Pedraza: an escape to the medieval jewel of Segovia

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| 10 abril, 2020 | 0 Comments

Nestled between walls and with the Sierra de Guadarrama as a backdrop, Pedraza breathes the worn air of the centuries. Few, very few, are fortunate to be considered one of the best preserved medieval towns not only in Segovia or Castilla y León, but also in Spain.

This small universe of emblazoned mansions, arcaded square, Romanesque church and even its own castle in which there were prisoners of royal blood, plays at not turning years, at letting time pass only for others, for its inhabitants and visitors who come to admire the strong bearing of what for many is a getaway incapable of disappointing.

Pedraza, a town with history

They say that Pedraza de la Sierra, which is its full name, is perfumed every day with the smoke from the chimneys and the slow and artisanal preparation of a good Segovian roast suckling pig.

This was always a land of cattle, especially sheep. In fact, the secret of its splendor in the 16th and 17th centuries is due to the quality of merino sheep’s wool that was exported to other regions in northern Europe.

The facades still give off innumerable heraldic symbols of some of the most powerful families in Castile. But, as always, everything has its end.

The livestock crisis and the abolition of the seigniorial regime led Pedraza to oblivion. An oblivion rescued for not touching an iota of this municipality that is a true reflection of what an important town would be like on any given day in 1600.

¿What to see in Pedraza? A travel in the time

Puerta de la Villa and Medieval Prison

Pedraza, completely walled, only had (and still has) a single entrance, the one known as Puerta de la Villa, where the coat of arms of Íñigo Fernández de Velasco stands out on its arch.

Cars enter here to stay in the parking lot located near the castle. But a good tip is to start here and walk in, as citizens and visitors would for centuries except at night, when the door closed until the next morning.

Much of the Puerta de la Villa also served as a public prison. Once inside the town we see the door and some stairs to climb for a curious visit.

The prevention room where he held prisoners in shackles, as well as the dark cells have been perfectly preserved until today.

On the way to the Plaza Mayor on Calle Real

On this path through the cobblestones we realize the richness of the facades and the value of the town of Pedraza measured in a harmonious urban complex that cannot be added anything. Few towns in Spain have similarly preserved their buildings.

Flowers emerge from some barred windows to add some color to a robust ensemble, even somewhat sober. But it is the uniformity in each street, in each layout, that makes Pedraza a special place.

The Plaza Mayor de Pedraza

With an irregular floor plan, arcaded and of considerable size, it houses some of the most impressive mansions and mansions in the town.

We know it from its heraldic coats of arms and from the dimensions of the residences of Castilian noble houses of the time, as well as those who benefited from wool marketing in terms of exploitation and export.

The Main Street

We leave the square and take the most emblematic street in Pedraza, the charming Calle Mayor. In the background you can see the figure of a beautiful castle.

Flanked by facades of houses, restaurants, shops and hostels we make a path of just 400 meters from the square to the fortress.

Pedraza Castle

We put ourselves in front of the doors of History. It is impossible not to admire an exterior complex whose origin is Muslim but which was completely rebuilt in the Middle Ages.

The castle of Pedraza hosted or, rather, retained several illustrious figures, such as the children of King Francisco I of France, the great enemy of the powerful Emperor Carlos V. As minors they were exchanged by their father so that he would avoid prison.

Candlelight Night

On the first two Saturdays of July, more than 35,000 candles are placed in the streets of Pedraza at night to be their only lighting.

On the night of the candles, which attracts more and more people every year, not only is the town beautiful, but there are also numerous cultural activities and concerts such as those held in front of the castle.

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Category: Europe, Monuments, Place of interest, Sin categoría, Spain

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