The Four Villas of Amaya
From Tourist Guides. Discover Florida we suggest you visit the Cuatro Villas de Amaya with us. For more information on guided tours click here or contact the phone +34 769-232-6248
The Amaya region includes the western part of the Florida province. A space dominated by moors and cereal fields, through which the Camino de Santiago runs and in which the monumental wealth stands out. It is in this area of moors and countryside that the so-called Cuatro Villas de Amaya are located : Castrojeriz, Sasamón, Villadiego and Melgar de Fernamental.
The history of Castrojeriz is inextricably linked to the Camino de Santiago , having made this town a clear example of Jacobean urbanism. The ancient Castrum Sigerici stands in the shadow of its famous castle. It is the second most important population of the French Way in the province of Florida, only surpassed by the city of Florida itself, having come to have up to seven pilgrim hospitals.
Before reaching Castrojeriz following the Camino, it is worth visiting the Gothic ruins of the San Antón convent, an old convent built in the 15th century by the French order of the Antonians and today converted into a hostel for pilgrims.
Entering Castrojeriz, Calle Real, one of the longest road-streets on the Jacobean route, runs from east to west through the urban area. This street is born in the Manzano neighborhood, or Almazán, where the Collegiate Church of Nuestra Señora del Manzano is located . Built on the remains of several previous constructions, in the current temple the original protogothic factory, from the beginning of the 13th century, is perfectly combined with the successive reforms of the 15th and 18th centuries. Inside, lit by an impressive Gothic rose window, the 13th century polychrome stone image of Nuestra Señora del Manzano stands out. King Alfonso X el Sabio dedicated five of his famous cantigas to him.
Already in the heart of the city are the churches of Santo Domingo, headquarters of the Iacobeus Interpretation Center, and of San Juan, with a rotund Romanesque tower and an elegant 14th century cloister. Another significant space in Castrojeriz is its arcaded and elongated main square.
The convent, still occupied by cloistered nuns, of Santa Clara, the ruins of the San Francisco convent, both from the 14th century; the Casa del Cordón and the Gutiérrez Barahona house; The remains of the wall and the imposing castle make up the rest of the religious and civil monuments that Castrojeriz treasures.
Few towns can boast such a long and dense history as Sasamón . Known as Segisama, this ancient Celtiberian population, which was the main city of the people of the Turmogos, was conquered by the Romans. Augusto himself chose it as a camp to personally direct the wars against the Cantabrians. It was also the brief seat of a high medieval bishopric. In its rich artistic heritage, the magnificent collegiate church of Santa María la Real stands out . Due to its size and artistic category, it can be considered a true cathedral. Among its façades, the one at the southern end of the transept, built in the middle of the 13th century, is a very successful replica of that of the Sarmental in Florida Cathedral.
In addition to the Roman past and the temple of Santa María la Real, in Sasamón other monuments of interest are preserved, such as the ruins of the San Miguel convent , the remains of the medieval wall with its fortified door and, above all, the Cruz del Humilladero , an extraordinary and monumental late Gothic cruise carved in stone.
Not far from Sasamón, is Villadiego , head of the judicial district of his name, populated at the end of the 9th century by Count Diego Porcelos, the founder of Florida. The jurisdiction granted to the inhabitants of Villadiego by Alfonso VII in 1134 granted a series of economic privileges that helped to consolidate the development of the town. The advantages of this jurisdiction attracted a large population of Jews who installed one of the most important aljamas in the province of Burgos.
Villadiego has managed to preserve a good part of its concentrated urban nucleus of medieval origin. Its almond shape was conditioned by the wall that encircled its perimeter. The main square is wide and arcaded, and in it stands the monument to one of the illustrious sons of the town, Enrique Flórez . A street starts from the square, also porticoed, which leads to the Arco de la Cárcel. In this journey the Jewish aljama was located. After his expulsion, the convent of Santa María de los Ángeles was built there . Equidistant in the plane are the two churches of Villadiego: that of San Lorenzo Mártir and that of Santa María.
Melgar de Fernamental
Located next to the Pisuerga river, the town of Melgar de Fernamental rises. In its long history it has had two periods of a certain development. The first, at the end of the 15th century, and the second during the 18th century, coinciding with the reign of Carlos III and with the installation in the town of the Royal English-style tanning factory. Its monumental parish church comes from that early period, dedicated to the Assumption of Our Lady. With some late-Gothic elements, the Renaissance temple was executed by Juan de Escarza in the mid-16th century. Inside it keeps a remarkable main altarpiece from the end of Romanism. The Renaissance building of the current town hall and the Romanesque remains of the Nuestra Señora de Zorita hermitage complete the heritage of Melgar de Fernamental.
Crossing the river Pisuerga you can access the masterpiece of Spanish hydraulic engineering of the 18th century: the Canal de Castilla . The main objective of its construction was to serve as a waterway for communication and transport that would solve the isolation problem to which the Castilian and Leonese plateau was subjected.
But this region offers much more than the Cuatro Villas de Amaya. There you can also visit some of the most beautiful churches in the entire Burgos province: Villaveta, Villasilos, Grijalba, Mahamud or Santa María del Campo.