visit the many castles around...
Favorite thing: visit the many castles around the city and that give its name to the region of Castille. This is a picture of the castle of Peñafiel, a small town in the Rivera del Duero. This is one of the best wine regions in Spain, where the celebrated Vega Sicilia is produced. Don't miss the picturesque coso square if you come to Peñafiel !
Favorite thing: There are also spectacular canyons in Castille and Lion. The most impressive ones, in my opinion, are the Ebro canyon in Northern Burgos, the Douro canyon in the border to Portugal and the River Wolves Canyon (pictured), in the province of Soria.
The latter is easily visited on foot in a very interesting hike that leads to a Romanesque chapel built by the Templars in the most scenic part of the Canyon. A truly inspirational place.
Favorite thing: If you have browsed about around my pages, you will have probably realised I have a great interest in religious architecture. If you share this interest, you will agree that Castille and Leon is a real paradise.
There are not less than 12 cathedral churches and one co-cathedral in this Autonomous Community. The Cathedrals are to be found in Burgos, León, Astorga, Palencia, Zamora, Valladolid, Salamanca (two of them here), Ciudad Rodrigo, Ávila, Segovia and El Burgo de Osma. The co-cathedral is located in Soria, which is the only provincial capital without a cathedral.
All of them are supreme masterpieces of Spanish religious art. As their construction took in most cases many centuries and additions have been done, they show the evolution of architecture in Spain from the Middle Ages to our days.
In the picture you can see the spectacular façade of Saint Mary of Burgos cathedral.
Favorite thing: That the name Castille comes from castle is so obvious that it needs no comment. Neither is it necessary to explain that castles in all sizes, shapes and states of condition can be found in almost every city and town in Castille and Leon.
Actually there are around 300 castles left in Castille and Lion, which ranks second in the whole of the country. Sixteen of them are considered to be extremely valuable for their antiquity and good state of conservation.
Pictured is the Castle of the Temple order in Ponferrada (León).
A sea of fields
Favorite thing: The region known as Land of Fields (Tierra de Campos) is the largest in Castille and Leon. It spreads between the provinces of Palencia, Valladolid, León and Zamora, but it has all in all the size of a regular Spanish province.
From the so called "Mirador de Campos" wheat fields reach beyond the scope of your eyes. It is truly a sea of fields.
Favorite thing: The largest part of the Castillian-Lionese territory is occupied by a high plateau crossed by the river Duero and its tributaries. This area has traditionally been considered as Spain's main grain producer.
The change of colours in the cereal fields according to the seasons is a reason to revisit Castille and León again and again along the year.
Favorite thing: After the harvest and the scorching summer days, the Autumn rains arrive to the plains. Thick clouds increase the feeling of desolation, loneliness and inmensity of this land. Occasional sun rays provide a magical light for fotography.
Favorite thing: Castille and Lion lived its periode of splendour at the end of the Middle Ages. The Reconquista progressed year after year and the wool from the merino sheep was sold at a good price in England and Flanders. Later, the discovery of America allowed the further affluence of revenues from the new continent.This wealth paid the construction of an impressive artistic heritage for many centuries.
The fall of Spain as an imperial power was particularly hard for Castille, isolated and with difficult access to the rest of the world. Part of the legacy started to fall down and entire districts became almost a ruin.
Only in the last decades this tendency has been inversed. A great effort has been done, but there are still many palaces, castles and churches in need of repair.
Favorite thing: Times of glory are long gone in Castille and Leon but have left numerous traces of its splendour. Many of them are still in perfect conditions, other have had worse luck, but they are most enjoyable to explore when wandering without destination in a no-man's land.
Favorite thing: Winters can be as hard as torrid are the Summers in Castille and Leon. Snow is not uncommon, even in the plains, and restrains the colours of the landscape into a variety of white and different shades of grey.
Favorite thing: In spite of the topic of being a region of endless, dry plains, Castilla y Leon has mountains, skiing facilities, forests (for example, the biggest forests of juniperous or Mediterranean pines of Europe), lakes ... and also plains, of course :-)Related to:
- Adventure Travel
Favorite thing: In Castille and Lyon, as in most of Spain, every village has at least one nest of storks. They usually choose the bell towers of the churches for nesting. Some large churches have even several nests.
Storks population had been declining dramatically until the late 1980s. In most parts of Western Europe they have even disappeared, but in the last decades, they have experienced an amazing recovery in Spain.
It is notorious that most of them no longer migrate to Africa in the winter. The weather is becoming milder because of the global warming and, besides, they find a permanent source of food in the human landfills. Not very romantic, but indicative of the animal intelligence and ability to adapt to a changing environment.
Favorite thing: The return of the storks on Saint Blas day (3 February) is the first promise of rebirth after the hard winter. Soon all the fields will show their brightest face to the world.
Castilla y León Hotels
This Parador is a contemporary building which deserves no photo given its lack of architectural...more
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