Puentedey has just over 50 inhabitants and is located in the Burgos region of Las Merindades (Castilla y León). Its most photographed image is, without a doubt, the natural stone bridge created by the Nela River on which the town was created. A scenario that is more than likely to begin to receive more visitors, since the association The Most Beautiful Towns of Spain has just announced that Puentedey will join its list of the most charming Spanish villas in 2022. He is the only candidate who has achieved it of the 22 towns that the association has audited throughout this year that is about to end.
A walk through the streets and monuments of this small and quiet town, located about 90 kilometers north of the city of Burgos, is like a trip back in time. A past that dates back 90 million years, the time it took for the Nela to create its iconic natural arch about 15 meters high to continue on its way to the Ebro. Although the neighbors spoke of a construction designed by God, of hence the original name of the town (Puente Dei), which belongs together with other districts to the municipality of Merindad de Valdeporres.
Here awaits a charming urban area with manor houses and popular buildings. The church of San Pelayo is worth a visit, a Romanesque temple with a single limestone nave that boasts an impost decorated with checkered, rhombuses and an undulating stem sheltering leaves at the base of its vault. And on its simple cover, the representation of a man armed with a sword facing a reptile. Another of its monuments is the Brizuela Palace, built between the 15th and 16th centuries at the highest point of the Puentedey natural arch and declared an asset of cultural interest in the category of castles in 1949.
The rehabilitation of the old bread oven, the old mill, as well as the shoe rack and a small bowling museum, the new parking areas outside the town, the caravan area and the new San Andrés viewpoint, suspended in the air and that offers another not so well-known panorama of Puentedey (with views of the natural stone arch and hanging houses), are some of the reasons that the association argues for incorporating Puentedey into its network, which has been trying to be part of it for several years. her.
This is also an enclave to enjoy gastronomy. As in the rest of the Las Merindades region, vegetables, preñaos buns, lamb, blood sausage and Burgos cheese are some of its delicious stars. And, of course, a perfect base camp for excursions through the region and discover places such as the Busnela dolmen or the Ojo Guareña natural monument, one of the largest sets of caves on the Peninsula.
To be part of the association The Most Beautiful Towns of Spain, the candidacy must be presented in full by the City Council, and then a quality commission visits the candidates, who must pass more than 40 criteria. Aspects such as the care of heritage, its cleaning and care of green spaces, the circulation of vehicles, attention to the traditions of the place or the programmed cultural activity are analyzed. “The level of demand to be part of the association is maximum, our objective is the quality of our towns and not the quantity. We want to awaken emotions in our visitors and that can only be achieved with harmonious urban planning, with a well-cared for material heritage and with a quality intangible heritage ”, Francisco Mestre, president of the association, assures in a press release..
The association The Most Beautiful Villages of Spain was created in 2011 with an initial list of only 14 villas, based on the French model Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. Its objective is the support and promotion of the small municipalities distributed throughout the Spanish geography, and with this only new addition – last year there were 11 selected towns – there are already 105 proper names that make it up.
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