Lerma is a travellers ideal. You have to want to go there. It’s far from the maddening crowds and consequently retains a sleepy, restrained atmosphere. Back in the day, the Duke of Lerma may well have had King Felipe III under some sort of spell when the latter was seduced by the grandeur and opulence of the town. One suspects that the Duke couldn’t have been a benevolent, avuncular old cove. More Machiavelli, less Granpa Walton. You don’t get this powerful being Mr Nice-guy. The Duke’s character is reflected in the building which is now a Parador. It is certainly imposing. The scale of it seems too large for the town (think Christiano Ronaldo playing for Oldham Athletic). Only the Duke was allowed the four spires here, usually reserved for kings!
It has a vaguely eerie, threatening exterior which is countered by the opulent stylish interior. We paid a bit more for a balcony overlooking the square which was well worth the extra. In the local restaurants the local speciality is the abundant lamb, usually roasted in huge asadors: good value and fantastically tasty! The views, from the balcony, over the square to the spires and nesting storks provide a relaxing end to the day. Accompanied by un copa de tinto, of course!