Celebrate World Art Day today in these nine Paradores
15 de April 2024
Alejandro Medina Rojo


April 15 has become a very special date on the calendar. Coinciding with the anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci's birth, which takes place on the same date, we commemorate World Art Day. This day gives us the opportunity to reflect on the impact that various artistic currents have had on the evolution of society. It is a moment that deserves our full attention and appreciation. In this context, Paradores stands out for its deep connection with the history of art. Beyond being magnificent places to stay, our establishments are true witnesses of movements such as the Renaissance, the Gothic or the Vanguards, among others. Can you imagine sleeping in a Renaissance palace, surrounded by the creations of Salvador Dalí or some of the most important artists of the twentieth century? This is just the beginning of what our most artistic Paradors have to offer.



The Parador de Mérida as a meeting point between Romans, Visigoths and Arabs


The Parador de Mérida has been accumulating within its walls findings from various eras, from Roman and Visigothic to Andalusian and Mudejar. Over the centuries, its site has housed a Roman temple, a Visigoth basilica and Mudejar baths. For example, the passage of Arab civilization can be seen in the shafts of some columns decorated with kufic inscriptions. However, "the jewel in the crown" is the Garden of Antiquities. The historian Francisco Forner y Segarra and the friar of the convent, Father Domingo de Nuestra Señora rescued archaeological pieces from the subsoil on which the Parador is located, which was the origin of the current National Museum of Roman Art. And although several of the vestiges found in our orchard were moved there, the remains of some baths are still preserved in their original location.


"jardin de antiguedades del parador de merida"
Jardín de Antigüedades at the Parador de Mérida




A contemporary view of the Duke of Lerma collection


The mark of the collection of the Duke of Lerma is breathed in the artistic proposal of the Parador de Lerma. His exhibition began with an inheritance of 27 canvases and ended up reaching 2,740 paintings, equaling the repertoire of the king himself. Some of these creations are now in the Prado Museum. Thanks to the works of José Manuel Ballester, Lino Lago and Rubén Rodrigo, artists who have been inspired by these classical representations, we are able to rediscover these works from a contemporary perspective. Other pieces that capture our attention are the impeccable reproduction of Titian's Salome and Van Dyck's Portrait of a Man, as well as the majestic 14th century carving of the Virgin on the Throne and a large Flemish tapestry depicting an episode in the life of Alexander the Great.


"tapiz flamenco en el parador de lerma"
Flamenco tapestry at the Parador de Lerma




Parador de León: a Spanish Renaissance jewel housing a museum


The Parador de León stands out for its imposing Renaissance façade from the 16th century, which is an outstanding example of the architecture of this period in the history of art. With some 500 works of art, its interior has become a cultural reference in the city of León. Among the most outstanding pieces, The Nativity, by the master Juan de Juni, is a masterful example of the Renaissance taste for religious themes and the naturalistic representation of the human figure. Carved in stone, the scene is dominated by the Virgin Mary, Jesus and St. Joseph. Following in the footsteps of this artistic period, we find the choir stalls, which are impressive for their construction in walnut wood and for the exquisite details that embellish them. Its 45 seats in the upper body are reserved for representations of the New Testament and saints, while those in the lower body evoke figures from the pagan and Jewish world. A real jewel that we recommend you to see in person.


"silleria del coro del parador de leon"
Choir stalls at the Parador de León


In addition to its distinctive classicism, the Parador is also the scene of the avant-garde of the 1950s and 1960s, under the spectacular wooden ceiling created by Lucio Muñoz, raised to a height of more than 12 meters. In the gallery of the so-called "Atrium" two fundamental avant-garde trends are displayed: Figuration, led by artists such as Juan Barjola with his neo-figurative portraits, Gloria Merino with genre scenes, and Agustín Úbeda with his cubist-influenced still lifes; and Abstraction, where Hernández Pijuán and Jordi Teixidor, among many others, stand out. Another artist represented at the Parador is Vela Zanetti, a much-loved artist in León, to whom a room has been dedicated to house his more than 30 works. And what can we say about the city of León? This destination is ideal for art lovers. Its Gothic cathedral alone is worth a visit to this city full of life and spectacular gastronomy.


"vanguardias en el parador de leon"
Avant-garde works at the Parador de León





The art of color and geometry at the Parador of Segovia


The Parador de Segovia, in addition to offering the best views of the monumental city, houses an impressive Constructivist exhibition curated by Julian Gil, one of the main authors of the movement in our country. The exhibition is a fascinating tour that allows visitors to discover the main characteristics of Constructivism, also known as "Geometric Art". The creations of several artists can be contemplated, including such renowned names as Pablo Palazuelo, José María de Labra, Luis Caruncho, Joaquín Michavila, José María Iturralde and José Luis Gómez Perales, among others. A cultural alternative to other activities not to be missed, such as a visit to the city's famous aqueduct, its Alcazar and a taste of its world-famous roast suckling pig.


"cosntructivismo en el parador de segovia"
Constructivism at the Parador de Segovia




Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró and other avant-gardists at the Parador de Aiguablava


The Parador de Aiguablava, in Girona, is an outstanding union between art and nature. At the entrance, the columns by José Luis Sánchez introduce us to the artistic character of the building, and prepare the visitor to walk through a space where Catalan art is harmoniously integrated with the light and the Mediterranean environment. Guests are greeted by a dazzling collection of avant-garde works by masters such as Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, Antoni Tàpies, Rafael Durancamps and Antoni Clavé who captivate us with their genius through an exhibition that covers a wide thematic spectrum, from still lifes, surrealist scenes to astonishing landscapes. Nor can we fail to mention the large format works such as Monegros by José Beulas or Cennino Cenni or the art book by Modest Cuixart that add a touch of grandeur to this beautiful enclave of the Costa Brava that hangs over the cliffs of Begur.


"parador de aiguablava"
Artistic collection of the Parador de Aiguablava




The Parador de Corias hosts the only present installation of our collection


Known as "The Escorial of Asturias", the Parador de Corias, in the Asturian town of Cangas del Narcea, is home to the only installation in the Paradores collection. The Portuguese author Rui Macedo and his work Biblioteca de Día (Day Library) are the protagonists of the exhibition on loan from ARS FUNDUM, a private entity dedicated to collecting and promoting contemporary art. The exhibition is held in the spectacular library of the Parador, a former Asturian monastery dating back to the 11th century. There, 31 canvases of different sizes, painted in oil and simulating empty frames, give the spotlight to illustrious figures of the landscape genre who have excelled in the history of art.


"biblioteca del Parador de Corias"
Parador de Corias Library




Between fiction and reality at the Parador of Alcalá de Henares


At Madrid's Parador de Alcalá de Henares, visitors have the privilege of immersing themselves in the fascinating exhibition Extraterrestrial Reality by Antonio Lorenzo, an outstanding exponent of 20th century engraving. His work transports us to a sidereal universe, where images of ships, robots, UFOs, shuttles and space artifacts that replace human irrationality are displayed, evidencing both his ingenuity and limitless creativity. Lorenzo knew the limits of each artistic language to perfection. Thanks to his mastery and mastery of engraving, what seems unattainable in the real world, comes to life as a palpable reality in the plastic arts.


"parador de alcala de henares"
Antonio Lorenzo exhibition at the Parador of Alcalá de Henares




A collection that unites culture and history: Parador de Costa da Morte


A short distance from Cape Fisterra, the Parador Costa da Morte and its artistic collection are a cultural reference that highlights the life, traditions, landscape and history of the region. Its backbone is the drama of immigration in rural Galicia in the early twentieth century. Through the poignant photographs of Manuel Ferrol, José Suarez, José Vidal and Hispanic Society reporter Ruth Matilda Anderson, to name a few, we delve into the environment and the customs of its inhabitants. An additional treasure is the iconic snapshot of the sinking of the Prestige captured by Xurxo Lobato, winner of the Ortega y Gasset Journalism Award and converted into the emblem of the 'Nunca Mais' Movement after the devastating ecological disaster. Another attraction of the Parador is the library with more than 300 volumes of Galician authors and with unbeatable views of the beach of Lourido.


"Parador costa da morte"
Artistic collection of the Parador Costa da Morte




21st century sculpture at the Parador de Cádiz


The Parador de Cádiz, bathed by the Atlantic, stands as a modern oasis. Beyond its captivating swimming pool and breathtaking ocean views, its carefully selected collection of contemporary sculptures is one of its main attractions. In the main hall we are welcomed by a work of renowned Dutch artist, Jan Hendrix. Renowned for his exhibitions in Europe and America, he creates an aluminum piece inspired by natural forms. From this point, a fascinating journey through the art of the 21st century begins, with outstanding names such as Josep María Riera y Aragó, Esther Pizarro, Álvaro Matxinbarrena, Joan Cortés, Florentino Díaz, Carlos Valverde and Begoña Goyenetxea.


"parador de cadiz"
Contemporary sculpture at the Parador de Cádiz