Medieval town located on an elongated spur that borders the course of the Riaza river, in the area corresponding to the eastern end of the Pradales or Serrezuela mountains.
During the Reconquista it formed part of the first provincial line of defensive cores on the left bank of the Duero with Coca, Cuéllar, Fuentidueña and Sepúlveda.
Of early foundation, that goes back by some authors to the s. X, also counts among the strengths that Jiménez de Rada gives for recovered by Sancho Garcés in 1011 and figure forming part of the diocese of Burgos as Castro Maderolum in 1109.
He was head of the small community of his name with 19 villages or places from which 7 depopulated. The Villa had up to ten parishes and at least from the s. XV, had lordly dependence on the Moon, Chaves Girón and Villena, this from the s. XVI.
It was built in the upper part of a rocky hill, with a walled enclosure adjusted to the shape of the relief and main axis of east-west orientation, acquiring a characteristic plant in long use with main axes of about 580 x 75 m, and surface of about 3,5 ha. Therefore, it responds to a size that today we can consider very small, but which was very abundant in the Middle Ages, at least in the northern half of the peninsula. Maderuelo is within the Association "The Most Beautiful Towns of Spain".
What to see
The wall, that conserves good part of the linen cloths and the "Arc of the Villa", had four doors and the castle integrated in the Eastern end; the population had from eight to ten parishes and came to constitute suburbs, which seems to have been depopulated in the s. XIV. Of these apparent signs of religious prosperity the parish of Santa María and the hermitages of San Miguel, Veracruz and Castroboda are conserved. The structure of the hamlet is totally irregular, with a predominance of narrow and elongated blocks attached to the wall and its parcel-shaped fill with very different sizes and shapes that seem to come, in part, from successive alterations. However, there are two long longitudinal axes of warped profile, which converge on the doors of the ends of the enclosure and which are linked by multiple transverse alleys open over time. The whole, offers an undoubted interest as a representative example of defensive medieval village of strong landscape impact.
Arch of the Villa
Emblematic entrance of Maderuelo that protects the southwest access. Still retains the bolts, the postern and some thick armored wooden doors, with ornaments and polychrome, armor of the s. XV Until the beginning of the s. XX had a pit and bridge. This defensive set is configured with a vaulted entrance whose intramural opening is a high semicircular arch and the outer opening a pointed arch. Attached to the outer arch there is another one of half a point, higher, that presents / displays a great central hollow or bohedera and realizes the function of machicolation to protect the access.
St. Michael's Square
Small triangular square that serves as a bifurcation when entering Maderuelo. A staircase opens in the square to go up to the courtyard or elevated atrium of the hermitage that gives its name to this square. The high buildings that surround it preserve the original medieval atmosphere highlighting two Romanesque and one Gothic. On one of them there is a rococo style shield.
Church-Palace of San Miguel
Monumental complex formed by a church, old parish of the s. XII today without worship, and a semi-detached house today privately owned, possibly inhabited by the priests who attended the church. By its configuration it seems that its walls were part of the west defensive set and has undergone profound remodeling throughout history. In the S. XV was attached a second rectangular nave, topped with a small belfry. The bell-tower of the primitive Romanesque hermitage of semicircular apse, became housing. In its sober interior there are several burials framed in Gothic arches, highlighting the tombstone of the family of last name Hermosa. Rebuilt in 1981 thanks to the joint work of the City Council and the Junta de Castilla y León, it has become a very important building for the social and cultural activity of the Villa.
Puerta del Barrio and Casa-Torre del Hospital Defensive complex that protects the only access from the wall of the shady, which ascends the road from the Moralejos stream valley. It is a vaulted entrance framed between two solid arches, to which is attached a house that was an old tower. Later it was used as a hospital or shelter for pilgrims and people in need. It is called Puerta del Barrio because it is located next to the Jewish Quarter or Jewish Quarter of Maderuelo. This name could also be due to the fact that it gives access to the road from the neighborhood where the parish of Santa Coloma, possibly of Mozarabic origin, was located.
Dedicated to Joaquín Pérez Seoane, benefactor of Maderuelo. It occupies one of the heights of the hill and a barbican with a running bank separates it from the street of Arriba. It emphasizes the house with arcade and columns that closes one of the lateral ones of this square, that yearns the great olma, victim of the grafiosis, plague that ravages our olmedas.
Plaza de Santa María
Rectangle that occupies the central part of the hill, under the imposing bulk of the church of Santa María. It has two accesses to the west and two to the east, which cross under separate arches that are attached to the great steeple, built as traced by Manuel Díaz Gamones in the last third of s. XVIII and centenary witness of innumerable hand ball games.
Santa María del Castillo Church.
Mudejar church that stands out for its size, since it was the arciprestal church, preserving manifestations of different styles, being the only segovian temple with remains of caliphal style. In its walls, the reuse of Romanesque materials from the previous temple, which had to be demolished for the construction of the present one, can be seen, distinguishing the Romanesque corbels and some metopes in the eaves reused. In the S. XVIII a bulrush was built to replace the previous one that threatened ruin, high belfry that houses five bells, whose sound is heard at incredible distances.
It surprises the height of the main nave, topped by a semicircular apse and an elegant wooden roof, as well as the vaults and mudéjares windows in brick of the lateral chapels.
Tower of the Castle
It is one of the last vestiges of the castle that protected the northern access and was inhabited by the counts of San Esteban. It suffered the ruthless effects of numerous rays that have demolished part of its walls. The square layout of this bastion can still be seen, in whose subsoil there is a cistern.
Arcacel and Barbican
Spectacular viewpoint that extends under the portico atrium of the church of Santa María. Although it served as the ossuary of the parish until recent times, its defensive function is a mystery, especially in the era of Muslim rule. The name of arcarcel indicates that this extension of land, was used to plant barley that was cut green and served as fodder for the transport animals of the parish priest.
When the waters descend at the beginning of August, they show this work of solid ashlar masonry. Although of Romanesque construction some experts believe that it can be based on an earlier one of Roman origin. His five eyes, half-buried in the mud of the reservoir and its strong cutwaters, demonstrate the strength of the Riaza floods. This bridge, for whose crossing they had to pay tribute to the Marquis of Villena, unites the town with its beloved hermitage of Veracruz and the high lands of the páramo. In its parapet two shields are conserved with the arms of the Pacheco and those that were increasing by marriage, family to which belonged the gentleman who received the right of way.
Ermita de la Veracruz
Born as a parish, it was "reduced to a mere hermitage in which all the feasts of the Cross and the Apostle were officiated," said Don Bartolomé de Alba in the 17th century. XVIII in a pastoral visit. Declared a National Monument in 1924, this simple templar hermitage surprised the world by hosting one of the best sets of Romanesque Castilian frescoes.
In 1950 the construction of the reservoir led to its expropriation and forced to move the frescoes to the Museo del Prado, leaving faint imprints on the walls, appreciated as a treasure by the neighbors. It is the oldest temple and seems to be rebuilt on a previous Visigothic hermitage, according to experts. Tradition tells us that he had a brotherhood dedicated to the burial of deceased neighbors and pious works and that, according to some, the Templars guarded here one of the Lignum Crucis that came to the peninsula.
Hermitage of Castroboda
Hermitage built at the end of the s. XVIII that the neighbors raised with their effort to lodge the patroness of Maderuelo. In its construction the materials of the chapel of San Roque were used, located in the same place next to the cemetery, perhaps because this saint is the protector against the plague, being now the Virgin of Castroboda, the one that watches over the eternal rest of the deceased sons of the Villa. Interesting building built in neoclassical style with baroque interior decorated with plasterwork.
Routes around the municipality The towns of their land built in Romanesque style the first parish churches and chapels, churches of a nave, curved apse and atrium on the south side, element this characteristic of Romanesque repopulation south of the Douro: Linares, Valdevarnés, Fuentemizarra and Cedillo where the church has a superb belfry that has given the town its nickname. The Gothic did not leave more mark than in the head of the church of Field whose paintings of the altarpiece, also of Gabriel de Sosa, are of great interest. During the s. XVII and XVIII, churches were adorned with plasterwork.
Reservoir of Linares del Arroyo
Natural Park of the Sickles of the Riaza River The existence of a great variety of ecosystems of great natural wealth, has deserved the proposal as Protected Natural Area of the European Union (Natura 2000).
The reservoir includes, from the feet of Maderuelo to Las Hoces, 690 has. It is classified as a protected wetland where the otter, the gray heron and numerous species of anatidae subsist. Next to the reservoir are the Sickles of the Riaza River, Special Protection Area for Birds (ZEPA). This natural space is formed by a set of canyons and ravines that extends along 12 km of the middle channel of the Riaza River, escorted by imposing limestone cliffs. The predominant geological structures in the Sickles of the Riaza River, are the calcareous cuttings and the alluvium of the vega of the river. The calcareous cuttings were formed under the sea and the internal movements of the earth's crust brought it out. Subsequently the erosion of the river, mainly, gave them the shape that we can observe today. The climate is of the continental Mediterranean type, with scarce annual rainfall and very cold temperatures in winter. The landscape is formed by holm oaks and gall oak, on cliffs and moors. There are also junipers and junipers, hawthorn and rose hips alternating with thyme, lavender, sage, lavender and gorse. On the bank, magnificent specimens of white willow close to the riverbed and black and white poplar after the willows. We can also find ash, elderberries, thorns ... As for the crops, these are basically wheat and barley in the dry areas of the highlands and beet and corn in the valley of the river.
The presence of more than 300 vertebrate species has been detected, but the importance of this area lies in lodging in its walls one of the densest and most numerous colonies of griffon vulture and Egyptian vulture in Europe. It is not uncommon to see concentrations of more than 50 vultures flying over these places. Other birds also cross these skies, highlighting raptors such as the eagle owl, the peregrine falcon, the short-toed eagle, booted eagle, golden eagle, kestrels, jackdaws, jackdaws, etc. The man has left marked his historical mark in these lands. Thus, along the Hoces, rock paintings dating from the 2500 BC take place, there are indications of the passage of the Romans and the Romanesque hermitage of the Casuar, recently declared an Asset of Cultural Interest.
The Sabinar de Hornuez
El Sabinar de Hornuez is a magnificent forest of junipers turned into pasture by the hand of man, with some large specimens, which delight any lover of nature or, simply, those who are excited about beautiful things. Not in vain some sabinas, majestic and twisted, tell their life for millennia. In this place, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Miracle of Hornuez, patron saint of the Land of Maderuelo, of Baroque influence of the 1768, rises. In one of these sabinas, according to tradition, the Virgin appeared to some shepherds. This tree is preserved in the center of the temple. Among its branches, a beautiful carving of the image of the Lady stands out, although a lightning bolt and a fire destroyed the original Romanesque carving. There is no lack in this sacred environment of fresh and exquisite water that springs from a spring.
What to do
In the reservoir that forms the Riaza River, you can practice canoeing, windsurfing, take a boat ride, fish or bathe. You can go on horseback excursions, numerous hiking or mountain bike routes and ornithological observations.
-Route through Sickles of the Ríaza River
-Route II through Sickles of the Ríaza River
-Route through the Sickle of Valdevarnés
You can find magnificent sculpture and saddlery. Local honey is made.
You can taste the suckling lamb and the Ribera del Duero wine, which is the most traditional. Nor will we forget the black pudding and the rest of the killing.
Maderuelo XII Century
Cultural festival that aims to show medieval life transporting us to the s. XII with the recreation of proclamations, showings, parades, theater, artisans, trials according to law, skirmishes, combats, battles, parades, challenges with bow and sword at the end of August.
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