Coast to Coast

Soria Province

The Province of Soria in Castilla y León has one of the lowest population densities in Europe meaning the towns are far apart – too far to walk; for example 58 kms from Agreda to Soria. However, perhaps because of this isolation, there are some really lovely old villages and we took a bus to a few.

Click here for the map.

Almazan

06 May 2019

Almazan, Arabic for Fortificada (Fortified), was on the frontier between the Arab and the Christian worlds in the 10th & 11th centuries and then a center of dispute between the kingdoms of Aragon and Castile in the 14th century.  

Main entrance opens onto the beautiful plaza
Built during 12th &13th century fortifications; the clock tower added in 1886
The huge plaza of Almazan with its 15th century Palace where the Catholic Monarchs resided for a time
Palace of the Hurtado de Mendoza reflected in the Duero
Church of San Miguel, 12th century Romanesque is the highlight of Almazan
Yemas, made of egg yolks and sugar, are a sweet dessert typical of Almazán
The Station Master changes the signal while we wait for the train at Almazan

Soria

07 & 08 May 2019

During the 10th & 11th centuries, Soria was strategically important because of its location on the Duero, which marked the boundary between Christian and Muslim domains.  King Alfonso VIII (1158-1214) was born in Soria and the city flourished in the 13th century.

You can see the dozen or so sights by following the pavement markers (left).

Concatedral San Pedro erected in the 12th-13th centuries, rebuilt in the 16th century
San Pedro cloister was completed in 1205 with a variety of capitals with different decorations
Church of Santo Domingo, late 12th century Romanesque
Entrance to Santo Domingo elaborated with Biblical characters and scenes
Convent of Santa Clara founded 1224
San Juan de Rabanera, named after the origin of those who repopulated Soria after the 12th century conquest
Palace of the Counts of Gómara de Soria finished in 1592
12th century Romanesque cloisters of Monastery of San Juan de Duero on the banks of the River
One of the most exceptional cloistered spaces in the world
Hermitage of San Saturio, built in the late seventeenth century hanging on the rocky side of the Duero
“With boldness and bravery and insight for all generations to come an incomparable visual impact” 
Soria Market in Plaza de Bernardo Robles, since 1830
Torreznos (pork crackling), a typical tapa in every bar in Soria

El Burgo de Osma

09 May 2019

El Burgo de Osma is 60 km from Soria, a 45 minute bus ride.

What a surprise. A short walk from the bus stop in the new city and we were in the 18th century main Plaza. The winding arcaded main street with shops and houses supported with 125 columns of stone or wood, was deserted at 3pm. We turned a corner and there was the huge Gothic Cathedral.

Hospital of San Agustín in Castilian-Baroque style finished in 1704
Calle Major connects the medieval Cathedral Square and the 18th-century Town Square
Turned a corner and suddenly the Cathedral, classical Gothic style with a majestic Baroque tower.
Defensive Wall and San Miguel Gate constructed 1458, restored
Roman bridge crosses the Ucero River to connect the Church of Santa Cristina with the  Osma Castle
18th century Church of Santa Cristina houses relics of the 3rd century Saint
Castle of Osma, from the 10th century

El Burgo de Osma – San Esteban de Gormaz

11 May 2019

There are two ways to walk from El Burgo de Osma to San Esteban de Gormaz. Acting on local advice we took the longer route which follows the Camino Cid to join the Senda del Duero. It was a good choice, easy and interesting walking. 18.5 km in 4 hours 20 minutes.

The Route of El Cid runs 1497 kms from Burgos to Alicante
Leaving El Burgo on Camino Cid
A short diversion into tiny Alcubilla del Marqués beneath the conical hill with its …
… stunning Gothic church of Romanesque origins
Inscription in latin indicates reconstruction in 1591. The Templar cross in white imported stone is a mystery
Traditional bodegas near Pedraja de San Esteban – excavated in the clay soil and reinforced with stone
One of the mud brick houses in Pedraja de San Esteban, population 15
Senda del Duero Stage 7 a very nice path along the River
Medieval 16 arch bridge over the Duero at San Estaban, built 16th century still carries traffic
Iglesia de la Virgen del Rivero, 12th century Romanesque built on the ruins of a previous temple
Castle of San Esteban de Gormaz, visible from afar
One of the key Duero castles changed rulers several times during the 10th and 11th centuries
Bodegas carved into the hillside below the Castle
Church of San Miguel, Romanesque. Date of construction: 1081, according to the inscription carved in the gallery.
Coats of Arms emblazoned on houses belonging to noble families