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Urueña Villa del libro

Urueña - Valladolid

Urueña, located on the border between Tierra de Campos and the Torozos mountains, has been a Historic-Artistic Complex since 1975, the first Book Villa in Spain since 2007 and one of the Most Beautiful Villages in Spain since 2013. Its views and sunsets sol, in addition to its proximity to the A6 highway, make this town one of the most visited in the province.

Urueña has always been a benchmark in the history of both the kingdoms of Castile and those of León, belonging to one or the other depending on who won the battle. Proof of its importance in the Middle Ages, is in the creation of three monasteries, five hermitages and three parishes.

Its location on one of the northwestern edges of the Montes Torozos makes it a natural viewpoint with exceptional views, reaching both the Cantabrian mountain range and the Montes de León on clear days with Teleno as the maximum exponent.

The wall, ordered to be built between the 12th and 13th centuries by Dona Sancha, sister of Emperor Alfonso VII, enclosed the original urban nucleus. The two entrance doors that allow access to the urban area have been preserved: the Azogue and the Villa. In the southeast corner, there is what remains of the castle today, which must have been built in the 11th century by order of Fernando I.

In the town we can find various stately homes, such as the Casona del Mayorazgo, from the 18th century, today the headquarters of the Joaquín Díaz Ethnographic Center Foundation . Its library, its image archive and sound library stand out, as well as the Bell Museum. Another third museum can be enjoyed in this town: the Luis Delgado Collection Music Museum , which shows more than 500 instruments from around the world selected from the more than 1200 that make up the private collection of the Madrid musician Luis Delgado.

We can also enjoy some dovecotes, so characteristic of this geographical area, and the shepherd's huts that in recent years have been restored by the Urueña Town Hall and the Barro Workshop of the University of Alcalá de Henares.

If music is important in this town, so are books. Since 2007, Urueña is proud to hold the title of the first Villa del Libro in Spain. The Provincial Council of Valladolid launched this cultural tourism proposal for travelers and bibliophiles from all over the world. This ambitious cultural project is inspired by other existing book villas in Europe. The common denominator of all of them is the economic, cultural and tourist revitalization from the recovery of public spaces as places for buying and selling books and the celebration of cultural events linked to literature.

La Villa del Libro has, spread over the streets and circles of Urueña, bookstores and establishments for the exercise of commercial and artisanal activity of books, preferably old, rare, old or out of print. The Miguel Delibes e-LEA Center (Space for Reading, Writing and its Applications) is the heart of the Villa del Libro. A center for the promotion of books and culture that accommodates in 1,296 m2 of surface a library, workshops, exhibition halls and a small garden. As a complement, it offers an auditorium with capacity for one hundred people, ideal for hosting a large number of cultural events: congresses, symposia, seminars, conferences, book presentations, poetry recitals and readings.

Outside the limits of the wall, about two kilometers along the road that leads to San Cebrián de Mazote, is the hermitage of La Anunciada. It was built between the 11th and 12th centuries, in the Romanesque-Catalan style, being the only one that is outside the limits of Catalonia. And, next to it, a beautiful estate now recovered by the singer-songwriter Amancio Prada.

Also outside the urban limit, but in the direction of Villardefrades, is the Heredad de Urueña winery that, although relatively young (it was born in 2005), has already won important national and international awards and in April 2021 it has become the first protected designation of origin for paid wine in Castilla y León. Its owners have always bet on cultural and social revitalization and their facilities offer workshops, conferences, concerts and outstanding visits.

But Urueña is not only culture, it is also landscape. Every day we can find groups of people silently watching the sunsets from the area of the wall called El Roto. The variety of colors of the fields, so different in each season, complete these impressive views.

[Some fragments are extracted from various publications of the Diputación de Valladolid]
Photos: Francisco Rodríguez and Pablo Salazar.

Urueña ha sido siempre un referente en la historia tanto de los reinos de Castilla como los de León, perteneciendo a uno u otro dependiendo de quien ganara la batalla. Muestra de su importancia en la Edad Media, está en la creación de tres monasterios, cinco ermitas y tres parroquias.


Su situación en uno de los bordes noroccidentales de los Montes Torozos le convierten en un mirador natural de excepcionales vistas, alcanzando en días claros tanto la cordillera Cantábrica como los Montes de León con el Teleno como máximo exponente.


La muralla, mandada construir entre los siglos XII y XIII por doña Sancha, hermana del emperador Alfonso VII, encerraba el primitivo núcleo urbano. Se conservan las dos puertas de entrada que permiten el acceso al casco urbano: la del Azogue y la de la Villa. En la esquina sureste, se encuentra lo que hoy queda del castillo, el cual debió de levantarse en el siglo XI por mandato de Fernando I.