Medieval town of Pedraza, incomparable frame declared Monumental Complex in 1951, distinguished by the "C" Tourism Awards of Castilla y León in 1993 and Europa Nostra Prize in 1996. An excellent place to walk, shop, eat or spend the night in a privileged environment of tranquility and authenticity.
Located at 1.073 m of altitude in the foothills of Segovia, the rocky promontory on which the town is currently located is bordered by the streams San Miguel and Vadillo that converge a little below and become the Cega. The geographical configuration of Pedraza favors an early settlement; there are indications of a prehistoric population in the valleys that cover the river Cega, and remains have been found next to the present esplanade of the handmade ceramic castle, which suggest that the rock on which Pedraza now sits was already inhabited towards the 15th century. IV a. C. by a nucleus of Celtiberian population. Subsequently, there is certainty of an occupation in Roman times, there is even a theory that locates the origin of the emperor Trajan in Pedraza.
But we must make a leap to the Middle Ages to find more reliable data, since the first historical document that appears Pedraza refers to the s. X, in which Count Fernán González launches an offensive in the Cordillera Central and snatches from the Arabs the squares of Sepúlveda, Pedraza and Segovia occupying the Castilian Extremadura from the Duero to the Sierra. Later it is taken again by the Arabs and it is not until the s.XI when it is recaptured and the boundary between Castile and Al-Andalus is definitively delimited. That is when the so-called Communities or Earth Universities appear, through which the colonization and repopulation of the reconquered lands was carried out. These were communal councils that were the federation of several municipalities framed within a certain geographic, historical and cultural unit that self-governed, recruited troops, collected tributes and administered justice to their citizens, not having to answer to the king or lord more than in last instance.
The Community of Villa and Tierra de Pedraza now covers 18 municipalities and functions as an administrative institution of its communal heritage. Since the middle of s. XIV Pedraza was seigniorial domain, a situation that was maintained until the beginning of s. XIX in which the manors were abolished. D. Bernardino Fernández de Velasco, Constable of Castile and first Duke of Frías obtained the lordship of Pedraza in the s. XV through a matrimonial dowry. With this, Pedraza happens to be residence of several gentlemen of the powerful House of Velasco, constables of Castile from half-full of s. XV in the middle of s. XVI. From the arrival of the Velasco, the Villa begins to be filled with noble houses covered with blazons. In addition, the richest farmers come to live in the Villa, because it gives them the right to have their Merino sheep graze in communal meadows. The s. XVI and XVII correspond to the period of greatest splendor of Pedraza, thanks to the hut of merino sheep and the honorable Council of the Mesta, a dense network of ravines to facilitate the livestock traffic that came to control three million heads. Segovian workshops became famous throughout Europe and Castilian wool supplied workshops in Bruges and Florence; in La Velilla, still in the s. In the nineteenth century there was a laundry room with wool.
In the S. XVIII begins to register a decline that will accentuate abruptly in the s. XIX as a result of the livestock crisis that will affect the entire plateau. In addition the abolition of the old seigniorial regime of 1811 takes place in the Cortes of Cádiz, one of which was the one exercised in Pedraza by the Duke of Frías.
On the other hand, it opens the way to a transformation of the old places of the Community of the Earth in councils with its own City Council, with which Pedraza remains on an equal footing with respect to the municipalities of its Earth.
As a consequence of the process of depopulation of the field that marks the beginning of the s. XX and that will continue to deteriorate until well past its first half, the houses are abandoned, exposed to ruin and sold at low prices.
This is the factor that helped to turn the situation around, to the occurrence of the pendulum blow to the return, which in Pedraza began in the sixties, consolidating itself in the eighties; the people of the city bought and restored houses to turn them into a second residence, and that increasing flow of urbanites who arrive at the area on weekends and holidays, imposes a different economic scheme and rhythm to the traditional ones. The unusual pulse recovered by Pedraza is a merit recently recognized by the Europa Nostra International Foundation, which at 1996 granted Pedraza a diploma "for the recovery of the life of this walled Medieval town, through a respectful rehabilitation of its old buildings, with the frequent collaboration of the private initiative ".
Imperial Eagle Theme Center
Located in the newly reconstructed church of San Miguel, it provides information on this species, on the European Network of Conservation Natura 2000 and on the Community of Villa and Tierra de Pedraza.
- Church of San Miguel - 40172 Pedraza
- Tel. 921 508 778
The Prison of the Villa
Medieval building of the s. XIII and rebuilt in the s. XVI owned by the Community of Villa and Tierra de Pedraza, which was opened to the public by 1 in April of 1994 thanks to the effort of the Villa de Pedraza Foundation, which has managed it since then and whose collaborating guides are in charge of showing it. You can see what a dungeon was like, the foot trap to immobilize the prisoners, a shackle for the neck, the big chimney with shield, the toilets of "free fall", the gloomy dungeons of the lower floors and the original wooden cells , the bed of the prisoners and a long etcetera.
- Tel. 921 509 960 / 55
The Royal Street
He never changed his name. It is evidently the spine of the town. Drive to the Plaza Mayor and from there the Calle Mayor hurries to the castle. The most remarkable buildings are in this "golden mile"; Immediately, a house with a corner balcony is striking: it is the so-called house of Pilatos, a mansion of the s. XVI that belonged to the Ladrón de Guevara family. Opposite, forcing Real Street to make a break, sits another of the most flavorful pedrasan houses whose last of its three floors is a latticework of wood and brick characteristic of the Middle Ages. In the last section before arriving at the Plaza Mayor and on its odd side are the shields of the Pérex, the Salcedo, the Velasco and the Thief of Guevara, families that occupied it at the beginning of the 19th century. XVIII.
It is the quintessence of the Villa. A Castilian square to the core, which has been forming little by little over the years. Irregular, somewhat anarchic and quite ramshackle, is a patchwork square, with demolitions taken advantage of. Nobody designed it and it's beautiful, one of the most beautiful old squares in Spain. The most striking set are the arcaded houses in front of the church. Originally two houses of the s. XVI later converted into four houses. The arcades were added later once the feudal lords left the castle after losing their privileges over the Villa. In fact, the shafts and capitals of the columns could come from the castle itself.
Church of San Juan Bautista
Located on the south side of the Plaza Mayor, it allows us to appreciate the remains of its original Romanesque style, such as its lofty tower with arches on its top and the apse that can now be seen from the small square recovered to the delight of the visitor It has access from the Plaza Mayor through a passage located almost under the tower. The old Romanesque style suffered a baroque coating that has endowed the interior of the temple with a singular charm. The baptismal font is a remarkable Romanesque piece of s. XIII.
Castle and Zuloaga Museum
The castle is a fortress built in the s. XIII and rebuilt in the s. XV Of that century is the tower of homage. Inside the castle, on the staircase that gives way to the cistern, the shield of the Herrera, previous to Fernández de Velasco, is preserved. The Dukes of Frías, constables of Castile, reformed it in the s. XVI from where the structure that currently is seen dates. To this castle historical events are linked as the prison of the sons of the king of Francisco I of France from 1525 to 1529 and also some other legend. In 1926, when the painter Ignacio Zuloaga acquired it, the interior of the castle was ruined. He restored one of the towers, where he installed a workshop and painted landscapes and portraits of the people of Pedraza.
The heirs of the artist have enabled a second tower such as Zuloaga Museum where works of the painter and sometimes other works of the family patrimony are exhibited on a rotating basis such as a "Christ" by El Greco, a portrait of "La Countess de Baena" by Goya and some flamenco bodegón of the s. XVII. The museum, the parade ground and the cistern can be visited in guided groups from Wednesday to Sunday, on weekdays visits arranged by telephone. Currently a bullfighting museum "Ignacio Zuloaga" has been inaugurated, installed in a room of the Zuloaga inn, it shows authentic relics of the Eibarrian painter.
- Tel. 921 509 825
Pozo de las Hontanillas and Paseo Francisco Muñoz
Recently, a part of the medieval wall and this historic well of 15 m height that served the Villa de aljibe during the siege period has been rehabilitated. A few meters from this point, a pleasant walk begins with views of a wonderful natural landscape.
City Hall Exhibition Hall
Occasional exhibitions of monthly character show the work of different artists or the works of artisans of the area in the Hall of the City Hall in the Plaza Mayor. Free entry. The Villa de Pedraza Foundation is finalizing the rehabilitation of the old church of Santo Domingo for the Multipurpose Cultural Center, at which time it will be possible to visit and integrate it in the tourist circuits of the Villa.
- Tel. 921 509 960
We can see the churches of San Bartolomé, Santiago, El Salvador and Santos Justo and Pastor, the wall, the Plaza Mayor, the prison of the Villa, houses of the Gil de Gibaja, the Lord and Proaño and the shrine of Ntra. Sra. de la Peña The arches of the Jewish quarter, the viewpoint and the Natural Park of the Hoces del río Duratón.
From the Neolithic era, remains have been found in the well-known cave of the Enebralejos and in Las Grajas, which were used as necropolis four thousand years ago. But also by its term it is known that there are vestiges of Roman and Visigothic times.
The Romanesque church of Our Lady of Las Vegas, this church was built on the remains of a Roman temple and a paleo-Christian basilica, at the end of the s. XI and early s. XII. In the year 1969 was declared a National Monument.
The castle, was made at the end of s. XI, when Count Fernán González began to repopulate the area. Within the urban area of the Villa stands out its cozy Plaza Mayor or "plaza de los cien poles", surrounded by arcades in the purest Castilian style.
Pedraza celebrates its festivities in honor of its patron saint, the Virgen del Carrascal, in the 1 fortnight of September. On 8 day there is a procession with the image through the streets of the village. The men dance jotas in front of the Virgin's litter and before entering the church again the "auction of sticks" takes place, bidding the neighbors for the honor of entering the image on their shoulders. The 9 day takes place the encierro, one of the most picturesque spectacles, since the bulls are brought from the Dehesa de la Villa to cross country with halters and foremen on horseback, directing the herd with garrochas.
The days 9 and 10 are celebrated novilladas with the cattle that went up to the Villa in the encierro the morning of the day 9. From 1550 the bulls are in Pedraza compulsory complement of the religious celebrations, closing the place and the Real street with cars and talanqueras; can be seen in the corners of the stone posts with holes where the planks fit. Due to its special configuration, the Plaza de Pedraza is one of the most picturesque frames for bullfighting celebrations. The 12 day and as the end of the festivities, the stew is made in the Plaza Mayor of which the whole town participates.
Every summer they meet in the Plaza Mayor the best dulzaineros of Castilla y León. Organized by the Villa de Pedraza Foundation.
Pedraza settled down his gastronomic beginnings in the roasted lambs for carnivals and the stews of the inn. Today it exerts an almost magical fascination among the hikers who officiate the rite of the ancient traffickers; but also among the most seasoned gourmet who like to combine new flavors in an exquisite environment, where the old and the new reach out. In pastry stand the soplillos, punch Segoviano and a very varied pastries, all made by hand in the ovens of our tahonas.
Business and Crafts
Commercial activity has a long tradition. Already in the s. XV is known of its market on Tuesdays, when a notary referred to the atrium of the church of San Juan as the place "do facer almonedas". Today the influx of visitors has proliferated a considerable number of stores where you can buy from the rustic furniture to the lightest gifts. Tin stands out as popular crafts, made manually by a local cooperative. It has also deserved fame for the interior decoration and the furniture of rustic style.
The Candle Concerts
Every first and second Saturday of July, the Concerts of Candles are celebrated in Pedraza. Organized by the Villa de Pedraza Foundation, it is a sublime spectacle in which one can contemplate the beauty of Pedraza illuminated in its entirety by the light of thousands of candles, while attending concerts with posters of the highest level in such environments. privileged as the esplanade of the castle, with it illuminated in the background.