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Watered by the River Henares, Guadalajara has a long history linked to the career of the Dukes of Infantado in the capital of La Alcarria. From its interesting legacy of monuments, the superb Infantado Palace - a real symbol of the city - is outstanding.

The origins of Guadalajara go back to the Roman period, with the foundation of the early centre of Arriaca. It was under Arab domination when this settlement came to be called Wad-al-Hayara (“Stony River”), a placename that developed into its modern name. Its importance as an urban centre increased in the 12th century, when Alfonso VII granted a charter to the city, which was later extended by the kings Fernando III and Alfonso X. Undoubtedly, however, the greatest historical mark was left by the Mendoza , who, in the middle of the 15th C. received the lordship of Guadalajara and made the city splendid for centuries.

The rich history of the capital of La Alcarria has left an important architectural legacy in its old town. The pedestrianised Calle Mayor is the spine of the historic part of the provincial capital, with buildings of great historic value like the City Hall, the great houses of the Plaza de los Dávalos or the old palace of the Mendozas, whose internal courtyard is an excellent example of Platersque art. But the most important civil building in the capital of La Alcarria is the Infantado Palace, considered a real symbol of the city. The construction of the building, which nowadays houses the Museum, the Provincial Archive and the Municipal Library, was begun by Juan Guas en 1480, commissioned by the second duke, Íñigo de Mendoza. It is a magnificent work in Isabelline style presided over by a superb Renaissance façade. Inside, it is structured around the Patio de los Leones (Courtyard of the Lions) which is made up of two galleries.

Guadalajara preserves plenty of examples of religious architecture, like the Baroque Jesuit church of San Nicolás el Real, in which its reredos and a 15th. C. alabaster tomb are outstanding; the church of Santiago (14th C.), a Gothic-Mudejar church with lovely chapels and a Baroque façade; and the procathedral of Santa María la Mayor, built and remodelled in the 17th century from an old Mudejar-style mosque. Other churches worth mentioning are the Chapel of la Piedad and the churches of Nuestra Señora la Antigua, San Ginés and Los Remedios.

What to see in the destination

  • Infantado Palace
  • Santa María la Mayor, or La Fuente, Cathedral
  • Guadalajara Museum
  • Chapel of Luis Lucena or Los Urbina
  • Biblioteca Pública del Estado en Guadalajara
  • Colección de Historia Natural Brianda de Mendoza

Irene recommends

Guadalajara Card

The Guadalajara Card makes your visit to the city easier and cheaper. This tourist card gives the holder access to all the monuments included in the public art programme Guadalajara Abierta and offers more tan 50 discounts in different establishments and city services.

The Guadalajara Card is also a refrigerator magnet that you may keep as a souvenir of your visit to the city. The Guadalajara Card costs 3€ and is available at any of the buildings included in the public art programme "Guadalajara Abierta" and in the Tourist Management Municipal Office and collaborating establishments.

  • Tower of Alvar Fáñez.
  • Tower of El Alamín.
  • Chinese Room of the Palace of La Cotilla.
  • Chapel of Luis de Lucena.
  • Crypt of San Francisco.

Admission to the monuments within the public art programme Guadalajara Abierta is free for under-twelves and students with student ID Card.



Oficina de Gestión Turistica de Guadalajara

Plaza de la Aviación Militar Española

19004. Guadalajara. (Castilla-La Mancha)

E-mail : Turismo de Guadalajara



Additional information

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