Please sign in to post.

How do I find out more about Medinaceli?

I ran into a mention of this small town, Medinaceli, picked myself up, dusted myself off,
and thought, "I wonder if this is worth a visit off the beaten path?"
Apparently, it had some infrastructure improvements done under Emperor Domitian,
and later an important Moor died there on his way back to Cordoba from the annual fighting with the kings of Leon.

How does one get to Medinaceli by train or bus?
What interesting cities are nearby?
Any significant historical sites still visible/visitable?

Thanks in advance for any pointers/links/snide comments.

Posted by
984 posts

'How does one get to Medinaceli by train or bus?' - I can help, but without knowing where you come from.............!
You will certainly be able to bus or train in (there is a train station just outside with the same name).

'What interesting cities are nearby?' and ' Any significant historical sites still visible/visitable?' - Look at the map and google. You seem to have stumbled on somewhere I have only heard the name of before, probably the same will happen.

Hope not too 'snide' :-)

Posted by
1178 posts

Mendinaceli is a very small town north of Madrid a couple of hours on the freeway. Sits up high on the top of the mountain, thence the name "City of the Sky"..very small, but the landscape is amazing as you travel to it and continue on north. Not much there to see tourist wise. A very nice restaurant in the town, and worth a stop, but not worth a trip just to see it in my humble opinion. If you are in the area, stop by, but not a destination. I participate in the Vaughantown English Study program, and this has been the lunch stop on the way to Valedelavilla in Soria, and I have had lunch there several times.

Posted by
2314 posts

Thanks for your replies, everyone.

On first glance, Medinaceli struck me as potentially similar to Orange --
travelers tend to think that the arch and the theatre wall are all there is to check off there,
but there are many more interesting spots to see, and plenty of story-filled time periods
to recall, from the British bombing raids during WWII backwards to the wars of religion
and on an on.

Similarly, Medinaceli seems to have more going for it than Domitian's arch and some perimeter wall remains.
It is mentioned in Brian Catlos' "Infidel Kings and Unholy Warriors" in the context of the breakdown of the caliphate during the taifa period and the early rise of Granada, and it is the object of animal-rights protesters animus over an annual bull run that adds fiery horns to the fun.

If you're interested in the Roman remains in Spain, I strongly recommend this book, even though it is pretty academic:

Late Roman Spain and its cities / Michael Kulikowski.
Author Kulikowski, Michael, 1970-
Published Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004.

PS: it's interesting to see a folk etymology or maybe assumption that the -celi in Medinaceli comes from 'cielo',
but even the wikipedia entry points out that it comes from the Celtic Okela 'hill': madīnaokelis. Occelis was the celtiberian name of the town. Not ciel/cielo for sky/heaven/ceiling.