Fascinating Soria: its most beautiful villages

The most beautiful villages in Soria are full of charm and once you see them you will never forget them. Many have in common an ancient medieval layout, with fortifications on top of a hill and walls that surround the town. Here is a selection of some of the most beautiful villages in Soria.

Calatañazor

Tradition tells us that “in Calatañazor Almanzor lost his drum”, that is, where he lost his talisman and was consequently defeated. This small town of little more than 50 inhabitants conserves the charm of the past, since its streets of medieval layout seem to be timeless. However, it stands out because it is on top of a rock, thus dominating the plain of the river Abión. In addition, in the surroundings of Calatañazor are the remains of Voluce, a settlement of Celtiberian origin full of history and legend.

TThe castle, which dates back to the 14th or 15th century, is still preserved, but experts have not been able to determine its exact date. In the homage tower you can see stones rigged in the Arab way that explain an earlier origin. From the castle you can see the extensive plain now known as the Valley of La Sangre. The Romanesque church of Nuestra Señora del Castillo is already in the urban area, and at the outskirts of Calatañazor the also Romanesque hermitage of La Soledad.

Medinaceli

Aerial view of the historical city of Medinaceli | Photo: Shutterstock

Declared a Historic-Artistic Site, Medinaceli is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful villages in Soria. Its heritage extends from the Celts, Romans, Arabs and Christians who left their mark on the town. To stroll around Medinaceli is to get a time machine that takes you back centuries.

The visitor must be alert, as there are many monuments found here. One of them is the Roman arch of Medinaceli, the only one of three arches found in Spain. It was built between the first and third centuries AD. A castle, now used as a cemetery, is also located in the town. It was originally an Arab fortress and later the residence of the Counts of Medinaceli. Not to be missed when visiting this town is the Ducal Palace of Medinaceli, in Renaissance style and built throughout the 15th century. The coats of arms of the Casa de Medinaceli can be seen on the façade. The visit is completed with the main square, the wall and the collegiate church, among other monuments.

El Burgo de Osma

At the foot of the river Ucero and located in the region of Tierras del Burgo is El Burgo de Osma, one of the most beautiful villages in Soria and an ancient and monumental Episcopal city. Due to its beauty and history, the centre of the town has been declared a Historic-Artistic Site. It is one of the best preserved medieval sites in the whole province. It contains such popular monuments as the spectacular cathedral of Santa María de la Asunción. Other places to see here are the University of Santa Catalina, the main square and the city walls. In addition, nearby is the Río Lobos Nature Reserve, perfect for hiking and enjoying the views from the various viewpoints.

San Esteban de Gormaz

San Esteban de Gormaz | Shutterstock

San Esteban de Gormaz is also a picturesque village, with a castle on top of a hill and Castilian houses at the foot of it. The views from the top of this medieval fortress dating from the 9th century are spectacular, as you can see the medieval bridge that crosses the Duero. From here you can also see the two beautiful Romanesque churches of San Esteban de Gormaz, the church of Nuestra Señora del Rivero and the church of San Miguel. As well as being listed as a Historic-Artistic Site, San Esteban de Gormaz is a stop on the Way to Santiago of the Wool, one of the oldest commercial routes on the Iberian Peninsula that connects Alicante with Burgos.

Vinuesa

Vinuesa is located at the foot of the Sierra de Cebollera and the Urbión peaks. It is a place of high forest wealth as well as a tourist attraction. Known by the name of the Court of the Pines, it was the Roman city of Visontium. Some of the most interesting ecclesiastical monuments to see in Vinuesa are the church of Nuestra Señora del Pino, in Gothic Renaissance style, and four chapels (the chapel of La Soledad, the chapel of San Pedro, the chapel of San Mateo and the chapel of San Antón).

As for the civil monuments, one of the most curious is the bridge and the Roman road, although they are very deteriorated and sink into the waters of the reservoir that is located here. When the water level drops, they reappear as if from nowhere. There are also several buildings of interest, such as the 17th century palace of the Marquises of Vilueña and the palace of Don Pedro de Neyla, known as the Archbishop’s Palace of Palermo.

Almazán

Almazán is one of the great unknowns but it is also one of the most beautiful villages in Soria. The Christians conquered it more than 950 years ago, so it has a long history behind it that makes it a town full of interesting Romanesque heritage with some Renaissance, Baroque and Gothic samples in its buildings.

Miguel, an Asset of Cultural Interest and a gem of Soria’s Romanesque. Its two-body dome stands out. However, there are up to five other religious temples here that are perfect for visiting. Also important are the main square, where the church of San Miguel is located, and the palace of the Hurtado de Mendoza family, also catalogued as an Asset of Cultural Interest. On the other hand, the walled enclosure includes the Puerta del Mercado, the Puerta de Herreros, the Puerta and Clock de la Villa and the so-called Puerta del Postiguillo.

Berlanga de Duero

pueblos desconocidos

There is documentary evidence of the existence of Berlanga de Duero since the Middle Ages, when both the town and its castle were integrated into the Caliphate’s defensive system. Thus, as with other of Soria’s most beautiful villages, one of the most representative elements is the castle of Berlanga de Duero built on top of a hill. Like so many others, the town has been declared a Historic-Artistic Site.

Under the castle are the remains of the Wall that Alfonso I ordered to be built during the 12th century. However, later, in the 14th century, a new tapial wall was built around the town. From the latter, the Puerta de Aguilera is preserved. Another space to see in Berlanga de Duero is the main square, a perfect example of a Castilian square. Furthermore, one cannot leave the town without visiting the Renaissance palace of the Marquises of Berlanga or the collegiate church of Santa María del Mercado (National Monument), among other places.

Rello

Another of the most beautiful villages in Soria but also one of the least known. A small and attractive town that stands out as a medieval site. Situated on top of a limestone cliff, Rello has been declared a Historic Site and a Site of Cultural Interest. Thus, the most captivating feature of this town is its 12th century walled enclosure. It has been retouched in the early 16th century, when the castle at one end was built. In the castle there is still a cistern and the primitive homage tower from the 12th century. It is also possible to visit the church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, built during the Baroque period and with a semi-circular entrance. Access to it is through a walled enclosure.


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