TOUR DESCRIPTION

GETTING YOUR BEARINGS

Soria is the quintessential Castilian town. Every Spaniard recalls the saying “cold, pure Soria, head of Extremadura”, as the town is associated with being the extreme borderland of Medieval Castile.

Its geographical position at the upper Douro basin has entailed a convulsive history. The Celtic town of Numantia heroically resisted against Rome in the 2nd century BC. In the Middle Ages, Soria was also a borderland associated to the struggles between Christians and Muslims and, later, between the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon.

OUR TOUR

The visit begins at San Juan de Duero, a former monastery of the Order of the Hospital or Saint John of Jerusalem. It is located by the Douro river, at the foot of the “Animas” (Souls) hill, evoked in a famous legend by the Romantic poet Gustavo Adolfo Becquer. Its ruined cloister is unique in the world, due to the originality of its arches. They are different on each side, showing two of them evident oriental connections. On both sides of the church’s main chapel, two curious vaulted structures display Romanesque reliefs featuring scenes from the childhood of Christ and fantastic animals.

Once passed by the medieval bridge over the Douro, the tour follows a romantic walk alongside the river that connects the former Templar San Polo monastery and saint Saturio’s hermitage, named after the legendary patron saint of the town. Saint Saturio’s is a tourist landmark in Soria; its location on the banks of the Douro, on the slopes of Santa Ana hills, is extremely picturesque. Moreover, most of the sanctuary has been hollowed in the rock.

Crossing the Douro, the tour follows a steady slope that reaches the historic centre of the town. Making this section of the visit by car is then advised.

Close to the river, we find the former Medieval market area, around Saint Peter’s, a Renaissance collegiate church which later became the co-cathedral. In fact, the only episcopal see in the province had historically been the town of El Burgo de Osma, until 1959.

Our next step is the Romanesque church of San Juan de Rabanera (13th century). Its façade comes from the ruined Saint Nicholas’ church: the tympanum reliefs include several scenes from the life of the saint. The apse shows a pillar in the axis instead of a central window. This is an oddity, as most Romanesque churches display odd-numbered windows. The façade of the Provincial Council is enhanced with a monument to the heroes of Numantia (a cauldron with permanent fire) and the statues of seven historic figures born in Soria, such as the Castilian king Alfonso VIII and the minstrel who wrote “El Cid”, a masterpiece of Medieval Spanish literature.

Crossing the “Collado”, the main shopping street and promenade in Soria, we come across Aduana Vieja street. It gathers a group of Renaissance palaces, such as the one of Antonio de los Ríos Salcedo (the owner of large herds of merino sheep who made great fortune) and that of San Clemente-Marichalar. At the end of the street, visitors will find Antonio Machado high school, a former Jesuit college. Here the poet taught French, from 1907 to 1912. Nearby, the richly decorated Romanesque façade of Santo Domingo shows the influence of the French Romanesque. The marriage of king Alfonso VIII and Eleanor of Plantagenet (12th century) entailed the originality of this extraordinary façade, a rarity in the Castilian Romanesque.

Our tour then arrives at Counts of Gomara palace, one of the best examples of the Castilian Renaissance, buit in the second half of the 16th century. Back at Collado street, you will find the “Casino”, the local social club, which fully maintains a 19th century atmosphere. Outside, a sculpture displays Gerardo Diego as he seats and drinks a cup of coffee while reading. At the time, both Machado and Gerardo Diego loitered the club.

The 17th century palace of the Twelve Lineages, currently housing the Town Hall, stands at the Main square. The Lineages of Soria, a historical corporation, used to control the urban government for centuries. The wheel-shaped coat of arms on the facade shows that none of these family groups had priority over the others.

The square is also surrounded by the building of the Audiencia (court), which was the former Town Hall, and Santa Maria la Mayor church, showing a Romanesque portico. Here Antonio Machado married Leonor Izquierdo, a 15-year-old woman (almost a girl). She was born to the owners of the guesthouse where the writer boarded during his stay as a professor in Soria. Three years later, this church housed Leonor’s funeral too. One of the streets that go up from the Main square leads to Espino cemetery, where Leonor’s grave is located.

Coming back to Collado street, the tour comes to an end at Herradores square, one of the best places to go for tapas. Here a plaque has been placed at the house where Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer lived. The adjoining Mariano Granados square houses several cafes and shops, where visitors can buy the famous sweet butter from Soria. After the tour, the close “Dehesa” or “Alameda de Cervantes” gardens invite to relax, amidst a large amount of tree species that identify the main park in town.

DURATION

3 hours 30′.

In this experience...

Qué harás
  • Town of poets, Romanesque art and mistery
Más detalles Flanked by Douro river
Incluido A tour alongside the river and in the town's centre

Get prepared...

TIPS

You should not miss trying the “torreznos” (fried bacon stipes the cut into thin pieces), typical from Soria, the seasonal mushrooms and Ribera del Duero wines.

DID YOU KNOW…

Soria claims to be the “town of poets”, evoking the close bond and sympathy that three great Spanish writers felt for it: Antonio Machado, Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer and Gerardo Diego. A small museum is devoted to the three of them at the upper floor of the “Casino” building.

Punto de encuentro /iframe>
Important information The price of the tickets to the monuments is not included in the visit. This is a generic proposal for groups, which we can adapt to your interest and needs

We recommend
  • Wear confortable clothes and shoes

BOOK YOUR TOUR

This activity requires a prior booking. Please complete the following form. As soon as the availability is checked, we will confirm your booking and inform about the payment proceedings.

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    Additional information

    Duration3h 30min
    LocationSoria

    TOUR DESCRIPTION

    GETTING YOUR BEARINGS

    Soria is the quintessential Castilian town. Every Spaniard recalls the saying “cold, pure Soria, head of Extremadura”, as the town is associated with being the extreme borderland of Medieval Castile.

    Its geographical position at the upper Douro basin has entailed a convulsive history. The Celtic town of Numantia heroically resisted against Rome in the 2nd century BC. In the Middle Ages, Soria was also a borderland associated to the struggles between Christians and Muslims and, later, between the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon.

    OUR TOUR

    The visit begins at San Juan de Duero, a former monastery of the Order of the Hospital or Saint John of Jerusalem. It is located by the Douro river, at the foot of the “Animas” (Souls) hill, evoked in a famous legend by the Romantic poet Gustavo Adolfo Becquer. Its ruined cloister is unique in the world, due to the originality of its arches. They are different on each side, showing two of them evident oriental connections. On both sides of the church’s main chapel, two curious vaulted structures display Romanesque reliefs featuring scenes from the childhood of Christ and fantastic animals.

    Once passed by the medieval bridge over the Douro, the tour follows a romantic walk alongside the river that connects the former Templar San Polo monastery and saint Saturio’s hermitage, named after the legendary patron saint of the town. Saint Saturio’s is a tourist landmark in Soria; its location on the banks of the Douro, on the slopes of Santa Ana hills, is extremely picturesque. Moreover, most of the sanctuary has been hollowed in the rock.

    Crossing the Douro, the tour follows a steady slope that reaches the historic centre of the town. Making this section of the visit by car is then advised.

    Close to the river, we find the former Medieval market area, around Saint Peter’s, a Renaissance collegiate church which later became the co-cathedral. In fact, the only episcopal see in the province had historically been the town of El Burgo de Osma, until 1959.

    Our next step is the Romanesque church of San Juan de Rabanera (13th century). Its façade comes from the ruined Saint Nicholas’ church: the tympanum reliefs include several scenes from the life of the saint. The apse shows a pillar in the axis instead of a central window. This is an oddity, as most Romanesque churches display odd-numbered windows. The façade of the Provincial Council is enhanced with a monument to the heroes of Numantia (a cauldron with permanent fire) and the statues of seven historic figures born in Soria, such as the Castilian king Alfonso VIII and the minstrel who wrote “El Cid”, a masterpiece of Medieval Spanish literature.

    Crossing the “Collado”, the main shopping street and promenade in Soria, we come across Aduana Vieja street. It gathers a group of Renaissance palaces, such as the one of Antonio de los Ríos Salcedo (the owner of large herds of merino sheep who made great fortune) and that of San Clemente-Marichalar. At the end of the street, visitors will find Antonio Machado high school, a former Jesuit college. Here the poet taught French, from 1907 to 1912. Nearby, the richly decorated Romanesque façade of Santo Domingo shows the influence of the French Romanesque. The marriage of king Alfonso VIII and Eleanor of Plantagenet (12th century) entailed the originality of this extraordinary façade, a rarity in the Castilian Romanesque.

    Our tour then arrives at Counts of Gomara palace, one of the best examples of the Castilian Renaissance, buit in the second half of the 16th century. Back at Collado street, you will find the “Casino”, the local social club, which fully maintains a 19th century atmosphere. Outside, a sculpture displays Gerardo Diego as he seats and drinks a cup of coffee while reading. At the time, both Machado and Gerardo Diego loitered the club.

    The 17th century palace of the Twelve Lineages, currently housing the Town Hall, stands at the Main square. The Lineages of Soria, a historical corporation, used to control the urban government for centuries. The wheel-shaped coat of arms on the facade shows that none of these family groups had priority over the others.

    The square is also surrounded by the building of the Audiencia (court), which was the former Town Hall, and Santa Maria la Mayor church, showing a Romanesque portico. Here Antonio Machado married Leonor Izquierdo, a 15-year-old woman (almost a girl). She was born to the owners of the guesthouse where the writer boarded during his stay as a professor in Soria. Three years later, this church housed Leonor’s funeral too. One of the streets that go up from the Main square leads to Espino cemetery, where Leonor’s grave is located.

    Coming back to Collado street, the tour comes to an end at Herradores square, one of the best places to go for tapas. Here a plaque has been placed at the house where Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer lived. The adjoining Mariano Granados square houses several cafes and shops, where visitors can buy the famous sweet butter from Soria. After the tour, the close “Dehesa” or “Alameda de Cervantes” gardens invite to relax, amidst a large amount of tree species that identify the main park in town.

    DURATION

    3 hours 30′.

    In this experience...

    Qué harás
    • Town of poets, Romanesque art and mistery
    Más detalles Flanked by Douro river
    Incluido A tour alongside the river and in the town's centre

    Get prepared...

    TIPS

    You should not miss trying the “torreznos” (fried bacon stipes the cut into thin pieces), typical from Soria, the seasonal mushrooms and Ribera del Duero wines.

    DID YOU KNOW…

    Soria claims to be the “town of poets”, evoking the close bond and sympathy that three great Spanish writers felt for it: Antonio Machado, Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer and Gerardo Diego. A small museum is devoted to the three of them at the upper floor of the “Casino” building.

    Punto de encuentro /iframe>
    Important information The price of the tickets to the monuments is not included in the visit. This is a generic proposal for groups, which we can adapt to your interest and needs

    We recommend
    • Wear confortable clothes and shoes

    BOOK YOUR TOUR

    This activity requires a prior booking. Please complete the following form. As soon as the availability is checked, we will confirm your booking and inform about the payment proceedings.

      Full Name (required)

      E-mail (required)

      Phone

      ZIP Code

      Chosen Activity

      Date

      Number of Adults

      Number of Children

      Comments

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