Aerial view of Valladolid
Coat of arms
Location of Valladolid within Spain / Castile and León
Valladolid (Castile and León)
|Autonomous community||Castile and León|
|• Body||Ayuntamiento de Valladolid|
|• Mayor||Óscar Puente (since 2015)|
|• Total||197.47 km2 (76.24 sq mi)|
|Elevation||698 m (2,290 ft)|
|• Density||1,500/km2 (3,900/sq mi)|
|Demonym(s)||Vallisoletano, -a (informally, pucelano, -a)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Valladolid (/ - , -/,, Spanish: [baʎaðoˈlið] (listen)) is a city in Spain and the capital of the autonomous community of Castile and León. It has a population of 309,714 people (2013 est.), making it Spain's 13th most populous municipality and northwestern Spain's biggest city. Its metropolitan area ranks 20th in Spain with a population of 414,244 people in 23 municipalities.
The city is situated at the confluence of the Pisuerga and Esgueva rivers 15 km (9.3 mi) before they join the Duero, and located within five winegrowing regions: Ribera del Duero, Rueda, Toro, Tierra de León, and Cigales. Valladolid was originally settled in pre-Roman times by the Celtic Vaccaei people, and later the Romans themselves. It remained a small settlement until being re-established by King Alfonso VI of Castile as a Lordship for the Count Pedro Ansúrez in 1072. It grew to prominence in the Middle Ages as the seat of the Court of Castile and being endowed with fairs and different institutions as a collegiate church, University (1241), Royal Court and Chancery and the Royal Mint. The city was briefly the capital of Habsburg Spain under Phillip III between 1601 and 1606, before returning indefinitely to Madrid. The city then declined until the arrival of the railway in the 19th century, and with its industrialisation into the 20th century.
The old town is made up of a variety of historic houses, palaces, churches, plazas, avenues and parks, and includes the National Museum of Sculpture as well as the houses of Zorrilla and Cervantes which are open as museums. Among the events that are held each year in the city are the famous Holy Week, Valladolid International Film Festival (Seminci), and the Festival of Theatre and Street Arts (TAC).
There is no direct evidence for the origin of the modern name of Valladolid.
It is mentioned as Valledolit in the Primera Crónica General; earlier documented variants include Valledolidi, Valleolide (1092) and Valleolit, Valleoleti, Valleoliti (1095).
One widely held etymological theory suggests that the modern name Valladolid derives from the Celtiberian language expression Vallis Tolitum, meaning "valley of waters", referring to the confluence of rivers in the area. Another theory suggests that the name derives from the Arabic expression (Arabic: بلد الوليد, Balad al-Walid), which means 'city of al-Walid', referring to Al-Walid I. Yet a third claims that it derives from Vallis Olivetum, meaning 'valley of the olives'; however, no olive trees are found in that terrain. Instead, in the south part of the city exist an innumerable amount of pine trees. The gastronomy reflects the importance of the piñon (pine nut) as a local product, not olives. In texts from the middle ages the town is called Vallisoletum, meaning 'sunny valley', and a person from the town is a Vallisoletano (male), or Vallisoletana (female).
The city is also popularly called Pucela, a nickname whose origin is not clear, but may refer to knights in the service of Joan of Arc, known as La Pucelle. Another theory is that Pucela comes from the fact that Pozzolana cement was sold there, the only city in Spain that sold it.
Valladolid is located at roughly 735 metres above sea level, at the centre of the Meseta Norte, the plateau drained by the Douro river basin covering a major part of the Northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. The primitive urban core was built ex novo in the 11th century on a small elevation near the confluence of the Esgueva with the Pisuerga, on the left-bank of the later river. The city of Valladolid currently lies on both banks of the Pisuerga, a major right-bank tributary of the Douro.
The city of Valladolid experiences a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Csa) with influences of a cold semi-arid climate (BSk). Valladolid's climate features cool and windy winters due to altitude and an inland location. Fog is very typical in the morning during winter. Winters experience snow and low temperatures below freezing during cold fronts. Valladolid's climate is influenced by the distance from the sea and its higher altitude.
Valladolid is drier than Spain's northern coastal regions, although there is year-round precipitation. Average annual precipitation is 433 mm (17.0 in) and the average annual relative humidity is 64%. In winter, temperatures very often (almost every second day) drop below freezing, often reaching temperatures as low as −8 °C (18 °F), and snowfall is common, while the summer months see average high temperatures of 30 °C (86 °F). The lowest recorded temperature in Valladolid was −18.8 °C (−1.8 °F) and the hottest 40.2 °C (104.4 °F) on 19 July 1995.
|Climate data for Valladolid, normals 1981-2010, extremes 1973-2020, 735 m (2,411 ft) altitude|
|Record high °C (°F)||17.2
|Average high °C (°F)||8.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||4.2
|Average low °C (°F)||0.2
|Record low °C (°F)||−11
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||40
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||6||5||5||8||8||5||2||2||4||8||7||8||68|
|Average relative humidity (%)||83||72||62||62||60||52||45||48||56||70||79||84||64|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||101||147||215||232||272||322||363||334||254||182||117||89||2,624|
|Source 1: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología (normals 1981–2010)|
|Source 2: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología (extremes 1973–2020)|
See also: Timeline of Valladolid
The Vaccaei were a Celtic tribe, the first people with stable presence on the sector of the middle valley of the River Duero documented in historical times.
Remains of Celtiberian and of a Roman camp have been excavated near the city. The nucleus of the city was originally located in the area of the current San Miguel y el Rosarillo square and was surrounded by a palisade. Archaeological proofs of the existence of three ancient lines of walls have been found.
During the time of Muslim rule in Spain, the Christian kings moved the population of this region north into more easily defended areas and deliberately created a no man's land as a buffer zone against further Moorish conquests. The area was captured from the Moors in the 10th century.
In 1072 Alfonso VI of León and Castile gifted the Lordship of Valladolid to Count Pedro Ansúrez. Entrusted with the repopulation of the area, Ansúrez led the foundation of the city along his wife Eylo Alfónsezcitation needed] Eylo founded three hospitals and the Churches of San Sebastián and San Nicolás. Both co-founded the church of Santa María. Valladolid was repopulated by people from the lands of Carrión and Saldaña.. By 1084 the project for the foundation of the city was already underway. Ansúrez built a palace (now lost) and La Antigua church.[
In the 12th and 13th centuries, Valladolid grew rapidly, favoured by the commercial privileges granted by the kings Alfonso VIII and Alfonso X.
In 1469, Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon were married in the city; by the 15th century Valladolid was the residence of the kings of Castile. In 1506, Christopher Columbus died in Valladolid "still convinced that he had reached the Indies" in a house that is now a museum dedicated to him.
From 1554 to 1559, Joanna of Austria, sister of Philip II, served as regent, establishing herself in Valladolid, with the latter becoming the political center of the Hispanic Monarchy by that time. She favoured the Ebolist Party, one of the two leading factions of the Court of Philip II, in competition with the albistas. The Reformation took some hold in the city appearing some Protestant circles presumably around the leading figure of Augustino de Cazalla, an adviser of Joanna. Ensuing autos de fe against the Protestant sects took place in 1559 in Valladolid. A catastrophic fire in 1561 destroyed a portion of the city.
During a period of 1550-1551 the town hold the first moral debate in European history to discuss the rights and treatment of the indigenous people by conquerors. See Valladolid debate.
Valladolid was granted the status of city in 1596, also becoming a bishopric seat.
In the midst of the reign of by Philip III, Valladolid briefly served as the capital of the Hispanic Monarchy between 1601 and 1606 under the auspice of the Duke of Lerma, valido of Philip III. Lerma and his network had bought plots in Valladolid before in order to sell those to the Crown. Promoted by Lerma, the decision on moving the capital from Madrid to Valladolid has been portrayed as case of a (double) real estate speculative scheme, as Lerma had proceeded to buy housing in Madrid once the capital was moved from the city as the prices had plummeted. After a plague epidemics in Valladolid, Lerma suggested the King to go back to Madrid, earning a hefty profit when the Royal Court went back to Madrid and the prizes went up again accordingly.
The city was again damaged by a flood of the rivers Pisuerga and Esgueva.
From 1950 onwards Valladolid became an important industrial centre. This was the context in which companies such as ENDASA (1950), FASA (1954), TECNAUTO (1956) and SAVA (1957) were created. The city was declared as a Polo de Desarrollo Industrial ("Pole for Industrial Development") in 1964. During the 1960 and early 1970s the city attracted many immigrants, chiefly coming from the province of Valladolid and neighbouring provinces. The city started to expand across the western bank of the Pisuerga in the early 1960s.
In the context of the fraught process for the creation of the autonomous community of Castile and León (completed in 1983), Valladolid vied for the condition of regional capital, competing with other cities, most notably creating a sense of antagonism with Burgos. Although the capital was not explicitly enshrined in the region's statute of autonomyfrom 1983, Valladolid was designated in 1987 as the de jure seat of the executive and legislative institutions (the Junta of Castile and León and the Cortes of Castile and León).
Valladolid is a municipality, the basic local administrative division in Spain. The Ayuntamiento de Valladolid is the body charged with the municipal government and administration. The Plenary of the ayuntamiento is formed by 27 elected municipal councillors, who in turn invest the mayor. The last municipal election took place on 26 May 2019. Since 2015, Óscar Puente (PSOE) serves as Mayor. He renewed his spell for a second mandate following the 2019 election.
Education management and policing in Valladolid depends on the Ministry of Education of the Government of Castile and León, the department responsible for the education at the regional level, both at the university and non-university level.
Main article: University of Valladolid
The University of Valladolid (UVA) was founded in 1241 by Alfonso VIII of Castille. It is one of the oldest universities in the world. It has four campuses around the city (Huerta del Rey, Centro, Río Esgueva and Miguel Delibes) as well as another three campuses scattered around the wider region of Castile and León (Palencia, Soria and Segovia). Spread over 25 colleges and their associated centers, about 2000 teachers give classes to more than 23,800 students enrolled in 2011.
It also features the 25 centers, a number of administrative buildings such as the Palacio de Santa Cruz, where the rector, and the Museum of the University of Valladolid (MUVa), The House of Students, featuring the other administrative services mainly related to international relations, or CTI (Center for Information Technology),both located in the basement of the University Residence Alfonso VIII, next to the old Faculty of Science.
Main article: Miguel de Cervantes European University
The Miguel de Cervantes European University (Universidad Europea Miguel de Cervantes; UEMC) is a private university with roughly 1,500 students. It is spread over three faculties: Social Sciences, Law and Economics, Health and the Polytechnic School. It has later expanded its campus with a new facility doubling the area devoted to teaching and research. It also has a dental clinic and a library.
Lycée Français de Castilla y León, a French international school, is near Valladolid, in Laguna de Duero. San Juán Bautista de La Salle School, a High Private College in Valladolid. Integral and Superior Education. Integrates Kindergarten, Primary School and High School.
12th century romanesque architecture is present in the belltowers of the churches of Santa María La Antigua and San Martín.
The School of San Gregorio has been highlighted as an outstanding example Late Gothic architecture (Isabelline gothic). The Gothic style is also present in the Church of San Pablo (featuring also Renaissance and plateresque elements). The late 15th century Palace of Santa Cruz (current seat of the rectorate of the University of Valladolid) has been noted as a pioneer example of Renaissance art in Spain.
The monumental Plaza Mayor, considered the first in its genre in Spain, was projected by Francisco de Salamancaby 1561–62, following the great fire of 1561. The porticoed plaza distinctly employs stone columns with wooden footings and lintels. The design of the façades of the plaza served as template for a number of buildings in nearby streets.
The unfinished Cathedral of Valladolid, initially projected by Juan de Herrera in the 16th century (intending to follow a Mannerist style) experienced protracted building works owing to financial problems and its main body was not opened until 1668. Decades later, in 1730, Alberto de Churriguerafinished the work on the main front.
The Teatro Lope de Vega is a theater built in the classical style in 1861 and now very run-down. There has been recent controversy over whether the city should pay to restore it. The Campo Grande, a large public park located in the heart of the city, dates back to 1787. Architect Modesto Coloma Palenzuelaleft a key imprint in the city's outline, authoring many housing projects in the late 19th to early 20th century, with a good number of his buildings still standing. Standout examples of Eclectic architecture from the late 19th and early 20th century in the city include the neoplateresque City Hall , the cavalry academy and Palace of Correos y Telégrafos (defaced in a revamp undergone in the 1960s) and the neobaroque new building for the university.
The Francoist dictatorship left an example of "Imperial Architecture" of neo-herrerian (or escurialense) style in the building for the Seminario Menor, clearly influenced by the Spanish capital's Ministry of the Air.
The city preserves the residences of iconic city neighbors such as the Casa de Cervantes, the Christopher Columbus House-Museum and the house of José Zorrilla.
As of 2019, the population of the city of Valladolid proper was 298,412,  and the population of the entire urban area was estimated to be 298.412 . The most important municipalities of the urban area are (after Valladolid itself) Laguna de Duero and Boecillo on the south, Arroyo de la Encomienda, Zaratán, Simancas and Villanubla on the west, Cigales and Santovenia de Pisuerga on the north, and Tudela de Duero and Cistérniga on the east.
After the new neighbourhoods developed in recent decades (one example would be Covaresa) the high prices in the municipality led young people to buy properties in towns around the city, so the population has tended to fall in Valladolid but is growing fast in the rest of the urban area (for example, Arroyo de la Encomienda or Zaratán)
Valladolid is a major economic center in Spain. The automotive industry is one of the major motors of the city's economy since the founding of FASA-Renault in 1953 for the assembling of Renault-branded vehicles, which would later become Renault España. Four years later, in 1957, Sava was founded and started producing commercial vehicles. Sava would later be absorbed by Pegaso and since 1990 by the Italian truck manufacturer Iveco. Together with the French tire manufacturer Michelin, Renault and Iveco form the most important industrial companies of the city.
Besides the automotive and automotive auxiliary industries, other important industrial sectors are food processing (with local companies like Acor and Queserías Entrepinares and facilities of multinationals like Cadbury, Lactalis or Lesaffre), metallurgy (Lingotes Especiales, Saeta die Casting...), chemical and printing. In total 22 013 people were employed in 2007 in industrial workplaces, representing 14.0% of total workers.
The main economic sector of Valladolid in terms of employment is however the service sector, which employs 111,988 people, representing 74.2% of Valladolid workers affiliated to Social Security.
The construction sector employed 15,493 people in 2007, representing 10.3% of total workers.
Finally, agriculture is a tiny sector in the city which only employs 2,355 people (1.5% of the total). The predominant crops are wheat, barley and sugar beet.
Top 10 companies by turnover in 2013 in € million were : Renault (4 596), Michelin (2 670), IVECO (1 600), the Valladolid-based supermarket chain Grupo El Árbol (849), cheese processing Queserías Entrepinares (204), sugar processing Acor (201), service group Grupo Norte (174), automobile auxiliary company Faurecia-Asientos de Castilla y León (143), Sada (129) and Hipereco (108).
Urban transit system was based on the Valladolid tram network from 1881 to 1933. A public urban bus system started in 1928, managed by different private tenders until 1982, when the service was taken over by the municipality. Today the public company AUVASA operates the network, with 22 regular lines and 5 late night lines.
Valladolid-Campo Grande railway station is integrated into the Spanish high-speed network AVE. The Madrid–Valladolid high-speed rail line was inaugurated on 22 December 2007. The line links both cities, crossing the Sierra de Guadarrama through the namesake tunnel, the fourth longest train tunnel in Europe. Valladolid will become the hub for all AVE lines connecting the north and north-west of Spain with the rest of the country. Trainsets used on this line include S-114 (max speed 250 km/h (155 mph)), S-130 (Patito, max speed 250 km/h (155 mph)) and the S102 (Pato, max speed 320 km/h or 199 mph). This line connects the city with Madrid, which can be reached in 56 minutes.
Several highways connect the city to the rest of the country.
Main article: Valladolid Airport
The airport serving the city is not located within the municipal limits, but in Villanubla. The airport has connections to Barcelona, Málaga, and the Canary Islands.
Main article: Cuisine of the province of Valladolid
Although an inland province, fish is commonly consumed, some brought from the Cantabrian Sea. Fish like red bream and hake are a major part of Valladolid's cuisine.
The main speciality of Valladolid is, however, lechazo (suckling baby lamb). The lechazo is slowly roasted in a wood oven and served with salad.
Valladolid also offers a great assortment of wild mushrooms. Asparagus, endive and beans can also be found. Some legumes, like white beans and lentils are particularly good. Pine nuts are also produced in great quantities.
Sheep cheese from Villalón de Campos, the famous pata de mulo (mule's foot) is usually unripened (fresh), but if it is cured the ripening process brings out such flavour that it can compete with the best sheep cheeses in Spain.
Valladolid has a bread to go with every dish, like the delicious cuadros from Medina del Campo, the muffins, the pork-scratching bread and the lechuguinos, with a pattern of concentric circles that resemble a head of lettuce.
The pastries and baked goods from the province of Valladolid are well-known, specially St. Mary's ring-shaped pastries, St. Claire's sponge cakes, pine nut balls and cream fritters.
Valladolid is also a producer of wines. The ones that fall under the Designation of Origin Cigales are very good. White wines from Rueda and red wines from Ribera del Duero are known for their quality.
Main article: Holy Week in Valladolid
Holy Week ("Semana Santa" in Spanish) holds one of the best known Catholic traditions in Valladolid. The Good Friday processions are considered an exquisite and rich display of Castilian religious sculpture. On this day, in the morning, members of the brotherhoods on horseback make a poetic proclamation throughout the city. The "Sermon of the Seven Words" is spoken in Plaza Mayor Square. In the afternoon, thousands of people take part in the Passion Procession, comprising 31 pasos (religious statues), most of which date from the 16th and 17th centuries. The last statue in the procession is the Virgen de las Angustias, and her return to the church is one of the most emotional moments of the celebrations, with the Salve Popular sung in her honour.
Easter is one of the most spectacular and emotional fiestas in Valladolid. Religious devotion, art, colour and music combine in acts to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ: the processions. Members of the different Easter brotherhoods, dressed in their characteristic robes, parade through the streets carrying religious statues (pasos) to the sound of drums and music.
Main article: Seminci
The city is also host to one of the foremost (and oldest) international film festivals, the Semana Internacional de Cine de Valladolid (Seminci), founded in 1956. Valladolid, through various loopholes in state censorship, was able to present films that would otherwise have been impossible to see in Spain. An award or an enthusiastic reception from the audience and the critics meant, on numerous occasions[specify], that the official state bodies gave the go-ahead to certain films which Francisco Franco's regime considered out of line with their ideology.
Much the same occurred with distribution on the arts circuit at the end of the 60s: a film could be placed more easily if it had previously done well at Valladolid. Even after the death of Franco in 1975, Valladolid continued to be the "testing ground" for films which had been banned. For example, the premiere in Spain of Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange at the 1975 festival is still recalled as a landmark.
As one of Europe's oldest festivals, Valladolid has always been characterized by its willingness to take risks and to innovate in its programming. It has also been keen to critically examine each new school or movement as it has arisen, whether it be German, Polish, Chinese, Canadian or otherwise. With a genuine concern for the art of cinema, for film-making and film-makers rather than the more obvious commercial or glamorous aspects of the industry, the festival has built up an identity of its own – equally attractive to enthusiasts, professionals and the media.
Valladolid's main association football club is Real Valladolid, nicknamed Pucela, who play in the country's first league, La Liga. Players who went on to play for the Spain national football team include Fernando Hierro, José Luis Caminero and Rubén Baraja. Real's stadium, the Estadio Nuevo José Zorrilla, was built as a venue for the 1982 FIFA World Cup and in preparation staged the 1982 Copa del Rey Final.
CBC Valladolid is the city's new basketball team since the dissolution of CB Valladolid in 2015. Arvydas Sabonis and Oscar Schmidt played for the latter team. Currently playing in the Liga LEB Oro, the CBC Valladolid matches are held at the Polideportivo Pisuerga.
In handball Valladolid is represented by BM Valladolid of the Liga ASOBAL. They have won 2 King's Cup, 1 ASOBAL Cup and 1 EHF Cup. They play their games at the Polideportivo Huerta del Rey.
Rugby union is a very popular sport in Valladolid. CR El Salvador, current champions of Spain's División de Honor de Rugby compete in the European Challenge Cup. They play their matches at Estadio Pepe Rojo. VRAC, current champions of the King's Cup, also plays in the same stadium.
The Plaza de toros de Valladolid, a bullring, opened on 29 September 1890, and it has a capacity of 11,000.
Valladolid is twinned with:
Valladolid cooperates with: