A city to be strolled
The capital of Palencia is a city full of attractions that in too many cases remain unseen by most travelers. One of the most outstanding examples is its Cathedral, called La Bella Desconocida, the Unknown Beauty. It was erected on a primitive Visigoth church from which there are still remains of the crypt today. This crypt houses the figure of the patron of Palencia, San Antolín. Some relics have an interesting legend linked to them. King Don Sancho, on a day out hunting, turned aside in search of a boar that he had seen hiding in a cave. Once inside, when he was about to shoot him down, the monarch’s arm was paralyzed. This indicated that he was in a sacred place that guarded the relics of the French Saint San Antolin.
The Museum of Palencia, fundamentally occupied by archaeological pieces, is located in Casa del Cordón, the only Renaissance civil monument in the city. One of the most significant elements of the capital of Palencia is its arcades, running all through the Plaza and Calle Mayor.
To see Palencia from above, nothing better than to go up to the vantage point of the Otero. There stands the imposing Cristo del Otero, masterpiece of Victorio Macho. Underneath the Christ a Museum dedicated to this clay sculptor is located .
A province to be traveled
Palencia is an interior province located in the North of Spain. Its great diversity in landscapes, art, nature and gastronomy make it a surprising place for visitors.
The Jacobean route runs for 70 kilometers through the province of Palencia. Throughout its length, it leaves an indelible mark of art that arises to the passage of the pilgrim.
One of the great landmarks of the Camino de Santiago as it passes through Palencia is Fromista, known as the Villa del Milagro. Its 11th century church of San Martin, is one of the best examples of Romanesque architecture in the whole world.
Carrión de los Condes was one of the main points of attention of Camino in Medieval times. It therefore comprises numerous hospitals, monasteries and churches.
The Palentina Mountain is one of the most visited places in the province. One of its most singular enclaves are Fuentes Carrionas, within the Natural Park of Fuentes Carrionas-Fuente Cobre Montaña Palentina. It is a large space of 80,000 hectares with autochthonous fauna and flora.
Another natural border between Cantabria and the Meseta is the center of the Palencia Mountain. It is called La Peña, in Sierra del Brezo.
One can see numerous caves and reservoirs throughout the north of the province of Palencia. Around Aguilar de Campoo we can find the lowest area of the Palentina Mountain, where agricultural areas predominate, in contrast to the cattle landscape of the upper part.
The number of swamps and reservoirs in the area which irrigate a great part of the Northern zone of the country amazes everyone. Conversely, the South is mainly plain and is characterized by cereal crops. It also attracts attention for its beautiful towns and its artistic resources. These range from Romanesque to Mudéjar through Visigoth and Jewish art.
Both in the north and in the south, we will find an amalgam of cultures which have left their mark. Some of these vestiges are spread along one of the longest provincial stretches of Camino de Santiago. Also by the serpentine passage of Canal de Castile, the largest engineering work carried out in Spain to this day.
For all this, Palencia is essence, each region and each village has a history that we all should know and appreciate.
PALENTINA MOUNTAIN TERRITORY
It is the lowest part of the Palentina Mountain. Its center of gravity is Aguilar de Campoo. It presents a geography of transition between the Cantabrian peaks and the Tierra de Campos plain. The open agricultural areas begin to prevail here in contrast to the cattle landscape from above. Despite or perhaps because of this, it exhibits an orographic, fluvial richness and landscape configuration capable of dazzling those who immerse themselves in it.
Las Tuerces and Cañón de la Horadada, Covalagua and the viewpoint of Valcabado, or towns such as Gama, Villanueva de Henares, Mave, Revilla de Pomar. These cities are just a sample of a splendid inventory of views and visits. Aguilar de Campoo and its historical and artistic depth unparalleled in all this cartography, has created a wide radius of influence in construction styles. Aguilar also radiates in terms of art vestiges and as an administrative model.
Several points of reference stand out in Aguilar: the five tower Castle, perched on a hill that made it impregnable. The remains of the wall still count with six admirable doors (Reinosa, Tobalina, Paseo Real, Portazgo, La Cascajera, and San Roque). Note the presence of mansions and palaces with an infrequent profusion of heraldry. They accredit a history of intense political management.
“SINCE 2017, LAS LORAS IS PART OF THE WORLD GEOPARKS NETWORK OF UNESCO”
The recovered Monastery of Santa María La Real (“Europa Nostra” Prize) is like an anthology of the best moments of history and art in Aguilar de Campoo. The Collegiate Church of San Miguel, work of two periods and several styles (Visigothic, Romanesque and Gothic). To this, they added a splendid Herrerian tower through a luxury auction. The Romanesque purity of the Tower of Santa Cecilia. Without forgetting the harmonious set of the Monastery of Santa Clara where the Clarisas nuns elaborate an exquisite pastry. Wandering through the streets of the town´s heart, stop and see houses of an unusual constructive splendor. The city comprises other treasures. The Palace of the Manriques and the Marquises of Aguilar de Campo. The house of the VII Lineages, the house of Marcos Gutierrez or the Velarde.
In one way or another, all the roads in Aguilar de Campo open or end in Plaza Mayor. The Collegiate presides over Plaza Mayor, which counts with generous arcades. A running canvas of gallery and glass, truly splendid, ornament it in one of its sections. Shops, bars, banking offices and service companies have settled around Plaza Mayor, turning it into the center of many gatherings. When the weather allows it, hikers, lovers of the beach and water sports fans converge towards the reservoir of Aguilar de Campo.