Saturday, November 24, 2012

Guadalajara, Spain: City of "No Aesthetic Interest"?

On our day off Monday, November 12, 2012, we wanted to visit a city close to Madrid (that we hadn't visited previously). We reluctantly chose Guadalajara, a city that is hardly mentioned in travel books on Spain. In fact, one of our travel books says, "Despite its romantic name, Guadalajara is, disappointingly, a modern, somewhat scruffy city, of more historical than aesthetic interest." In other words, it's an ugly old town. We (Scott, Beverly, and our fellow temple missionary Miriam) went anyway, on a very cold and windy day.

To our amazement, this ugly duckling turned out to be a swan. Okay, that's an overstatement, but after the day warmed up, we had an enjoyable visit. Here are a few pictures of Guadalajara, Spain.

The city has a very nice tourist office, with a helpful staff (one man) and beautiful (free) brochures:

Palacio el Infatado, built in the 1400s as the residence of a Spanish duke; now it's a museum:

Miriam and Beverly at the Torreón (Tower) of Alvar Fáñez, built in the 1300s and now part of a nice park:

Beverly and Miriam in the courtyard of the medieval Palacio de Antonio Mendoza, now a high school:

A closeup of the beautiful tile lining the walls of the courtyard and stairwell:

The Ayuntamiento (City Hall) of Guadalajara, at one end of the nice Plaza Mayor (main square of the city):

An amazing chocolate cake that we spotted in one of the Guadalajara bakeries:

A group of old men strolling through the clean and attractive Parque de San Roque:

The magnificent Panteón de la Condesa de la Vega del Pozo, which looks like an ancient church but which was actually built in the 1800s (in the U.S. this church might be considered old but in Spain it is considered very new):

An Moorish (Islamic) bridge, built in the tenth century A.D. (yes, this is an old bridge):

We found lots of interesting sites in Guadalajara and really enjoyed our visit to this "very ordinary" Spanish city. We're glad we went.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Scott & Beverly,
    This is a great blog post about Guadalajara, Spain. I am a member of the church and I will be doing an exchange program in January. I would like to attend church while I'm there, and I wondering if you could provide me with any information? Do you know of any wards in Guadalajara or the surrounding area? If you could help me out in any way, I would appreciate it very much. My email is
    Very nice blog, and beautiful pictures.
    Thank you for sharing this.