It isn't exactly a secret to be discovered. It is more that Medina Del Campo is just not on the travel route of most tourists in Spain.
I guess this could be said for the entire area of Spain we are visiting. Simply because it is central and north west instead of eastern and southern coastal.
At any rate, Medina, for us was a small and perfect gem of discovery. As is our practice, we made our first stop at the tourist information office. There we picked up an information booklet on the town and restaurant recommendations. For a population of only 20,000 it has more than its share of interesting attractions.
We prefer cultural museums to art museums - and Medina del Campo has a fabulous little museum dedicated to the activity that the town has been known for since before the Roman days -- fairs, or in Spanish, ferias.
Known for its fairs all over Europe, the original being the sheep and cattle and rapidly expanding to an international trade center that would rival any major port city.
the Museo de las Ferias has a wonderful little multi-media presentation of what the fairs must have been like from the 1,300 century to the 1,700 century. When the kings of Spain brought their courts to Medina from 1421 to 1606, the town was the Tower of Babel of trade and finance.
After the museum we enjoyed a late lunch at Restaurante la Rinconda. This was a very hearty stew featuring lamb, beef, and chicken. Delicious.
Near our restaurant and on the corner of the plaza was the Royal Testamentaire Palace. And I must say, for a native of the Americas, it was moving to be standing in the the room where the woman who made Columbus' trip possible, Isabella, wrote her will and then died. Her bedchamber in this little museum has only been recently decorated to 'represent' what it must have looked like when she lived and died there. But, you can forgive the creative imagination that applied 20th century textiles. You still feel the history. The copy of her will lying on the desk was a nice touch.
I have a relative who has made it a habit of visiting a place; liking it enough to decide she wants to come back every year; and then buying a house there. She VRBOs the houses most of the year, and reserves the 2 weeks or month she wants to be there for herself. Tahoe in the winter so she can take her dogs to play in the snow. Cody, WY so she can go to the annual western art festival. Clarksdale, MS because it is becoming the Blues mecca of the country. And so on.
Anyway, she now plans to follow our path in Spain. I figure she'll buy something. So, why shouldn't I nudge her toward Medina? Here is a newly rehabbed condo building right in the middle of town that I'm recommending.
Other points of interest to recommend Medina:
The main square is unusual in that it is planted with many trees. An oasis.
Just outside of town is the Castelo de la Mota. Mota was the original name of the town in the Iron Age. At some point it becaume Metina, and finally Medina.
The Royal Meat Markets . Established in 1550 by King Felipe II, it is a museum that continues to serve its original function. The market operates every Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
Events in Medina del Campo:
The festival of San Antolin is in early September. This is the main celebration of the year.
Sunday in Medina is the Mercado Nacional de Ganados (national cattle market created in 1870.
For shopping, Medina stays open on Sundays, and the shops close down on Thursdays.
To learn more about Medina Del Campo visit: http://turismomedina.net