Thursday's Child: Laguardia, Spain

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Laguardia, Spain is a bit off the beaten path. Unlike the other towns I’ve written about this month, it isn’t a major tourist destination.  But it’s well worth a short detour to visit this tiny village in the La Rioja region of Spain.

Laguardia is a medieval walled town that has changed very little over the centuries. In the tenth century, a castle was built on the site, two towers of which remain today.  In the thirteenth century the town was settled and the city walls were built.  Many of those original walls and buildings still survive.

In the Middle Ages, villagers built tunnels under the city to store their food and as refuge during sieges.  However, this created instability and for that reason no cars are allowed within the town.  Now those tunnels are used as wine cellars. But because the grape harvest has to be carried on people’s backs, only two bodegas currently operate in town. 

The medieval walls and cobblestone streets would be a good enough reason to visit Laguardia.  But it’s also home to the beautiful Church of Santa Maria de los Reyes.  Usually kept locked, the church is opened once a day for a Spanish-speaking tour.  Although we don’t speak Spanish, we took the tour for the chance to see the stunning carved gothic portico that leads into the church.  In the seventeenth century, a façade was built around it for protection, and that’s why much of the stunning colour has survived.

Laguardia is small enough that you can easily walk it completely in an hour or so.  But if you pause to admire the wonderful architecture and the beautiful views, you’ll be captivated for much longer.


20 comments:

Caryn said...

These are gorgeous! Now I really, really want to go back to Spain. I'd forgotten how pretty it can be.

Valerie said...

Wow Beth!
Not only was that a lovely post, but your blog looks fabulous!! Nice makeover. :D

Beth said...

Thanks, Valerie! I've now been blogging for a year and I decided I needed a change. Hopefully I'll blog about that in the next day or two!

The Golden Eagle said...

I love the pictures of Spain!

I agree--great new blog look. :)

LDH said...

It must take your breath away to stand and gaze on the beautiful Church of Santa Maria. Amazing!

Ruth said...

Lovely pics, as usual. And I really like the blog changes!

allieksmith said...

I am LOVING the new look of your blog! AWESOME :)

Laguardia sounds beautiful... I love places that are "off the beaten path"

Anna said...

I would love to visit here and get lost down those cobbled streets. I love the new look Beth :)

Janet Johnson said...

Beautiful pictures! And, as always, you make me wish I were there. :)

tenaciouslyyours.com said...

Ohmygoodness! I'm absolutely fascinated by their efforts at siege protection and the re-purposing of the siege cellars. I just love these little mini-tours every week and I so look forward to them :)

Carol said...

Beautiful pictures! Nice that you make stops off the beaten path, looks like a wonderful place to visit. Very pretty changes to your blog, looks terrific!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Don't you love European History! It always amazes me how long everything lasts over there. Great pictures. Thanks for sharing. :)

comfortablydomestic.com said...

I am *loving* your new blog design! The header and the colors are so great. Although I share your passion for baking, I really enjoy your travel posts because they make me think of travelling to places that I may never have heard of otherwise.

Ruth said...

That final photo is breathtaking! And the blog looks great!

Jess said...

Love the photos, and I love that you include a bit of history with each post. Makes me feel like I got a nice personal tour :)

Barbara said...

I love your new format, Beth. Soft colors and easy reading!
And your Spain photos are wonderful. I came home with some beautiful Santos to add to my collection, so it was fun to see the church.

jillbert said...

What a fabulous find!

Pacheco Patty said...

Very cool Beth, love your new look;-)
I really enjoyed my visit to Spain, only complaint-not a long enough visit!

Angie's Recipes said...

A very beautiful village! You have been to so many places.
Nice new template, font and header. I like it.

Amie Kaufman said...

Wow, looks absolutely beautiful! The walled towns in that part of the world are something else, and I must admit that I love it when the cars are shut out. It provides a such a peaceful atmosphere!

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