Last year, we stayed the whole length of the Holy Week in Madrid. In my case, I resolved to be a recluse, to confine myself at home even if just for a few days, to no avail. This, upon learning that most of the establishments in Puerta del Sol was open for business, and got me tempted into visiting this popular part of the city centre.
This time, however, everyone decided to spend Good Friday out of town in far off Valladolid, which is some two and a hours away from the city. One of the major towns outside Madrid and within the the community of Castilla y Leon, I got interested in seeing the place having learned about the varied religious processions held there during the Lenten season.
But first, our group had to pass thru Tordesillas, a small, quiet town some 25 kilometers on the Southwestern portion of the provincial capital.
The organizer of the group insisted that we see Tordesillas if only for the great history behind it, the town being the site of the signing of the Treaty of Tordesillas between Spain and Portugal. The treaty was an agreement between them specifying how they would divide the ownership of the newly discovered Americas.
He mentioned the local event called the Toro de la Vega festival, which the town is known for. Year after year, the festival is being prevented by animal rights group from being held as it features a bull which was to slaughtered by toreros on horseback.
What to see in Tordesillas
Iglesia Museo de San Antolín de Tordesillas
The Museum of San Antolín was built during the first half of the 17th century under the helm of Gil de Reynaltos. Found within the old San Antolin church, it is known to house numerous valuable art pieces that originated from other Churches. Such collection of art workwas initiated by Ismael Rodríguez Paniagua. Most of the important art works are undergoing continuous restoration to ensure their preservation.
Alley and outside stairway, rustic parts of the town leading to the Casa de Tratado
This particular road is lined with bare, lifeless-looking trees on its sides, with their branches, totally without leaves, reaching out to touch and intertwine. Not a soul in sight for most streets and alleys of Tordesillas last Holy Friday, like the one seen above
The Plaza Mayor of Tordesillas resembles most other Spanish square. It has four sides as its boundary and is surrounded by old houses, bars and other establishments. The upper floors of the edifices are supported by strong porticoes. While looking simple and rustic, it is considered by the town folks as their meeting place, with locals enjoying their afternoons and late nights having dinners and copas of vinos on the terraces of bars and restaurants found within.
Casas de Tratado de Tordesillas
Relief that represents the historic treaty stands in front of the Cases de Tratado de Tordesillas. Houses of Treaty in English, these two edifices are actually merged palaces, and are said to be the site where the then world powers Spain and Portugal held vital negotiations. Here was also the place where the two countries signed the treaty that involved the New World.
The plaza mayor opens its four doors, its gateways to the outside town particularly to the important neighborhoods, such as Santa Maria and San Pedro. Old-type homes of bricks or wood are noticeably dominant as you wander about the immediate areas — an indication that Tordesillas is one of those ancient Spanish towns.
How to go:
The Avanza bus in Estacion Sur at Mendez Alvaro is the easiest and most popular means to reach Tordesillas. Travel time is a little over 2 hours, with one way bus tickets costing around 13 euros.