Fuentidueña, "Señora de las Fuentes", a town rich in water with numerous springs and the Duratón and Fuentes rivers.
Located in the extreme north of the province of Segovia, it rises above a narrow valley formed by the Duratón River, a unique geographical location that explains the importance of the town during the Middle Ages. Declared an Asset of Cultural Interest for its historic site.
In this noble Villa settled in ancient times different peoples such as Vacceans, Celts, Arévacos, Romans, Visigoths, Jews and Arabs. From the Almanzor counteroffensive and its defeat at the battle of Calatañazor, this Villa is ruled by kings and nobles close to royalty, including Alfonso VIII, Alfonso X the Wise and Sancho IV.
In the S. XV strengthens the Luna family as owner of the Villa. Illustrious personages, gentlemen of Fuentidueña, were D. Eugenio Portocarrero Palafox, his brother D. Cipriano, the daughter of this Maria Francisca married with D. Jacobo Luis Fitz-James Stuart, with what happens the House of Alba to take possession of Fuentidueña .
The Villa was walled on its north, south and west sides with a clearly defensive function. On the other hand, there is an impressive rock cut that makes defense very easy. Intramural access is only possible through one of its three doors:
Palace Gate: It seems that it was the main entrance of the Villa.
Puerta de la Calzada: It gave access to the site from the suburb.
Puerta de Alfonso VIII or Trascastillo: Located on the south face of the wall.
In the Plaza de la Villa there are two windows made in the wall, its construction must be between the s. XII and XIII.
Located in the Plaza de la Villa, a palace was located during the reign of Da Urraca and Alfonso El Batallador.
House of the Community of Villa y Tierra
Former prison of the alfoz of Fuentidueña, attached to the wall, where currently the representatives of the twenty-one towns that make up the Community of Villa y Tierra meet.
Located in the square of the same name, built in the middle of the s. XV, was the residence of D. Pedro de Luna and his family.
Chapel of the Pilar or the Counts of Montijo
Next to the Palace, declared Property of Cultural Interest, was erected at the request of the Count of Montijo and named Chapel of the Pillar for the devotion that his wife felt to this invocation. It was finished in 1720, of neoclassical style, with a symmetrical facade of classical simplicity of limestone ashlars. Its cover is emblazoned with a coat of arms of the lineages of the Montijo and Fuentidueña.
Church of San Miguel
Declared an Asset of Cultural Interest, on the outside you can see its portico of seven Byzantine arches on twin columns, in which its capitals have plant decoration. It has three doors, the portico, the access to the temple and the so-called "Puerta de los Perdones".
In the head a semicircular apse and in the interior a nave covered with a half-barrel vault and two chapels on both sides of the apse. The ship crowns beautiful capitals among which the theme of psychosis and the martyrdom of Saint Stephen among others stand out. Presiding over the temple is the stature of San Miguel Arcángel (1583).
Hospital of the Magdalena
Declared an Asset of Cultural Interest, it was built by testamentary disposition of Dª Mencía de Mendoza towards the year 1540, to welcome the poor and sick of Fuentidueña and its alfoz. It is currently in ruins, pending restoration.
Ruins of San Martín
They were declared a Historic Artistic Monument in 1931, it was a Romanesque temple built in two stages, its tower and only nave in the s. X and the apse in the middle of s. XII. This one can currently be seen in the Museum of the Cloisters in New York.
Formed by a succession of some two hundred tombs surrounding the church of San Martín, carved in rock, anthropomorphic, dating from the s. X until s. XVII.
Declared together with the walls of Cultural Interest. There is no historical clarity about its origin, but it seems that its construction dates back to the s. XII and XIII. It had importance with the reign of Alfonso VII, who had Cortes here and peace was concluded with Navarra and granted testament in 1204.
In the 70 years, the Ministry of Finance auctioned the castle with a price of 25.000 pesetas, thus going into private hands.
Church of Santa María la Mayor or del Arrabal
Located near the Roman bridge, on the left bank of the Duratón river; it is said that it must have been built on the remains of a primitive hermitage that in the s. XI was added a rough apse of masonry with vault of half-furnace and other chapels. It is considered the oldest church in the town, because before the Romanesque church, issued another building of Visigothic origin, because on the occasion of recent works have been discovered next to the apse three sarcophagi carved in stone.
Its plant, of large dimensions, was composed of three naves, built from materials such as mortar, ashlar and stone stones in the doors, arches and corners. In the S. XVI is in ruins, being rebuilt in 1576, date in which the portico is added, but the most important work took place in 1682, eliminating most of its plant, reducing the dimensions of the temple, the north and main ships were left discovered, becoming a cemetery, leaving the temple limited to the south aisle.
Attached to the church was built in the s. XVII a chapel under the invocation of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.
The church was suppressed to worship 30 May of 1842, by a decree of the regent queen. Restoration works have recently been carried out that have allowed their return to the cult. In the interior it is mandatory to highlight the altarpiece of the Virgin of the Assumption, presided by the image of the Immaculate and another altarpiece located in the chapel with a baroque image of the Immaculate, in a prayerful attitude.
Hospital of San Lázaro
Its foundation dates from the s. XII whose primitive function was the attention to lepers, going to help the poor one night, unless they were sick and needed more days, provided they proved that they were not "bad people". After the confiscation of Mendizábal was in absolute ruin becoming private housing at the beginning of s. XX.
Franciscan Convent San Juan de la Penitencia
Its first construction dates from the s. VI, being inhabited by the friars of San Juan Bautista or of Penance. It was abandoned for more than 200 years, being rebuilt in 1162, becoming occupied by mercenary friars in 1299 and in 1496 by Franciscan friars.
After the confiscation of Mendizábal in the s. XIX, it went into private hands.
There is next to the Duratón River, next to the Roman bridge, the recreational park of San Lazaro, equipped with barbecues, tables and a children's play area. To make routes and leisure activities and free time in natural areas in the municipality of Fuentidueña, there are companies dedicated to this type of activities such as canoeing, spelunking, cycling, among others.
At present, the traditional customs of the Villa are kept alive around the festivities of San Miguel Arcángel:
- 29 for September (next weekend).
- Immaculate Conception, 8 of December, the most striking is perhaps the great luminary that in the patio of the church is realized the eve of the celebration, whose flames can surpass the twenty meters of height. Both parties are animated by processions where they dance to the sound of the dulzaina and the tamboril.
- San Mateo, the 21 of September, is the patron of the Community of Villa y Tierra and is also celebrated in the Villa.
- First days of August, the "Cultural Week" is celebrated.
The most famous dish is roasted lamb in any of the Villa's magnificent wood-burning ovens, but there are other dishes of very high quality, such as roast duck, Iberian cheek, stewed and pickled small game, seasonal mushrooms, trout Fuentidueña marinated, oxtail, paella, lamb stew, poultry, homemade desserts and curd cake; We can not forget to accompany any of these dishes with one of the prized wines "Castillo de Fuentidueña", elaborated and bottled by F. Pertierra.