The city of Palencia is located in the northern part of Spain, about 50 km north of Valladolid. It is the administrative center of the province of the same name.
The settlement on the Carrion River was founded by the Celtiberian tribes before our era. The heyday of the city came at the beginning of the 13th century, when King Alfonso VIII declared it his residence and founded the first Spanish University here. However, after the death of the king and the founding of the University of Salamanca, the city lost its importance.
According to Sunglasseswill, Palencia is located in the picturesque valley of the Carrión River. The city is surrounded by hills, on one of which stands the statue of Jesus Christ (height 20 m) – the third largest in the world after the statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro. The central street of the Old Town of Palencia is Calle Mayor. On both sides of it rise the facades of buildings of the 18th-20th centuries, in which shops, restaurants and cafes are located. The street leads to the city’s main square, Plaza Mayor, where the 19th century city hall and the church of San Francisco (13th century) are located. A little to the west, closer to the river, is one of the largest Cathedrals in Castile. Cathedral of Palencia It was built between the 14th and 16th centuries. Its height reaches 30 m. In contrast to its restrained Gothic facade, the interior of the cathedral is full of artistic and religious masterpieces: the 16th century altar, the crypt where the remains of St. Next to the cathedral is the Bishop’s Palace with the Museum of Ecclesiastical Art, which houses religious art from some of the churches of Palencia. Be sure to head to the 11th century San Miguel church, easily recognizable by its tall 13th century lookout tower. It is also worth visiting the Palencia Museum, which tells about the history of the region from prehistoric times.
15 km south In Palencia, in the village of Venta de Banos, the Basilica of San Juan Bautista is interesting. This is the oldest Christian church in all of Spain, it was erected in the 7th century under the Visigothic king Rekkesvinta.
In general, the province of Palencia is known for its Romanesque buildings, and the city of Palencia is the starting point for the tourist route “Romanesque art of Palencia”, which includes about 50 Romanesque buildings in the province. This is the monastery of Santa Maria (11-13 centuries) in Aguilar de Campoo (Aguilar de Campoo); the monastery of Santa Clara (13th century) and the churches of Santa Maria (12th century) and Santiago (13th century) in Carrión de los Condes (Carrion de los Condes); the church of San Martin (11th century) in Fromista; the church of Santa Maria la Blanca (13th century) in Villalcazar de Sirga; Church of Santa Eulalia (13th-16th century) in Paredes de Nava (Paredes de Nava), where such famous Spanish sculptors as Pedro and Alonso Berruguete were born.
In the north of the province of Palencia, the spurs of the Cantabrian mountains extend. It is here that one of the largest tributaries of the Duero River and one of the most important water arteries of the region, the Pisuerga River, as well as its tributary, the Carrión River, originates. The source of the Pisuerga river is within the Fuente Cobre range, while the Carrión river is within the Fuentes Carriónas range. Both mountain ranges are protected by a natural park (Natural Park of Fuentes Carrionas and Fuente Cobre). The park covers an area of 78 thousand hectares. The local landscapes range from gentle river valleys to densely forested mountain slopes and cliffs. Oak and beech forests grow on the territory of the park, where rare Cantabrian brown bears live. The largest settlement of the park is the city of Cervera de Pisuerga.
Puebla de Sanabria, Castile-Leon (Spain)
The village of Puebla de Sanabria is located in the north-west of Spain in the province of Zamora near the border with Portugal. It is located at an altitude of 960 m between the Sierra de la Culebra and Sierra Cabrera mountains.
In the Middle Ages, Puebla de Sanabria was located on the strategically important routes of Spain and was therefore well fortified. The fortress walls and the impregnable castle of the second half of the 15th century have been preserved here to this day. The castle is located on the top of a hill. It is connected with the village itself by an old stone bridge, from where a beautiful view of the surroundings opens. Not far from the castle is the 12th century Nuestra Señora de Azogo church. To Puebla de Sanabria everywhere there is a spirit of the Middle Ages: small stone houses stand along the narrow cobbled streets, and buildings of the 15th century, decorated with coats of arms, rise in the central square.
North of Puelba de Sanabria are the Sierra Cabrera mountains. The Sierra Cabrera mountains reach a height of 2000 m. Here you can see all kinds of glacial landforms that appeared as a result of the last ice age: gentle valleys and numerous lakes. In the Sierra Cabrera, just 7 km from Puelba de Sanabria, there is Sanabria Lake – the largest glacial lake not only in Spain but of the entire Iberian Peninsula. Its area is 3.7 square meters. km, the maximum depth reaches 51 m. On the shores of the lake there is a natural park of the same name with an area of 224 sq. km. Oak forests stretch here, birches, willows and yews are found. The park is inhabited by 17 species of mammals and 76 species of birds, including roe deer, Spanish lynx, wolves, partridges and golden eagles, and trout is found in the lakes. The visitor center of the natural park is located on the north shore of Lake Sanabria in the former Cistercian monastery of San Martin de Castañeda from the 12th century. Here you will be told about the geological history, nature and culture of the area. In the summer, tourists can swim in the lake, sunbathe on its shores, go boating and even go windsurfing or kayaking (luckily there are equipment rentals here).
South of Puelba de Sanabria, the Sierra de la Culebra mountains stretch. They reach a maximum mark of 1243 m (mountain Peña Mira). This is one of the few places on the Iberian Peninsula where Iberian wolves live. In the middle of the 20th century, this type of wolf was almost exterminated. Currently, hunting for the Iberian wolf is prohibited in neighboring Portugal, in Spain is allowed. A special park was created for hunting the Iberian wolf in the Sierra de la Culebra. However, every year the Spanish authorities issue hunting permits for only a few individuals, and the opportunity to hunt each individual will cost several thousand euros. Also within the park you can just watch the wolves. The greatest probability of seeing a wolf is noted near the station “Muladar”, where park rangers feed the wolves. In addition, in the mountains of the Sierra de la Culebra is Mount Penedo, or as it is called the “Mountain of the Three Kingdoms”, which is located on the borders of the three medieval kingdoms of Portugal, Leon and Galicia.
Also from the village of Puebla de Sanabria you can go to the capital of the province – the city of Zamora (Zamora), which, due to the abundance of churches and buildings built in the Romanesque style, is called the “Museum of Romanesque Art”.