custom in the Gothic, on themes related to death, hell and phantasmagorical beings. Among the gargoyles one stands out: the photographer. In the 19th century Jerónimo Arroyo, a local architect who restored the Cathedral, decided to place it in honor of a friend who died taking photos on the roof of the cathedral. Next to this gargoyle there is another one that represents the death of the photographer: a skeleton. – Southern facade: An evolution of decorative styles can be seen here, although keeping the whole ensemble in great unity. This side opens onto the extensive Plaza de la Inmaculada, and the building shows two covers, from the apse, the first cover that appears is the call of the Savior, or more usually, of the Bride and Groom, with simple Gothic decoration. Next, the cathedral tower rises, a very sober prismatic military construction. On the left, is the largest and most decorated door of the temple: that of the Bishop or Santa María (XV-XVI centuries), currently quite damaged by erosion. Currently, a cultural project called “The Recognized Beauty” is underway, which aims to promote, disseminate and value all the artistic heritage of our cathedral. Bibliography:



This stone bridge, of Roman origin, crosses the Carrión river and connects the city with the “Sotillo de los Canónigos”. There are no longer remains of its Roman origin, but its medieval era layout. It has undergone numerous transformations since the 11th century, its current appearance was defined after the 16th century reform. It was a key factor for the urban advance of the area. It allowed the development of road and commercial networks from the vaccea era to the beginning of the 20th century. “Puentecillas” constitutes one of the urban elements with the greatest personality in the city of Palencia, and a key factor in the urban development of the area. It is located in a monumental environment of great interest, along with monuments as representative of the city of Palencia as the Cathedral, the Church of San Miguel, or the Episcopal Palace, which reinforces its character as an urban generator. Of Roman origin, its layout responds to the communication requirements of the city of Pallantia (denomination of the city of Palencia at the time) and it is established as a prime enclave in the development of road and commercial networks from the Vaccea period to the beginning of the twentieth century. Its current construction is very altered, object of innumerable transformations since the 11th century. There are no remains of its Roman origin but the layout of the medieval period remains. Puentecillas has lost its usefulness and economic and political value as a crossroads and roads to the main cities and towns of the region from Roman times and as a connecting link and only access road to the city from “Las Huertas del Obispo” and “El Sotillo”, which were part of the elements of mill exploitation from the 16th to the 18th centuries. During the 20th century it suffered a great abandonment that was degrading it, the number of plants that were embedded in its stones deteriorated it until at the beginning of the 21st century it was restored: its facades were cleaned, the pavement was renewed and new lighting was added. At the entrance to the bridge is the “Bolus of Patience” that was, for years, the city’s gossip mill. Gossip mills were points in the cities where people, regardless of their social class, got together to talk, share gossip and exchange information. The “Ball of Patient” is a cylindrical limestone block that was originally located outside the “Plaza de Cervantes”, near the Cathedral, but was moved to this location in 1977. It has recently been restored and placed on a pedestal. Crossing Puentecillas we arrive at “El Sotillo”, a recreational area with green spaces where festivals and medieval markets are held, taking advantage of the freshness offered by the banks of the Carrión river and the banks of the Canal de Castilla. It is also a perfect area to take a break along the way, here the municipal swimming pools of the city are located.

Bibliography: BOE n.º 204 el 26 de agosto de 2005 


The Canal de Castilla constitutes one of the most important civil engineering works of the 18th century and the first third of the 19th century. The Canal runs along 207 km. Its route is divided into three main branches: • The North Branch: from Alar del Rey to Ribas de Campos, with a total of 75 km., is the branch that has the most unevenness and therefore has 24 locks. • The Campos Branch: from Ribas de Campos to Medina de Rioseco, it is the flattest branch, only 7 locks are needed and it runs 78 km. • The South Branch: from Grijota, passing through Palencia to Valladolid, it has a 54 km route and it has 18 locks. To carry it out, a difference of 150 m. had to be overcome and to start up “Transport Engineering”, for which 49 locks were built, some of which are oval (allowed the passage of two barges at the same time and were more difficult to fill) and others rectangular (easier to build and fill, but only allowed the passage of a barge). The channel reaches Palencia through the South branch, in a small deviation from it, and ends in a dock that served to facilitate the loading and unloading of barges at the time. At the beginning we find the warehouses of the dock, high-rise buildings made of brick, following the model of the first industrial architecture developed in Spain. One of these old warehouses, specifically one for cereals, was restored in 2010 to house the Water Museum, which opened in 2012. The Water Museum is a space for knowledge, awareness and entertainment. It brings us closer to the world of water from a global and local perspective, in it we will get to know the valuable Palentine hydraulic heritage and we will discover how we can contribute to the conservation of water resources and the responsible consumption of water. This museum has permanent and temporary exhibitions. Walking through the surroundings of the dock, at a distance of approximately 1.5 km, we reach the locks numbers 31 and 32 of the Canal, built around 1803 under the direction of the engineer Juan de Homar. Its function was to allow navigation between sections of the channel located at different levels. When the barges entered the lock, the double-leaf doors located at the ends of the lock were closed and the filling or emptying operation of the lock began to raise or lower the boats to the water level, both upward and downward. When losing the navigable condition, the Canal was transformed for irrigation and water supply use, for which it was necessary to close the sluice gates and create spillways, this aspect is what we can see today. The banks of the canal and the dock are perfect to explore by bike, horseback or simply on foot, allowing you to enjoy its flora, fauna and all its architectural elements.



Church located in the old Jewish quarter of the city on the banks of the Carrión river. It was, for many centuries, the southern limit of the city. It has the appearance of a fortress and it is one of the most emblematic monuments of Palencia. Ferdinand I and Bishop Don Miro ordered to build, in the early eleventh century, the temple on which the current church of San Miguel was erected, in the thirteenth century. Its original openwork tower of transition to the Gothic, of a religious and military nature, has been restored eliminating the reinforcements that were placed to correct the damage caused by the Lisbon earthquake in 1755. Inside it houses a crucified Christ from the 15th century who presides over the Altar, next to San Miguel; a baptismal font and important baroque altarpieces, in one of them we find a Flemish Pieta. Ancient wall paintings in the Gothic style have recently been discovered. It was declared a Historic Artistic Monument in 1931 ( ) (Turismo del Ayuntamiento de Palencia) and Monument of Cultural Interest in December 1992. It is a rectangular church, the ribbed vaults that cover the entire building have a Gothic character. The temple is distributed in a very wide central nave and two lateral naves that house different chapels with simple plain capitals and decorated with vegetal designs. On the side that faces the river there is a late Romanesque semicircular door, furrowed by worn but beautiful archivolts that allow access to the interior of the temple. The most representative part of this church is its tower, about 70 meters high from the ground, it looks like a castle-fortress, in it we can see large pointed windows on its four fronts. Inside it contains a spiral staircase that allows access to the various bodies of the tower. The defensive character of the tower was due to its importance as a place of surveillance as it is one of the tallest buildings in Palencia. For example, in 1298, the lookout stationed in San Miguel rang the bells after discovering during the night the attempt to take over the city by supporters of Alfonso and Juan Núñez. A dodecagonal turret is attached to the north part of the tower, which is also crenellated. It has the function of an access spindle to the bell tower and to the upper terrace. The windows, that are small in size, already have coloured glass, a pre-announcement of the large Gothic stained glass windows that would come later. Legends tell that the Castilian hero Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, “El Cid Campeador”, married his wife, Doña Jimena, here. Although there is no data to confirm such historical fact. One of the celebrations that takes place around this temple is, every January 1, the “Baptism of the Child” declared a Festival of National Tourist Interest in 2015. The carving of child Jesus goes out in procession around the church, sounding in the background the typical carol from Palencia “Ea” accompanied by the traditional distribution of sweets, as it would be in any christening.



It is the commercial nerve centre of the city, with a length of almost one kilometre. On one of its sides it preserves arcades and along it there are very representative buildings of Palencia. The first thing we come across on our tour is the statue of the “Mujer Palentina” (Palentina Woman), this is a work of Indalecio López, sculpted in black stone on a granite base. It is popularly known as “la Gorda” (the fat one). Although at first its location was somewhat controversial for being a too modern statue for the environment, little by little it became the quintessential meeting point in the city. The Casino, a select and cultural recreation circle of the Palentine bourgeoisie, is the only building on this side of the street that preserves the arcade and on its exterior facade you can see a modernist mural made by the Palentine artist Rafael Oliva in 1998. Advancing a little we find the Council of Accounts of the Junta de Castilla y León, a building from the beginning of the 20th century built between 1912-1913, in a classic style but with influences of the so-called Viennese style. This building has had many functions but since 2004 it houses the headquarters of the Council of Accounts, it is a work of the architect Gaspar Arroyo. In front of the building you can see a statue of this architect made in bronze, with a notebook and a pen in hand drawing the building projected himself. The pen was stolen shortly after the statue was placed, being replaced and welded. A little further on, we can see the Colegio de Villandrando, work of Jerónimo Arroyo in 1911, in a floral modernist style with neo-Gothic, neo-romantic and secessionist elements. It consists of three floors; the lower one with an arcade formed by four arches on five hexagonal shaft columns, with capitals decorated with the Villandrando coats of arms on the sides and allegories of the three theological virtues in the central ones. On the second floor there are four wrought iron balconies topped with arches framed in pinnacles that contain floral decoration, the last floor features twin windows with mainel and helical shaft pilasters, highlighting at the top the cornice that has a ceramic frieze glazed by Daniel de Zuloaga, that represents its founder the Viscountess of Villandrando. In 1998 the building was declared a Site of Cultural Interest. MAIN SQUARE Palencia’s civic and commercial place, dating from the 16th century, in this square you can find the City Hall, a neoclassical building that was inaugurated in 1878 and whose construction lasted 20 years. On the facade we can see 3 identical wrought iron doors, at its upper part flat Corinthian columns appear in between which three large windows with balconies are interspersed, highlighting the round clock at the highest part of the cornice. The vertexes of the pediment are finished off by two trims and at the highest point a Palencia shield. It is surrounded by arcades on three of its four sides, of perfect symmetry. In the centre, the square is adorned by a 4-meter black and white (stone and bronze) monument sculpted by Victorio Macho, dedicated to Alonso Berruguete. This work was commissioned on the occasion of the fourth centenary of the sculptor’s death. The stone part, representing a giant flame, outlines several of the sculptor’s works and the head of “Cristo del Otero”, a license from the author. In bronze we find the sculpture of Alonso Berruguete, with a height of 2.30 meters.



This protected historic building is 121 years old and underwent a remodel in 1982. Juan Agapito Revilla, municipal architect, carried out this construction project in 1895. It has a rectangular plan of iron and glass. It was later opened in 1898. In this building, stalls were arranged in an orderly manner to create a food market. Previously, this market was held outdoors in the city’s Main Square. On the outside, its tiles stand out, some representing market trades, interspersed with tiles that contain the coat of arms of Palencia. The work was carried out for three years by the builder Julio Petrement. In 2012 the City of Palencia along with the Provincial Government published a book-catalog entitled; ‘El ayer, el hoy y el mañana del Mercado de Abastos. 1898-2012’ whose objective is to value this emblematic place of the cultural, historical and architectural heritage of Palencia and as the nerve centre of traditional commerce. PALACE OF THE PROVINCIAL COUNCIL The inauguration of this Neoplateresque building with Baroque influences took place in 1914, under the direction of the architect Jerónimo Arroyo, who was born in Palencia. Inside it houses different murals and paintings created by artists from Palencia, such as Asterio Mañanós, Eugenio Oliva, Casado del Alisal, Pedro Mozos and Victorio Macho. This building was built with stone, brick, iron and glass. It is necessary to emphasize the central part of its main facade, richly decorated. It is divided into two horizontal and three vertical sections, on its lower part there are two large gates topped with semicircular arches and on the highest part there is a balcony adorned with delicate decoration and windows on the sides with Corinthian columns, crowned by arches, semicircular garlands and statues of various allegories such as: Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, Fine Arts, Work and Science, among others. It can be seen that a lunette with a medallion with a high-relief bust appears above each window. The central one represents Queen María de Padilla, on the left the sculptor Alonso Berruguete and on the right King Alfonso X, “the Wise”. On the cornice an elegant sculptural group that represents two people from Palencia stands out, sheltered by the allegory to Palencia that protects them and that holds a coat of arms of the province. In the lobby we can see frescoes and Italian-looking tapestries, if we look at the ceiling we find a wonderful canvas with the theme of the city’s defence by the Vacceos, work of Eugenio Oliva. A few years ago, tricolor night lighting (blue, white and yellow) was installed on the facade of this building. This palace suffered a fire in 1966 that affected, above all, the upper floor of the building. The fire destroyed much of the documentation stored there, in addition to works of art. In this fateful event, Gaspar Arroyo died, who was at that time the head of the fire brigade. Gaspar Arroyo was Jerónimo Arroyo’s son, the architect, born in Palencia, who designed this building, a construction that was surely his masterpiece.



To begin with the history of this park, it is necessary to know that it was first a garden created in 1870. Its name is due to the family that owned it until it was sold to the municipality in the mid-19th century, then it was used for orchards, as a municipal nursery and for a while, the City Council wanted to install a gas factory for the city’s public lighting, but this idea was finally abandoned and it became a public park although it is surrounded by a fence that allows it to have opening and closing hours. This romantic style park, located in the city centre, is one of the largest with almost two hectares in size, loaded with abundant and rich vegetation in which we can observe: horse chestnuts, firs, cedars, oaks, holm oaks, birches. Among so many nature inhabit many types of birds such as; turtledoves, sparrows or robins. Also, it is necessary to allude in this park to the sculptural works that decorate it, to highlight the abstract wooden sculptures in front of the main entrance that were made from diseased trees. At the bottom of the park where it borders the railway line, if it is not known is difficult to see, because it is almost hidden by the trees, there is the sundial, with its Ionic columns and its Roman numerals at the foot of each column, the central column rotates at its top and casts a shadow that gives the hours. The park has a summer public library, a small playground and a café with a terrace. Inside the Park we find the Church of San Juan Bautista, its initial location was in Villanueva del Rio Pisuerga, a town that was flooded when the Aguilar de Campoo’s reservoir was built, for its reconstruction in 1955 and for 8 years they moved it from its initial location to Palencia stone by stone (all of them numbered), in 1981 it was declared an artistic historical monument. It is a 12th century Romanesque church of small size with one single nave, on the doorway we can see six archivolts supported by columns, on the facade we can see the representation of the original sin with Adam and Eve flanking the tree of paradise in which a snake coils. An allegory of lust also completes the vegetable decoration of the facade, and to finish under the cornice there are human and animal figures. Next to the church we can see a large funerary sculptural group from the old city cemetery that was in the current Carcavilla park. Today this park is often used as an “exhibition hall” in the open air and as a stage for classical festivals at the festivities of San Antolín, patron saint of the city.