Aguilafuente is a Segovian town located in the center of the province, in the beautiful region of Tierra de Pinares. It is an emerging tourist destination with rich history and culture surrounded by hectares of pine forest.
Well connected by road, it is located 36 km north of Segovia, 135 km from Madrid and 86 km from Valladolid. Crossed by the Cega river and the Malucas stream, tributaries of the Duero, its cobbled streets and its museums will bring you closer to different times that can be guessed in its archaeological remains, churches and hermitages, palaces and stately homes, remains of walls, official buildings, fountains , squares, fireplaces, sundials ...
Nowadays the municipality has rural accommodation hostesses that go from the typical rural house fully equipped segoviana to spaces like the center of rural tourism with a modern decoration. Its varied gastronomy includes an offer of careful cuisine, with home-made specialties, traditional roasts and delicatessen, all made with top-quality local products.
The history of the Villa is wide and goes back, at least, to the Neolithic period, concretely around 3500 years BC This date is attested by the finding of a copy of polished ax donated by Don Ricardo García in the 40 years to the then Commissioner Provincial of Excavations Antonio Molinero, said finding is currently deposited in the Museum of Segovia.
Later, in the 80 years several ceramic remains were found in a place very close to the town: La Cuesta de la Rebilla. These coarse-looking ceramics were hand-made, presenting a black coloration and a total lack of decoration. These findings can be dated in the transit of the last period of the Bronze Age (Late Bronze Age), better known as Cogotas I facies, to the First Iron Age (Iron I), period designated by archeology in the Duero basin as Soto I facies, therefore with a temporal chronology that places them between the 800-700 years BC
Aguilafuente has an important settlement of the Ancient Age, as evidenced by the presence of the remains of the Roman villa of the s. II AD in the area of Santa Lucia. This site has given us mosaics, frescoes and abundant ceramic material in which fragments of late Hispanic sigillata as well as common ceramics stand out, which indicates the presence in this area of a large latifundia exploitation according to this historical moment which is the Under Empire. Subsequently, the site was used by Visigothic populations, even using the Roman villa as a burial site (6th century AD). In this necropolis, some 200 burials have been found, which included grave goods made up of objects belonging to the brewery: fibulas, brooches, belt buckles, necklaces and different ceramic remains. Even the place where today the town of Aguilafuente is located could have been another Visigothic necropolis, since in the Calle de la Ermita and its surroundings several anthropomorphic sarcophagi carved in stone have been found.
The first documentary mention, in the cession of the Villa by Alfonso VII to the bishop of Segovia, in 1137, denominates Baguilafont (possibly "Source of Baguila").
Undoubtedly, the most relevant and well-known event of its long history took place under the reign of Enrique IV, and it is the celebration, in the church of Santa María, of the synod convoked by the Segovian bishop Juan Arias Dávila, concerned about the situation of his diocese. The proceedings of the synod gave rise to a great milestone, the publication of the Sinodal de Aguilafuente, the first book printed in Spain. Arias Dávila summoned to ecclesiastical and lay representatives of his diocese, a total of eighty-five assistants, who approved a reform of the ecclesial life (clerical and lay). Clerics are forbidden to carry arms, they are forced to intellectual training, which must be achieved within four years in the General Study (which was directed by Arias Dávila himself); and the pastoral ministry is reformed (with the search of respect and purity in the cult) and the liturgy (calendars, offices, etc.) For the laity the reform is elaborated in the cult, in the marriage (prohibiting the realized ones without witnesses and divorces without knowledge of the Church) and in patrimonial law.
In some of the final years of the XV century (1489, 1492, 1496 and 1497) Aguilafuente is the headquarters of several General Councils of the Mesta, the powerful grouping of sheep farmers in the kingdom, which undoubtedly reflects the importance of the town in that century of transition towards the Modern Age. In addition Queen Isabella the Catholic visited the town in May of 1493 and her husband Fernando did the 10 October of 1505, sometimes even the two monarchs together also spent several days in Aguilafuente as a resting place between frequent trips for their Kingdoms Even the queen interceded on more than one occasion between the local council and the cathedral chapter to solve problems of the town.
Already in the sixteenth century, Aguilafuente participates the town in the War of the Communities against the Emperor Charles I, so the Cathedral Chapter is released from it, selling it to D. Pedro de Zúñiga, Duke of Béjar, the 22 in October of 1536. Shortly after Charles I granted D. Pedro the title of Marquis de Aguilafuente. This fact and the decline of the Austrian monarchy at that time greatly affect its development.
It is also a time of conquest in the New World. It is known that some of the settlers of this town intervened in the conquest of America, as Alonso del Rio, so relates the conquistador Bernal Díaz del Castillo in his True Story of the Conquest of New Spain.
In the war of the Independence of 1808 with the entrance of the troops of Napoleón, given the extension of the pine groves that surround the town, the population participated very actively in the war of guerillas against the invader. Already in the twentieth century, and specifically in the period of the Civil War (1936-1939), Aguilafuente was framed in the so-called national zone, like most of Old Castile. Later Aguilafuente, once overcome the war and the postwar period suffered the dire consequences of immigration to the big cities during the decades of the 50, 60 and 70.
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What to see
Iglesia de Santa Maria
The parish church, located in the Plaza Mayor, has its origin in the s. XII, with Romanesque brick style (as the apse is conserved), continued, in the s. XIII, by Romanesque stone (tower) and, in the s. XV, late Gothic, contemporary of the Synod (on the covers). Its wide interior, with three naves, is topped with an apse of brick, which contrasts with the later modifications of the temple. It emphasizes the slender tower and the main cover, with beautiful alfiz and sculptural reasons.
Archaeological Classroom of Santa Lucía Site - Church of San Juan
The church of San Juan began at the end of the s. XI, in Romanesque style of stone and brick. The interior, in origin of a single ship finished in square head, was extended at the end of s. XV with a second nave, with a chapel covered with a ribbed vault of Gothic style. Stresses the strength of the tower, of ashlar masonry, with two windows of half a point per side. It was a parish until 1843. The Archaeological Hall of Aguilafuente, located in the church of San Juan, is an interpretation center of the Roman Villa of Santa Lucía. Its origin is located in the s. II AD and was occupied until the Middle Ages. Throughout the different rooms, the visitor discovers, in a pleasant way, at the same time that rigorous and informative, how was the decoration of this Villa (based on mosaics and mural paintings), how was its architectural form and its constructive advances (heating system, running water and sewage), what materials were used, what people lived there (different social classes), what they worked, how they dressed, how was their food ... In the classroom a rich and numerous collection of mosaics extracted from the Villa de Santa Lucía, among which the mosaic of horses stands out. This decoration refers to the breeding of racehorses that took place in the Villa. Visitors can also enjoy a collection of original Roman coins from different centuries (from II BC to IV AD), as well as common Roman pottery. Due to the finding in this Villa of a Visigothic necropolis of the s. VI and VII AD, in one of the rooms of the Classroom the different forms of Visigoth burial and found funerary objects are shown.
Florentine Museum Trapero
Florentino Trapero is a sculptor and painter born in Aguilafuente in the 1893 year and dies in Madrid in the 1977. His style is characterized by a classic taste in its beginnings, which evolves, with the passage of time, towards fully baroque artistic forms. All his work is characterized by great technical perfection. Throughout his professional career, he made sculptures and innumerable portraits around 200. It stands out for its extensive production the Apostolate of the New Cathedral of Vitoria, the restoration of the Cathedral of Sigüenza, the Step of the Entrance of Jesus in Jerusalem (the original is in the Museum of Steps of Holy Week in Zamora), the Adam Arrepentido (in the Plaza Mayor of Aguilafuente) and La Piedad (in the cemetery of the Almudena in Madrid). In the Museo Florentino Trapero we can see sculptures in small and large format, drawings, sketches, carvings and preparatory plasters. The museum houses a very representative sample of the work of the brilliant artist. Highlight the abundant awards that Florentino received throughout his life: first prize in the National Exhibition of Polychrome Sculpture (1922), honorable mention in the Iberoamerican exhibition in Seville (1930), medal in the National Exhibition of Prints of the Passion ( 1949) ...
Hermitage of Santo Cristo de la Peña
Building built in the second half of the s. XVI, Herrerian style. Its altarpiece and baroque altar, made by Francisco Santos de Prado in the 1677 year and renovated in 1711, houses the image of Christ of the Rock, polychrome wooden carving of great beauty and incalculable value.
House of the Pérez de la Torre
It is a manor house of the s. XVI, near the Plaza de la Fuente, in the Segovia race. It has a coat of arms, a balcony on the facade and a striking sundial. It maintains the structure and characteristics of a house of the families of highest rank and economic power of the Villa.
Remains of the Palace of the Marquis of Aguilafuente
It is the remains of a palace of the s. XVI, belonging to Don Pedro de Zúñiga, Marqués de Aguilafuente. It conserves part of the wall and large windows adorned with allegorical motifs of the heraldic shield of the house of the Zúñiga. Near this house there is an arch of the farm called "La Cerca del Marqués".
House of Las Conchas
There is a house in the Plaza de la Fuente with a very special decoration, perhaps unique in all of Castile. We are referring to the Casa de las Conchas, whose facade is decorated with natural scallop shells. The building dates from the early s. XX. He ordered the construction of a neighbor from our town who had fish trade with Galicia. His intention was to bring to his land a typical Galician decoration.
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What to do
The town of Aguilafuente treasures an extraordinary natural wealth. It appears surrounded by an immense forest mass of more than 3.000 hectares of pine resinero. From certain places you can see the beautiful landscape of the vast immensity of green pine oceans. Together with its appreciated wood, our pine forests have a high mycological richness. In autumn, after a few rainy days, they give us a wide variety of edible mushrooms, among which the níscalo stands out. Add to it the presence of the Cega river and the Malucas stream, which in unison water and give life to our land, bringing beauty, fertility and harmony. A very special place stands out, the so-called Paraje de las Fuentes, a recreational area surrounded by an exceptional natural environment: pine forests and the Cega river. The presence of tables with seats allows, in addition to enjoying its beautiful views, you can make a nice meal or picnic, which gives the place an added value.
No less graceful are two other pearls of nature. On the one hand the river Cega, alternating the calm course with fast jumps of water, and always accompanied by inseparable and fertile vegetation. On the other, the Cerro de Santa Lucía, where a Roman and Visigothic site rests, and from where one can contemplate the immensity of pine forests and extensive lands of labor, very typical of the Castilian Plateau.
Cycling Route by Caretera
Holidays and traditions
The origin of the paloteos in Aguilafuente is not very clarified, although it is very likely that it is close to the s. XVI, as it seems to demonstrate the documentation of a paloteo dedicated to Carlos V, that in its letter treats of the War of the Communities. The paloteos arise before the need to express externally the joy and devotion that the religious festivals produced to our ancestors. These festivities especially dedicated to the paloteo in Aguilafuente are: The Virgin of Candelas and San Blas (2 and 3 of February), celebrated on the nearest Sunday. The current group of dances has been operating since 1980, the year in which the paloteos were recovered (they had lost 25 1955-1980 years). The youth of Aguilafuente has passed through and continues to pass through him. At the moment the group is made up of some 50 people, divided in four groups of paloteo. The ages are between the 10 and the 50 years. It has recovered almost all the paloteos (12) and a jota or dance called "Cruz".
Offering to the Virgin
The Floral Offering, with more than 25 years old, begins the Patron Saint Festivities in honor of the Virgin of the Assumption, the 15 of August. The act begins with a procession that departs from the Cultural Center of the Villa. To the sound of dulzaina and tamboril, the numerous retinue, dressed in regional costumes, paraded way to the church of Santa María. Here the Virgin is received with dances, music and paloteos. Next, the Floral Offering takes place in the atrium. In the midst of immense emotion, authorities, associations, clubs and the general public participate. Already adorned with immensity of flowers, the Virgin is dedicated to poems, petitions, dances and paloteos. The offering is finished with the song of the jota to the Virgin.
Sinodal de Aguilafuente
The town of Aguilafuente, which has given its name to the first book printed in Spain, wanted to recall that great event to disseminate such an important part of our history. Thus, from the year 2003, in which there was a massive presentation of the first facsimile edition of the Synodal, the activities have been expanded to become a leading reference in cultural tourism, at the provincial, regional and national levels. The dates chosen, the first weekend of August, encourage the participation of the many residents and holiday makers throughout the province.
The most outstanding activity is the staging of a day of the Synod, prepared by the La Recua Study, with script and direction by Miguel Gómez Andrea, and under the artistic direction of Miguel Nieto. The scenario is unbeatable, the same place that hosted the Synod in 1472, that is, the church of Santa María. With a trepidante rhythm, near thirty actors, who go in procession from the place of the Source to the church of Santa Maria, they represent what could be a day of the Synod, with subjects like the decorum in the dress of the clerics, the obligation to know Latin, the prohibition of games in liturgical acts, the prohibition of carrying arms, divorces, etc. There are performances, lasting one hour, from Friday to Sunday at night.
First book printed in Spain
Shortly after the end of the Aguilafuente Synod, according to the Segovian historian Diego de Colmenares, its minutes were printed in the Segovian workshop of Juan Párix, giving rise to the first book printed in Spain, today known as the Aguilafuente Synodal. It is a book of 48 printed sheets and 16 blank, on high quality paper, with round or Roman letters. It has no cover and begins with the index of the 28 chapters that it consists of. Only one single copy is preserved in the world, in the Cathedral of Segovia, where there is also the manuscript that served as a printing original, the so-called Codex canonum.
The text, which is in Castilian Spanish, is composed by line, except for two fragments that are two columns apart, precisely in which the names of the representatives of Pedraza and Fuentidueña appear who, not wanting to appear one after the other, forced to do so in columns. All the investigations confirm that Segovia had the first Spanish printing press, run by the German Juan Párix, who had previously worked in Rome. It was Bishop Arias Dávila who called Párix to carry out different works, most of them carried out for the General Study, so they are related to canon law and theology. The German printed, between 1472 and 1475, eight books, although perhaps he made a ninth, which is not preserved, at the head of which is the Synodal. Later, from 1473, the printing press spread to other locations, such as Valencia, Barcelona or Seville. There is a recent facsimile edition of the book, by the Instituto Castellano y Leonés de la Lengua, with an introduction by Fermín de los Reyes and a transcription by Susana Vilches and Pompeyo Martín.