Puerta de Toledo
The Puerta de Toledo is one of the particular architectural constructions that Ciudad Real has to offer and it is particularly worth seeing. During the Middle Ages, four kilometres of walls and one hundred and thirty towers protected a population made up of Christians, Moors and Jews. After the unification of the peninsular kingdoms under the Catholic Monarchs, Ciudad Real became the capital of the province of La Mancha in the 17th century. This favoured its economic development which was heavily invested in important buildings. A good example of Mudejar architecture (14th C.) in La Mancha is the Puerta de Toledo, one of the eight gates where the city could be accessed. This gate is all that remains of the walled Royal City of Ciudad Real. It has 6 arches (the 2 exterior of which are ogival and the 4 interior of which are horseshoe shaped). It also has 2 square towers, one on each side of the arches, and the coat of arms of Castile can still be seen on the walls.
The Cathedral of Santa María del Prado is a good example of the combination of styles resulting from a long construction process. Its earliest elements correspond to the 13th century, while the latest ones date from the 19th century. Inside, the Baroque reredos and choir stalls are outstanding. It is a transitional Gothic building, although its origins lie in a Romanesque shrine. It has undergone several restorations, the most recent one has led to its current appearance. The first remodelling took place during the reign of Alfonso X “the Wise”. The south doorway and the main altarpiece are in Renaissance style. The Perdón doorway, which that has Gothic and Romanesque elements, is thought to have been the church entrance at the time of Alfonso X. Notable items in the sacristy include several paintings, a paxboard by Becerril and an excellent Baroque chest of drawers. The new tower, completed in the 19th century, comprises four sections crafted in stone.
The City Hall is the highlight of the Main Square of the city, which is made up of a diverse set of architectural styles. The Town Hall dates from 1976 and was designed by Fernando Higueras. Its peculiar physiognomy is neo-Gothic in inspiration, reminding us of typical municipalities in the Netherlands. Facing the Town Hall is La Casa del Arco (The House of the Arch), the former 15th century Town Hall, which houses a clock that only chimes at certain times of the day, when figures of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza go out onto the Cervantes balcony to the sound of music. The summer schedule is: 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 20:00, 21:00 and 22:00. Finally, under La Casa del Arco there is an arch fountain with a sculpture of Alfonso X, the founder of the city, created by García Donaire in 1967.
The reddish building located next to the Cathedral hosted once a Grand Casino and the 'Marcos Redondo' Conservatory of Music, and now houses the offices of the Department of Culture and Celebration, and it opened on June 7, 1887. This 19th century building is a classicist construction by Sebastian Rebollar, from whom we can highlight the mouldings, particularly in the Ballroom where the decorative elements consist of palms, frets and plant forms. Other places of interest are the beautiful Art Deco chandeliers and the Conference Room with its mythological motifs. The radiators are designed as furniture with curved legs and are decorated with plant motifs.
This is the most beautiful civil building in the city, and it is a great example of late 19th century architecture. It was designed by the architect Santiago Rebollar, and was completed in 1892. It has three different facades, It has three different facades and we can highlight the main one, topped with city’s coat of arms, and the Merced, with a platform of Ionic columns surmounted by a pediment. The entire ground floor of the building is made of white limestone, while the upper floor is of brick and limestone. Inside, it is worth considering the main staircase which is split into two and was covered with a dome at the end of the 19th century.
Museo del Quijote
The Museo del Quijote is a modern museum where you can meet new exhibition concepts through the great gentleman of La Mancha and its particular universe.
It consists of three rooms with audiovisual facilities: the first presents the figure of Don Quixote view over time, the second is a reproduction of a printing seventeenth and the last is an assembly that makes us a summary of the novel.
Museo López Villaseñor
The museum contains the work of Manuel López Villaseñor, one of the leading exponents of Spanish painting in the second half of the 20th century. The Museum is also one of the city’s most important cultural centres. The López Villaseñor museum can also be called House of Hernan Perez del Pulgar, since this place is where the illustrious soldier from the time of the Catholic Kings was born, it is the oldest house in the city and dates back to the 15th century. The Renaissance facade decorated with two granite ionic columns, together with a wrought iron balcony and the family crest is standing up over the entrance, forming a turret. The ground floor was originally a porch for carriages and provides access to the central courtyard with its stone columns and wooden galleries.
Museo de la Merced
The iconic Old Merced Convent is a 17th century building which was restored to celebrate of the four hundredth anniversary of Don Quixote.
It host the exhibition entitled "Art in the Spain of Don Quixote", and provides a broad perspective of the Spanish art scene at the time of Don Quixote.
Tapas are the greatest treasure of the city’s gastronomy. Tapas are a wide variety of appetizers or snacks of the Spanish cuisine. These are generally served free when ordering a drink in any bar or restaurant. The area around the Plaza Mayor and Calle Palma is a good zone to try tapas, where you can find them for between 1.50€ and 2€.