To the northeast of the province the fragrant awaits us Tierra de Pinares, district of páramos, ravines and the renowned "Mar de Pinos", impressive extension of thousands of hectares of pine resinero, that we will still see with its pot nailed to the trunk to collect the miera or resin, the liquid gold of other times.
It is a region well supplied with horticultural products, such as endive, and with a Mudejar past in its buildings. In their villas we can find walled castles; stunning landscapes, which can be seen from its beautiful viewpoints and covers the northern part of the Natural Park of the Hoces del río Duratón. We access from Segovia, by the A-601 towards the northern limit of the province, although we must stop first at Carbonero el Mayor, to have a good traditional camper lunch, which forces us to visit, the Elizabethan House of the Seal, from the end of the s. XV, with its graceful tower of segmental arches. Special mention deserves the Church of San Juan, that we will distinguish it by its two slate towers; inside it houses an altarpiece of the s. XVI, masterpiece of the Spanish-Flemish renaissance in these lands.
This town also has a renowned workshop of chirimías and dulzainas of great prestige in the province. On the outskirts, there is the Hermitage of the Virgen del Bustar, patron of the place and whose name comes from "combustionar" referring to its long tradition as charcoal burners.
For the SG-211 we continue until Aguilafuente, located in an important crossroads since Roman times, so it is not surprising that at 2 km from the village, a luxurious villa of the s. II AD, interpreted in the Archaeological Hall of Saint Lucia, In the Mudéjar Church of San Juan. Few know that the first book printed in Spain in 1472, reflected the minutes of a decisive Synod which was celebrated in its Church of Santa María, an example of Romanesque brick and adorned with beautiful Gothic façades; every year this fact is revived, in theatrical performances. In its Florentine Museum Trapero, sculptor who was born in this town, we admire part of his fruitful and excellent production. Among several stately homes, such as that of the Pérez de la Torre or the Marqués de Peñasrrubias, it stands out for its rarity Casa de las Conchas from the s. XX, completely covered with real scallops for having its owner a fish business linked with Galicia.
We continue until Fuentepelayo, surrounded by farmland that traces, seen in the distance, relaxing colorful compositions of geometric and minimalist art. When walking through its streets, we will find miniatures of the heritage monuments of Segovia, but it is Church of the Santa María la Mayor, the most emblematic monument, highlighting the south and north portal of elaborate reliefs; in the Church of the Savior It is worth noting a magnificent coffered ceiling of the s. XVI. We complement our visit in its theme park of the "Segovian Ecosystems" and to enjoy exceptional views over the "Sea of Pines" we approach the Hill of the Hermitage of San Cebrián, where it is easy to be ecstatic with the feeling of infinity.
Road to Cuéllar
We are now heading to Samboal, for that we went through Navalmanzano y Navas de Oro, and once in the town, the famous one comes out to us Church of San Baudilio de Carracielo del Pinar, which was part of a Benedictine monastery of the s. XII and is considered one of the most representative examples of brick Romanesque in the province; admirable the harmonious sequencing of its blind arcades and the ingenious decorative resource of its tower. It's time to get to Cuellar, where it is convenient to dedicate enough time, to know its rich patrimonial and cultural set, and where the Mudejar style reaches majestic rank, being one of its signs of identity along with its long tradition of its popular encierros, that begin with the cry of " What are you coming! "
As an outstanding Walled City, it has two defensive enclosures, the first unites the Castle-palace of the Dukes of Alburquerque, of resplendent white stone dominating at the top of the population, with Arches of San Basilio, San Andrés, San Martín and Santiago. The second enclosure includes several churches and convents integrating some of its apses as wall cubes, as the head of the Mudejar church of San Pedro. Witnesses of his past as the powerful head of Villa and Tierra, remain: Palace of Pedro I, the Palace of the Holy Cross, the House of the Velázquez, the House of the Rojas, of the Daza, the Study of Grammar, the Hospital and Chapel of the Magdalena, all wrapped in the vericueto of alleys of medieval flavor. The excellent tourist management allows to attend dramatized visits to the castle, guided tours through its monuments, to understand, with an attractive spectacle of lights and sounds, in which the Mudéjar, in the Mudéjar Art Interpretation Center, located in the Church of San Martín; other Mudejar jewels are found in the Church of San Esteban, of admirable exterior and even better interior to conserve four sepulchers considered the masterpiece of the Mudejar Gothic. Equally important is the Church of San Andrés, from the s. XIII, highlighting its western facade with its pointed arches.
We can not forget its rich gastronomy, to the delight of the most exquisite palates and that it has tasty "níscalos" in the autumn and its traditional pastries based on buns.
Cuellar prays to his patron in the near Sanctuary of El Henar, brunette virgin dating from the s. XII and patron of the resineros.
Second part of the Route
We begin this stage, heading towards the SG-V-2231, crossing other secondary roads, until entering a small wine route along the banks of the Duratón River. It is a rosé or red wine, extracted from grapes that were planted in parched wastelands of limestone, where the cereal could not grow. In all the towns we will see curious wineries excavated in the hillside, also a place for family picnics.
En Aldeasoña they keep, in the Casa del Mayorazgo, a complete 1715 press, which we can visit by appointment, as well as some of the family wineries and an old laundry room; his Church of Sta. María Magdalena, of Romanesque origin presents Gothic and classicist elements of interest; we passed by Fuentesaúco de Fuentidueñand we find the Church of Santo Domingo de Silos of good factory; territory famous for its generous sources, is to highlight that of the Three Arches.
We continue until Pumpkins of Fuentidueña, where we must pay attention, because after a bend in the road suddenly appear, cut against the sky, the impressive remains of the walled perimeter of Fuentidueña, a hospitable medieval town where King Alfonso VIII spent his days of rest; however, before stopping here, we went first to the nearby Sacramenia.
The farmhouse rests on the lower part of a slope, with Romanesque churches as Santa Marina, with frescoes from the s. XV or San Martin de Tours, in the highest part, the picturesque wineries excavated in the limestone are aligned. Upon arrival, it is easy to perceive the aroma of the rich roasts that are prepared here with the best lambs in the province.
We take the detour to Coto de San Bernardo, which will take us to the one that was Cistercian Monastery of Santa María la Real, solitary place of captivating beauty where it survives, among the thick of large trees, the rotunda church and some monastic dependencies that remained, after the controversial sale of its cloister, capitular room and refectory to magnate WR Hearst of the USA, who reinstalled him in Miami .
Valtiendas Protected Designation of Origin
We are in wine territory DOP Valtiendas, made with Tinta del País grape or Tempranillo, grown at 900 m; the denomination gathers sixteen municipalities being its epicenter the population of Valtiendas, that will be better to visit in season of summer or in the vintage, when they open their doors the traditional warehouses and the surroundings bulle plethoric of life.
Road to Fuentidueña
We continue to Fuentesoto and from there we return, to finally stop at Fuentidueña, the old medieval Fontedona. It was repopulated by Alfonso VIII who felt special predilection for it, as a place of solace for the royal court, due to its excellent airs and springs, together with the abundant hunting and good fruits of the orchard; here came to recover after the bloody battle of Las Navas de Tolosa. It conserves three arcs in the wall, one of them called of Alfonso VIII, almost in the highest zone of the enclosure, near the rest of the Church of San Martin, whose apse with its valuable Romanesque paintings was transferred to New York after its transaction legal. Around the temple a set of tombs of s. XI, excavated in the rock and an ossuary, however, is in the Church of San Miguel where we will enjoy the imaginative waste of Romanesque art, expressed in its capitals and corbels and restored with the money from the sale of the San Martín apse. Only the memory of the castle remains and some remains reused as a warehouse. In the Plaza del Palacio is the Capilla del Pilar, today Posada Real and the Palace of the Counts of the s. XV humble facade. Another excellent viewpoint we have if we go up a steep slope to the Cerro de San Blas.
San Miguel de Bernuy and Cantalejo
We left for San Miguel de Bernuy to find a charming town that has managed to revive adapting to leisure tourism, from here we can take walks or a canoe trip down the Duraton River to the Las Vencías reservoir or to the town of Fuentidueña itself.
We continue by road until Cantalejo, population of great activity that was awarded with the title of city, by the own Alfonso XIII, like recognition to his production and commerce to national level of his prestigious trillos; its traffickers developed a special jargon called gacería, with Basque and Arabic words, which is still preserved with great pride. They used "trallas" that they would move by the time they arrived from their trips, a sonorous custom that is still repeated at the August parties. Its commercial wealth is reflected in the monumental Temple of San Andrés, from the 16th century. XVIII, of majestic vaults of Gothic tracery and classicist luminosity. Of great interest is the location of the Hermitage of the Virgen del Pilar, which would rise over an ancient Roman sanctuary dedicated to Diana, hence the name of China or Chana from a nearby lake. When expanding the hermitage a Visigothic necropolis belonging to a hermitage was found whose use continued until the s. XV From here you can start a quiet walk of 6 kilometers bordering the famous Lagoons of Cantalejo, home of great diversity of birds and idyllic environment declared Site of Community Interest.
We finish in Turégano
We have to get closer to Turégano, another enclave of must visit. The imposing figure of his will receive us castle, of beautiful pink hue with its towers and belfry on remains of its medieval wall. The fortress was built in the s. XV, encompassing the Romanesque interior San Miguel's Church. It was Episcopal lordship and among its walls lived events, as expected by Fernando el Católico until his wife Isabel allowed him to enter Segovia as king. The castle presides over the elongated Plaza de España, which becomes a coso during its well-known bullfighting festivities in September; It is also known as the "Hundred Poles" for the pilasters that hold their arcades, undoubtedly a good place for tapas, roasts or their specialty of cod to the arriero garlic. Nearby is the Church of Santiago, which houses an unusual Romanesque sculptural altarpiece and other important Romanesque remains despite the reforms of the s. XVII and XVIII. It also has the Forest Museum in the Engineer's House.