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Valladolid, Spanish City

VALLADOLID, SPANISH CITY, the capital of the Spanish province of Valladolid, situated 2228 ft. above sea-level, at the confluence of the river Pisuerga with the Esgueva. Pop. (1900) 68,789. Valladolid is an archbishopric, and the seat of an army corps, a court of appeal and a university. It is connected by numerous railways with every province of Spain. Its site is a small valley, enclosed by steep and rugged but not very high hills, which merge into the vast upland plain of Castile. The city was formerly surrounded by walls and entered by four principal gates, but it has been to a great extent modernized, and possesses many fine streets and squares. There are broad avenues and public gardens beside the rivers. Among the chief open spaces are the arcaded Plaza Mayor, the Campo Grande, a wooded park and the Paseo de la Avenida, a wide boulevard in which is the statue of the poet Jose Zorilla (1817-1893). The granite cathedral was begun in 1585 by Juan de Herrera in the Renaissance style. Herrera's original model is preserved in the muniment-room, but only the nave and one tower (out of four) were completed after his design, and the tower fell in 1841. The building was continued by Churriguera (d. 1725). The interior contains some pictures by Luca Giordana (1623-1705) and the celebrated silver monstrance wrought by Juan de Arphe (b. 1523), which is 6? ft. high; it is in the form of a temple, decorated with figures of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. The tower and nave of the church of Santa Maria la Antigua date from about 1200. The church of San Pablo is later (1286); its chief feature of interest is a beautiful Flamboyant portal, and formerly it had exquisite cloisters. Adjoining is San Gregorio (isth century) with a fine Plateresque facade. San Benito, dating from the end of the 14th century, is a Gothic building with a lofty roof finely groined. The Plateresque college of Santa Cruz, built by Enrique de Egas in 1479-92, contains an interesting collection of pictures and sculptures, including three pictures by Rubens, which have been somewhat damaged, and some remarkable wooden statues by Alonso Berruguete (d. 1581) and others. The college of San Gregorio, dating from the same period, was wrecked by the French in 1808, but has a magnificent late Gothic facade. This building has been converted into municipal offices. The university is attended by about 1200 students, and has faculties of law, medicine, natural science, philosophy and literature. Originally founded at Palencia early in the 13th century, it was transferred to Valladolid before 1250 and attained its greatest prosperity from the 16th century to the 18th. The library contains many rare MSS. The university buildings date from the 17th century and are extravagantly ornate. Among other public buildings of Valladolid may be mentioned the royal palace, built in the beginning of the 17th century, the court-house, the town hall, several convents used as barracks, the provincial institute, training schools for teachers and primary schools, royal academy for cavalry cadets, provincial lunatic asylum, hospitals, seminary (raised in 1897 by Pope Leo XIII. to the rank of a pontifical university), archaeological museum, picture gallery and public library. The house in which Cervantes lived (1603-1606) is owned by the state. The principal industries are the manufacture of linen, silk and woollen fabrics, pottery, gold and silver work, flour, wine, beer, chocolate, leather, ironware and paper. There is also a large agricultural trade.

Valladolid is sometimes identified with the ancient Pintia of Ptolemy, described as a town of the Vaccaei on the road from Asturica to Caesaraugusta. Its Roman origin is uncertain. The present name is undoubtedly Moorish, but its meaning is obscure. Valladolid was recovered from the Moors in the 10th century, but is first named in a public document by Sancho II. of Leon in 1072. The cortes of Castile frequently met here in the following centuries, and in the beginning of the 15th century John II. made it his principal residence. After the removal of the capital to Madrid by Philip II. in 1560 it began rapidly to decay. In December 1808 it was taken and sacked by the French, who destroyed many fine buildings and works of art. Columbus died (1506) and Philip II. was born (1=527) at Valladolid.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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