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Max Abroad : The Best of Spain

Quite simply writing about the best things Spain has to offer and anything that might crop up along the way. Spain is a lot more than just sun, sand and sea...

Spend a night in a Ducal Palace
Friday, November 11, 2022 @ 7:00 PM

The 17th Century "Palacio de Lerma" was the home of the Duke of Lerma, an influential favourite of King Phillip III of Spain. He was an important diplomat who negotiated numerous treaties and his magnificent and imposing palace was a symbol of his power. He could be described as a religious and racial bigot and was the person who, along with the Archbishop of Valencia, Juan de Ribera, initiated the expulsion of many thousands of Moriscos, the remnants of the earlier Moorish occupation of Spain, who had (officially at least) converted to Christianity. These two zealots had also encouraged the king to enslave the Moriscos for work in mines etc, as he could do so “without any scruples of conscience,”. Thankfully this proposal was rejected.



The Duke eventually fell from grace (but not before becoming a cardinal) and his palace fell into disrepair but it has now been sympathetically restored to become a “Parador”, a state-run, high end, tourist hotel, one of many historic buildings used in this Spanish effort to support tourism.



As one approaches Lerma on the nearby A1 autovia (either from Madrid or Burgos) one can see from a great distance the four imposing black spires (clearly recently renovated) at the corners of the building, looking like a giant, perhaps menacing, ecclesiastical edifice. From a distance, the building looks like one might imagine the headquarters of the Spanish Inquisition  (in keeping with the ideas that originated there) but when viewed up close from the town square it looks imposing and palatial. The palace had magnificent gardens and was reputed to have had 7 chapels (only one survives).

Next to the palace is an impressive church which, like the palace, bears the Duke’s coat of arms. Also check out the other historic buildings in the town including the tourist office, in a building where Rubens is said to have stayed.

If you fancy visiting the Palace and staying the night there  take a look here


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