Through Segovia's Countryside

Through Segovia's Countryside

In the center west of the province, a homogeneous and smooth plain unfolds, the countryside, where the skies seem much more extensive. Hills and wetlands break the monotony, in some we can let our eyes fly to the far distance and in the others observe a great variety of birds.

On our journey we will follow the traces of great characters from the past, who left their mark on the sculpted stone or the grandiose edification. It is land where the Mudejar, the castle and the Gothic are represented.

We start the route from Segovia and we go to Santa María la Real de Nieva by the CL-605. In the very center of the village we find the regal Dominican monastery that founded the queen Catherine of Lancaster, grandmother of Isabel the Catholic. It is his cloister, built between the 1395 and 1437, gothic jewel sculpted with great success in his 87 capitals both naturalistic daily scenes as well as others relating to good and evil, dyed even in Romanesque spirit. In the monastic church dedicated to the Virgin of the Soterraña, we admire before entering its superb flamboyant Gothic portal and already inside, a alfarje with careful decoration of the s. XV, installed in the sotocoro; in the Main Chapel, they rest in a sober mausoleum, the remains of Queen Blanca of Navarre, first wife of Juan II of Aragon, who died in this Villa when returning from a pilgrimage to Guadalupe.

We now turn to Cerro de San Isidro, to discover about the slate rocks petroglyphs of the Upper Paleolithic with scenes of dances, animals and riders.

We take the SG-P-3411, direction Bernardos, until taking the detour of Domingo García to our left and a few meters we see the indicator "Domingo García. Rock engravings ". In one of the hills there is the Hermitage of San Isidro, with eleven excavated anthropomorphic tombs around him, probably Visigoths. It is a challenge to discover the millenary traces, and others not so old, that our ancestors entertained themselves in recording; the views from here you can enjoy the whole countryside with the mountains in the background are breathtaking.

We return to the SG-P-3411 and reach the crests of Bernardos, population of rich quarries of active slate, in whose hill of the Virgin of the Castle the remains of powerful late Roman walls made with this stone stand. The beauty and quality of its greenish, orange and grayish slates, made it be used since Philip II for the construction of royal palaces.

By the SG-V-3321 we come to Navas de Oro, population on horseback with Tierra de Pinares and that has a didactic Resin Museum that will help us understand the source of this earth's economy. Bird lovers are lucky, because we are in the area of ​​lagoons where they come to drink many species such as the marsh harrier.

We continue until Coca, the Roman Cauca where Emperor Theodosius the Great was born. Shortly before entering the town, there is the site of a luxurious Roman residence, next to the Laundry Five Pipes, free entry. Already in Coca we visited the elegant Gothic-Mudejar castle built and decorated with bricks by the Fonseca family. Powerful head of the Community of Villa and Tierra of its name, remains of walls and the Puerta de la Villa, next to which two boars indicate that the Celtiberians inhabited it, until the day they were put to knife by the Romans. In the parish church of Santa María la Mayor you can admire the tombs of the Fonseca, in Carrara marble. Walking through its streets we will see a high tower, also Mudejar, which served as watchdog, is the only vestige of the destroyed Romanesque church of San Nicolás.

Coca being a town surrounded by an extensive pine forest, it has the National Forestry Museum, to 2 km, by the Villagonzalo road.

To relax a bit, nothing better than a walk through the nearby salt lakes of Cantosal and we go to Rapariegos by the Arévalo road. At 18 km we find the Mudéjar Monastery of Santa Clara de Asís from the s. XIII, of unusual beauty, where Isabel the Catholic spent some days of rest and today the nuns sell sweets and make embroideries. In a few kilometers we have represented the Mudejar art in the churches of: Torocirio, Montejo de Arévalo, San Cristóbal de la Vega, Montuenga, Melque de Cercos.

By the N-601 we come to Martín Muñoz de las Posadas, repopulated in the s. XI by Martín Muñoz, one of the captains of El Cid. In its semi-stately, majestic Plaza Mayor, there are old buildings such as the Renaissance Palace of the architect Gaspar de la Vega, built by Cardinal Diego de Espinosa, inquisitor and minister of Felipe II, printing this population of peasants, cattlemen and dealers, as well as its Parish Church of Our Lady of the Assumption It owns rich s factory. XVI, built on another primitive s. XIII, and houses a splendid canvas of the Virgin of Contempt, the school of Raphael, the sepulcher of the Cardinal Espinosa elaborated by Pompeyo Leoni and other sculptural works of great value. However, his greatest treasure is "El Calvario", a painting by El Greco with a romantic story behind.

We return to Segovia passing through Labajos, a place name that refers to the numerous washings, areas of water accumulation, that we find in the surroundings.