Duo goes to Castile - Duo visita Castilla
It’s not the first time that our beloved owl travels to the Iberian Peninsula, but after visiting the awesome regions of Catalonia and Basque country it wants to go deeper into the central part of Spain. So it decides to visit the historical region of Castile, ancient Hispanic mediaeval kingdom and homeland of the Spanish language. The name means “land of castles” because it’s full of them.
There is no clear way to define a Castilian territory because it has no administrative form nowadays. But most people agree that it consists on the regions of Castile and Leon (some exclude the provinces of Leon, Zamora and Salamanca), Castile-La Mancha, Madrid, Cantabria and La Rioja. This are the territories of Castile from 1653 to 1833 as a reference (the red territories), but I wouldn’t like to go more in detail here since this is not the topic of the post:
Duo just arrived and wanted to go as soon as possible to visit the place where the first text in the Spanish language is found. That’s the so called Glosas Emilianenses, written around the 10th or 11th century in San Millán de la Cogolla monastery, located in the region of La Rioja (northern Spain).
Next stop is Burgos, capital of the medieval county and later kingdom of Castile is one of the most famous cities in the northern part of the region. It’s the perfect occasion to visit its wonderful cathedral and have some tapas. The so called tapas are a very famous type of dish but also a lifestyle which consists on a small portion of food served “for free” when ordering a drink (commonly a small glass of beer or a glass of wine). That makes it a very good and cheap option when you want to go out for dinner or lunch with friends or family. It’s very typical not only to stay in one bar, but also going around and visit several of them, because they sometimes have a speciality which is worth a try.
After Burgos we travel further south to Toledo, which is the old capital of the Visigoth kingdom (Germanic mediaeval kingdom before the Arab occupation), it became an important cultural centre during the whole middle ages. It’s also called the city of the three religions because there were big Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities living together.
Next stop is the region so called La Mancha. Its name comes from Arabic and it means “dry land”, because it doesn’t rain much so in summer the landscape is totally yellow except for the rivers. And yes, this is the region of Don Quixote and that’s why we are visiting two related towns.
In Consuegra you can visit some of the giants, I mean windmills typical from the region used to be the terrifying enemies of our brave knight.
After that we visit the historical town of Almagro, with its awesome main square and his corral de comedias, which is a small theatre which was built in the 17th century, running until nowadays.
After this wonderful trip Duo realises there are many other great places that weren’t mentioned so it’ll happily return to this awesome land!
Madrid, El Escorial y la Granja, Segovia, Avila, Salamanca, Cuenca... Picos de Europa, Lagunas de Ruidera, Tablas de Daimiel, La Ciudad Encantada... :-D