|cloisters of the monastery|
in contrast to the tumbleweed quiet of Cirueña, Santo Domingo de la Calzada was positively bustling. based on the fact it has not one but three Parador hotels it’s something of a destination.
|not your average hotel bar|
the Parador we stayed in was the newest of the three, converted from the San Francisco monastery; the guest rooms are located in what previously held the hospital de peregrinos and consist of an array of twin and double rooms. as I stood looking out the hatch-like windows in to the courtyard, I had to wonder what previous occupants looked like, how they lived, and what brought them to the room in which I now stood.
a 16th century Franciscan gave his name to the monastery, presumably because he was buried in the monastery after dying here while on the road. in addition to being a comisario general de cruzada (acting on a bull granted by the Pope to help bring Christianity back to Spain and expel Muslims), Bernardo de Fresneda was confessor to King Philip II and bishop of Cueneca. he was traveling to Zaragoza to take up the newly bestowed position of archbishop when he died in Santo Domingo en route.
we had some good food here; while we’d enjoyed a wonderful spread at the Palacio Guendulain in Pamplona, this hotel introduced us to both a wonderful bottle of wine, consumed while waiting for restaurants to re-open for dinner, and the magnificent breakfast spread offered by Paradores. *nomnomnom*