Valladolid: 24 hours in Tordesillas in the footsteps of Juana la Loca | The traveler


Located in the province of Valladolid, the small town of Tordesillas (8,800 inhabitants) oozes history at every turn. Here the Catholic Monarchs lived and the Treaty of Tordesillas was signed, relevant because it divided the lands of the New World between the Spanish and the Portuguese. But if she is famous for something, it is because Juana I of Castile was locked up in her castle for almost 50 years, better known as Juana la Loca. A wonderful place to explore on foot and discover one of the crucial chapters in the history of Spain.

10.00 Sweet visits

The first thing you see when entering Tordesillas is the Santa Clara monastery (1), with part of its walls rising over the Duero River. It was built in 1340 as a Mudejar palace by order of Alfonso XI, on the occasion of the victory of the Battle of Salado between his troops and those of Alfonso IV of Portugal against those of Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada. But it would be his granddaughter, the Infanta Beatriz, who at the express wish of her father, Pedro I of Castile, would convert it into a convent in 1363 for the Poor Clare mothers. Eight cloistered nuns still reside, which is why the visits are guided. A tour that shows the golden chapel (an exponent of Spanish Mudejar), the Arab baths, the 15th century Gothic church and its altarpiece or the Saldaña chapel, all made of marble, under whose floor Juana la Loca was buried since her death in 1555 to 1574, when his grandson Felipe II transferred his remains to Granada to be with those of her husband, Felipe el Hermoso, and his parents, the Catholic Monarchs. Before leaving, go to the entrance lathe and buy some sweet made by the nuns, such as amarguillos, typical Tordesillas pastries made with almonds, eggs and sugar; You will not be disappointed. Do not forget the El Toro polvorones, which they have been making in the pastry shop Galicia (2) since it was inaugurated in 1850, or the almond pastes and cinnamon mantecados that they make at home and according to the old tradition in Sweet Ana (Plaza de Pepe Zorita, 19) (3). A real delight.

11.30 am Between churches

The Treaty House (Present Scaffolding, 1) (4) It is a small museum of great importance, because a decisive agreement was signed here in 1494: the Treaty of Tordesillas. Two years after Christopher Columbus arrived in America, Spain and Portugal disputed his control and with this pact they agreed to divide the discovered world, putting the ocean frontier for the first time and laying the foundations for a long era of discoveries. Glued is the Museum of San Antolín (5), which from the time it was built in the 16th century until the end of the 20th century was a church. It houses important pieces from the Tordesillas temples, such as those in the Alderete chapel, and from the balcony of its tower (which you can climb) Juana de Castilla contemplated, they say, the Duero in times of captivity. And it was that she was attached to the palace where she spent 46 years locked up. It was directly opposite, but in the 18th century Carlos III ordered it demolished due to its poor condition and today in its place are the Palace Gardens (6), where the statue of this great woman stands. Bordering the monastery you can take a tour of the main temples of the city: the Santiago church (ruined) (7), the of Saint Peter (8), the Hospital Mater Dei (also demolished) (9), the church of Santa Maria (whose tower is the one seen arriving from Valladolid) (10) and of San Juan (11). In between, you will go through the Main Square, a classic Castilian example from the end of the 16th century with its square plan, arcades, viewpoints and balconies.

14.00 Turresilano rooster at the parador

Have you ever tried the turresilane rooster? An old recipe for chicken stewed with almonds typical of this town that the Parador de Tordesillas (12) Prepared succulently, with the plus of the views of the pine forest from the dining room. If you continue along the Salamanca road, in five kilometers you will find the hermitage of the Virgen de la Peña, a 17th century building destroyed in 1812 during the war against the French, rebuilt in the first half of the 19th century and which houses the image of the patron saint of Tordesillas.

16.30 Renowned military enclave

It is worth approaching Medina del Campo (13), just over 20 kilometers in the direction of Madrid, and visit the castle of la Mota, where they held Juana de Castilla (years before locking her up in Tordesillas) until she gave birth to the infant Fernando, her third child, while her husband returned to Flanders. A fortress that King Juan II, father of Isabel la Católica, ordered to be built in the middle of the 15th century on the remains of a medieval defensive wall from the 12th century that are still visible. But it was thanks to the Catholic Monarchs that it acquired its renown and military prominence. Here they erected the most modern firing gallery the kingdom had known to date, began using new artillery that would change the way war is waged in Europe, and excavated the innovative moat that surrounds the castle.

19.00 A winery from 1886

It is difficult to be in this area and not try some traditional Rueda wine: Verdejo or Tempranillo. In the center of Tordesillas, the Muelas Winery (14) offers the possibility of discovering what the production and aging process is like in an underground cellar. An activity that the Muelas family began in 1886, in this same place, and that has continued for five generations, keeping old wine-growing traditions alive. The visits are guided and last between 45 minutes and an hour and a half.

21.30 This is how the meat is seasoned

In the same way, it is difficult not to taste a good suckling lamb (lamb) in these parts, one of the most representative dishes of Castilla y León. Feel free to order a roast room at Rent (15), where they also prepare exceptional grilled fish and whose open kitchen turns dinner into a show. In the same avenue of Burgos-Portugal, The Tower (16) It is the stop if you want to enjoy some tasty lamb chops and learn how salt is properly spilled on grilled red meats, its specialty.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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