The Old Hospital for Pilgrims - Parador of Santo Domingo de la Calzada

  • parador santo domingo

The old Hospital for Pilgrims was built by Santo Domingo with the aim of relieving the sufferings of pilgrims on their way to Santiago. To this end the saint also built a section of road in Nájera, a stone bridge of great importance spanning the Oja river and a hospice run by himself. Santo Domingo de la Calzada owes much to this hospital. 

On account of it, the town was born and grew until it became an indispensable halt along the Route to Santiago and also an important artistic, religious and economic centre in the Low Middle Ages.

The Hospital, converted into a National Parador, has been restored several times over the centuries, but many of the original Medieval features remain. The façade is partially made of ashlaring, and at its centre opens a pointed arch portal, with a niche above it that houses a carving representing Santo Domingo de la Calzada, from the 18 C.

The upper floor, recently added and made of brick, harmonizes with the Medieval architecture. The interior of the building has been completely restored, but many original Medieval features are unaltered, such as the pointed archs, the octagonal piers, the three naves of similar height and a patio with a well from the 15C. In the 16C the Hospital was first renovated, and in the 18C a floor was added.

In 1966 this historic Medieval Hospital was converted into a prestigious National Parador. In the 1990´s it incorporated a group of houses near it.