Ayuntamiento de Palencia

Turismo - Ven a Palencia

Useful links

  • Palencia Turismo (Info in Spanish, English and French about St James's Way, the Romanesque Route,  the Canal of Castile and other important tourism resources of the province of Palencia).
  • Roman Villa of La Olmeda (Discover the magnificently preserved tiled floors of this Roman manor. Just a 30 minute drive from Palencia city. Info in Spanish, English and French)
  • Cueva de los Franceses (The Cave of the Frenchmen. A natural wonder whose name dates back to the time of the War of Independence against Napoleon's troops. Info available in Spanish only)
  • Hermandad de Cofradías de Palencia Info in Spanish about the Easter Week of Palencia (declared of International Tourist Interest in 2012)
  • Cathedral of Palencia Official website (in Spanish only)

Where to stay




Hostels & Guesthouses

  • Algodón C/ Don Pelayo, 4
  • Serpol C/ Vizcaya, 1
  • Tres de Noviembre C/ Mancornador, 18
  • Pensión Los Ángeles. C/ Estrada, 12. Phone: 979 726 644
  • Pensión O’ Pote. C/ Federico Mayo. Phone: 979 748 426
  • Pensión Toledo. Avda. San Telmo, 11. Phone: 979 725 896
  • Pensión Serafín. C/ Federico Mayo, 22. Phone.: 979 748 906
  • Pensión Becares. C/ Cardenal Almaraz, 17. Phone: 979 752 413


Parking for camper vans

Avda. Ponce de León (see map)

Contact us


Imagen logotipo-turismo-palencia-ciudadDepartment of Tourism  - Ayto. Palencia                      

Plaza Mayor, 1                

34001 Palencia


e-mail: turismo@aytopalencia.es

Phone Nr: + 34 979 718 197

What to see and do


Palencia is a comparatively small city with a 100 % pedestrianised centre, so most important buildings and landmarks are within walking distance and visitors can enjoy them without being disturbed by noisy traffic.

Imagen imagen-plano-turisticoWe propose the visitor five walking routes (info in English and French) which will take them, among others,  to the folllowing must-see monuments and sights ( Download brochure ):




Majestically erected in Plaza de la Inmaculada, the visitor is taken by surprise by the dimension and severity of its tower. The flying buttresses of its apse suggest us the presence of this temple from Santa Teresa and Jorge Manrique streets. This Cathedral is named The Unknown Beauty due to the remarkable amount and quality of the works kept inside, from Visigothic to Renaissance art.

Imagen Crypt of St. AntolinBuilt over some old places of worship, its origin is found in the Visigothic Crypt from the VIII century devoted to San Antolín, where the Saint’s relics rest nowadays. Legend has it that it was this very same cave  Sancho III, King of Navarre, found while trying to hunt a wild board. He was about to throw his spear against  the animal when he felt his arm paralysed and thus he noticed he was in a sacred placed and declared it so. That place is the present Crypt.

The Romanesque, three-nave Cathedral was consecrated in 1219 by the bishop Tello Téllez and some remains can still be observed. The construction of the new temple began in the XIV century and lasted for two more. It was honoured as a National Monument in 1929.

From the outside, its plain, 30 meter-high tower characterizes a temple that shows no main façade. The three naves design, similar to the one in Burgos, creates an inner atmosphere extraordinary beauty and immensity. The predominant verticality is only broken by the triforium.

Imagen View of the central naveUnder the Chorus, at the entrance to the Crypt, there is a remarkable Plateresque work in the bas-reliefs that show scenes from the life of king Sancho and the martyrdom of Santo Toribio. The Crypt is also a two-nave old temple, a Visigothic one from the VII century and a second, vaulted, Romanesque one from the XI century with earlier influences.

Two main doors can be observed while standing at Plaza de la Inmaculada, the one of “the Saviour” or “Door of the Newlyweds” and the one of “Santa Teresa” or “of the Bishop”. The former is a pointed, fully decorated one, while the latter is archivolted by a XVII century set of apostles plateresque style decorated who frame the shields of its patrons.

The door of “San Juan” or the “King’s Door” is a gothic, plateresque one that opens towards Plaza de Cervantes in which renaissance images of San Antolín, together with other Saints in their niches, can be observed.

The door that communicates the Cathedral with San Antolín and San Bernabé’s Hospital was erected in 1762 and hence, it was called “Door of the Hospital” or “Door of the Canonicals”.

The newest door, opened in 1980, communicates the temple with Plaza de San Antolín. Drafted in neoclassical style it was designed by Chueca Goitia.

The retrochoir, made by Juan de Ruesga, was ordered by Bishop Fonseca and consequently his shield lies under the arch of the Catholic King and Queen. The side parts of the choir are a masterpiece of Diego de Siloé. The Altar of the Saviour, which is surrounded by the Four Evangelists, is a work of Felipe de Vigarny and the Altar of the Saint Christ of the Battles was designed by Pedro de Guadalupe.

The choir presents the first walnut choir stalls by Luis Centellas. It was afterwards widened by Pedro de Guadalupe in the XVI century. The Side Chapel, forged by Sancho de Rojas in a pentagonal shape, is covered by ribs.

The Chancel, by Pedro de Guadalupe and Pedro Manso, contains sculptures by Felipe de Vigarny and Gregorio Hernández. Of great excellence are those graves belonging to the Abbot of Husillos and the Dean Enríquez.

Some of the benefactors of the Cathedral owned the chapel where they were buried. These locations were enriched with precious and altarpieces and now remain names as Santa Lucía, San Fernando, La Purísima, San Miguel, San Sebastián, and San Gregorio. The last one of these, hosts the best known altarpiece, the one consecrated to “The Miracle of St. Cosme and St. Damian”. Erected in 1533, it has been attributed to the disciples of Felipe de Vigarny.

Imagen Cristo del OteroCRISTO DEL OTERO

This imposing, 21 m high statue was made by Victorio Macho in 1931 on top of a knoll in the outskirts of the City, from where a superb panoramic view of Palencia can be enjoyed. It is said to be the biggest sculpture of its type in the world, just after the one in Rio de Janeiro.  Under the feet of the Christ, it was built the Chapel of Santa María del Otero where Victorio Macho was buried, according to his will.



Imagen foto-san-miguel-0SAN MIGUEL CHURCH

A magnificent Romanesque church from the 12th C. Legend has it that El Cid got married here. Upon request of King Fernando I and bishop Don Miro, a church was originally built in the beginning of the 11th century where the current St. Miguel is.  Its early Gothic tower has been used for both military and religious purposes and later restored in order to remove the reinforcements added after the earthquake in Lisbon in 1755. Together with a 15th century statue of Jesus Christ that occupies the centre of the main altar, old-gothic paintings that were recently discovered in its walls can be observed.  The church was awarded as a National Monument in 1931.



Those who come to Palencia will have the opportunity to stroll along our Calle Mayor. It is a one-kilometre-long street with a lively atmosphere and plenty of shops and bars, where visitors can relax while enjoying a great variety of tapas (snacks). It has an arcade on one side and quite a few interesting buildings, such as the Post Office, the Casa de Junco and the Casino.



Imagen Canvas by German Calvo

Allegory of Palencia

Just above the main staircase in the City Hall there is a large canvas by the local painter Germán Calvo depicting the history and traditions of Palencia (download pdf)


Scholars don’t agree about the origin of the word Pallantia, which is the name Palencia had before Roman times. Some think it derives from the Celtic word pala, which means plain. Others see a Greek origin, from the goddess Pallas, and a third theory suggest that it might have a Basque root, meaning large fertile lowland.

Pallantia was the most important town of the Vaccaei, a Celtic people who settled down in these lands north of the river Duero, although very little is known about their culture or traditions.

Roman occupation

Imagen Tiled floor in La OlmedaThe city was starved into submission by the Romans in the 2nd century BC and incorporated into the province of Hispania Tarraconensis, in the jurisdiction of Colonia Clunia Sulpicia (modern Clunia). Although the little Roman garrison became a busy town, it was not as important as other Roman settlements in the surrounding territory. Archeologists have uncovered the remains of Roman villas in La Olmeda and in Quintanilla de la Cueza, where the fragments of mosaic tiled floors are absolutely superb.


Imagen coin of visigothic originAccording to the 5th-century Galician chronicler Idatius, the city of Palencia was destroyed in the year 457 AD, during the Visigothic wars against the Suevi.

The invasion of the Iberian Peninsula by Moorish troops in 711 brought about the depopulation of Palencia. Its inhabitants fled the city and sought refuge in the mountains up north. The Moors never seemed to be very interested in this land either so most of the Spanish northern plateau became a sort of no man's land.

In the 8th Century the Reconquista (reconquest) started in the christian kingdom of Asturias and a process of gradual repopulation  began. Now and then, the Muslims would launch raids against the christian settlements and thus, in the year 1000, an army led by Almanzor sacked the city. Finally, Sancho III of Navarre rebuilt the city and reestablished the diocese in 1035. From that moment on Palencia, unlike most other towns, was ruled by the Bishop instead of a noble man.

A Queen of France, the first University of Spain, and a new Cathedral

During the reign of Alphonse VIII (1158-1214), being Tello Téllez de Meneses Bishop of Palencia, the city reached its heyday. Palencia is also the birthplace of Blanche of Castile (1188), daughter of the King and Eleonor of Plantagenet, who became later Queen of France as a result of her marriage with Louis VII. Numerous privileges were awarded to the city. Among these, the first free City Council was chartered and in 1212 the Studium Generale (General Studies) were established. This became the origin of the first University in Spain and the transformation of Palencia into an outstanding cultural settlement.

Imagen Cathedral of Palencia (inside)

In 1219 a new, Romanesque cathedral, precursor of the current one, was consecrated. Several convents were founded at that time as well, such as San Pablo, following a a personal request of Saint Dominic, and a Franciscan one.

The first Prince of Asturias

Imagen picture of the first Princess of Asturias, Katherine of LancasterWhen King Ferdinand IV died in 1312, his heir Alphonse was a minor, and several disputes arose among those trying to control his guardianship. The noblemen of Palencia largely supported the heir's grandamother, María de Molina, who would finally become regent and later reward this by granting new benefits and privileges. Later on, in the course of the Civil War between Pedro I and Enrique de Trastámara (1351-1369), this area remains devastated. Only the arrival, in 1387, of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, leading English troops could change the situation. Legend has it that the Duke reached the city walls concurrently with the participation of the men in military campaigns in Portugal but could not enter it because of the defence carried out by the women in the city. This courageous action is said to have motivated Juan I to grant Palentinian women the right to wear a golden ribbon as only men were allowed to. A new historically relevant event takes place in 1338 in the Cathedral, the wedding between Enrique III of Castile and Catherine of Lancaster. Enrique is hence awarded the title of Prince of Asturias, which has been traditionally used by the heir to the Castilian throne and by the Spanish Crown Prince from later on. Additionally, this alliance puts an end to the conflict between the descendants of Pedro I and Enrique II of Castile, reinforcing the House of Trastámara and the peace between England and the Crown of Castile.

Palencia, ecclesiastical city

Under the patronage of the Catholic King and Queen, renowned personages come to Palencia, standing out Bishop Fonseca. As part of a plan to get control over the city, it is transformed into “Cabecera de la Hermandad de Campos” (Head of the sister cities of Campos). The power held by the bishops is increased and this, together with Carlos I unceasingly requesting for money, is the last straw for the so-called Comuneros to revolt. Once these men are subdued and judged, Palencia becomes a recurrent visit place for the King Carlos I who, fleeing from the pest in Valladolid, makes out of the city a crucial political centre. This importance is lost during the reign of Felipe II in favour of the above mentioned Valladolid, where bishops reside. Clemente VIII dismantles the Diocese of Palencia, which stops being a decision centre but remains keeping a deciding ecclesiastical presence. It is in the 16th century, favoured by the Bishops, when the Cathedral extension works do finally occur and a new urban development plan is designed. The construction of the Bishop’s Palace, churches such as Santa Marina orLa Compañía, and the Dominican, Carmelite, and Agustinian convents is executed. Palencia is organized as an ecclesiastical city. In 1581, the city wall is widened to the West and the Puerta de San Juan (Saint John’s Gate) is opened in Northern side of Calle Mejorada, known now as Calle Mayor.

The Canal of Castile

Imagen view of the lock at the Canal of Castile, Palencia

During the 18th century Palencia is managing to recover from previous decades but its presence in the overall panorama has worsened as a consequence of an out of date economic and agricultural structure that plunges people into poverty. In 1751, Carlos III initiates the construction of the Canal of Castile, works that will last untill 1849. Napoleonic troops are hosted in the city in the 19th century as they find no resistance against the French invasion. Mendizabal’s confiscations signify the end of the traditional Palencia in favour of a commercial, industrial middle-class. Landowners and flour and blanket makers become wealthier during World and Civil Wars by supplying and equipping the army. The thriving bourgeoisie will promote improvement in the city by the erection of important buildings in Calle Don Sancho, Calle Mayor, and the intersection of these two in Cuatro Cantones. City Walls are demolished and gardens such as Salón or Jardinillos are designed. These are the roots of the modern Palencia, an open city with roughly 83,000 dwellers which is structured around two main axes: River Carrión and the railway. Being a pivotal node of communications has defined its current shape.

Getting Here


Imagen map of Spain showing the location of PalenciaThe province of Palencia is located on the northern plateau of Spain, in the Autonomous Community of Castile and Leon.

The capital, also called Palencia, lies in the south of the province, 240 Km north from Madrid, the Spanish capital, and 47 Km from Valladolid.

The city of Palencia has a population of 80,666 (42,651 Women - 38,015 Men)


Getting here

1) by CAR

Palencia is linked to all neighbouring cities by motorway.

From Madrid: Take motorway A-6 as far as Tordesillas. Once there, take A-62 / E-80 towards Valladolid. Also, through A-1 until Aranda de Duero and then take CL-619 until Magaz de Pisuerga and CL-610 towards Palencia.

From  Burgos, A-62 / E-80 towards Valladolid - Palencia (Distance: 90 Km)

From Santander, A-67 (Distance: 200 Km)

From León:  A-231 towards Burgos, as far as Sahagún de Campos. Then CL-613 towards Palencia (Distance: 125 Km)

2) by TRAIN

Palencia is an important junction in the Spanish railway net, therefore there are several trains daily from Madrid (via Valladolid), Santander, León and Burgos, both High-Speed and conventional trains. High-Speed trains from Galicia, Asturias, the Basque Country and Catalonia stop at Palencia daily as well.

For detailed information please check the RENFE web site

3) by PLANE

Nearest airports




Para esta información pinche aquí

Ayuntamiento de Palencia
Ayuntamiento de Palencia, 2014Plaza Mayor 1, Palencia, EspañaTlf: 979718100