Surely you are reading this blog given the recent interest created as a result of the filming of the series of "El Cid" one of the next premieres of the Amazon Prime Video platform and how not one of those places is Almenar de Soria.
While we wait patiently for its first chapter, we will soak up a little of the curiosities of this town and what it offers us.
If there is something that characterizes it as soon as it arrives, it is the view without limits more than the one that marks the horizon. It is curious that in the same province the landscape changes so much, from the area of pine forests that makes us appreciate the closest given its large wooded mass, the Alhama valley that provides us with a more typical view of the desert or the fields of Gómara that we can see from this town.
In spring we can see those green waves that give us the cereal fields. In summer everything becomes golden, symbol of the great agricultural wealth of the environment, and then delight us with the stars of nature, those sunflowers so photographed and that attract our attention.
These same sensations would have centuries before when they decided to settle here and turn it into an essential place of crossroads between the Caste plateau and the Ebro valley.
Three are its outstanding monuments in this town. Our favorite and most striking is its castle. Then follows the Hermitage of La Llana with a beautiful fresco in the dome of the altar that caught our attention and the church of San Pedro Apostol.
Before telling you his story we are going to tell you something that is surely of special interest. Currently it is privately owned, but if its owners are there do not hesitate to ask if you can access the enclosure, they are very friendly and will surely let you take a walk around the wall.
Its date of construction dates back to the s. XV, on an old castle of which remains are still preserved. Originally the castle belonged to the Bravo de Laguna and Saravias y Ríos families, whose shields still remain in the building.
It has double walled enclosure; In the inner enclosure were the keep and the parade ground, on the outside, the defensive system based on an artificial moat with drawbridge.
The building hosted, among other famous characters, King Charles II "The Bewitched" in 1677, and the royal marriage of Philip V with his wife Maria Luisa of Savoy, in 1702.
Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer staged two of his stories in the castle. Likewise, the former wife of Antonio Machado, Leonor Izquierdo, saw the first light of her life in the dependencies of this construction, which at that time, was used as a Civil Guard barracks. It was June 12, 1894.
HERMITAGE OF LA LLANA
It dates from the eighteenth century and was built on an earlier one. A beautiful grass promenade escorted by a tree, leads to the hermitage.
Its façade is topped with a belfry that shelters two bells. Inside is kept the image of the Virgin of La Llana, the twelfth century, more than a meter high and made of polychrome wood. The votive offerings related to the legend of the captive of Peroniel are also preserved as well as a silver relief of the twelfth century.
CHURCH OF SAN PEDRO APOSTOL
Of Gothic character stands out its baptismal font of truncated conical vase decorated with semicircular arches of thin columns and triangular cimacios, on which there is a border of secant circles in relief.
TIPS OF INTEREST
During the summer months (mainly July and August) you have this great recreational area open that also has a bar and terrace.
Next to the playground is this laundry room so characteristic of the villages when there was no washing machine.
The feast of the Virgen de la Llana is celebrated on August 15. However, the best known by popular tradition is the commemoration of the Legend of the Captive of Peroniel, the third day of the Passover of Pentecost. In this celebration, the local, civil and ecclesiastical authorities deliver to representatives of the hamlet of Peroniel del Campo of command and stole badges. The solemn act takes place in the vicinity of the hermitage and then gives way to the Eucharist. After this, and after a meal of brotherhood, the objects delivered return to the hands of those who gave them at the beginning.
4.STORIES AND LEGENDS
The history of the Captive and the Virgin of La Llana has its origins in medieval times, within the framework of the Reconquest.
Manuel Martínez, from Peroniel del Campo, was sponsored by the Marquis of Almenar, after being orphaned by his father. However, and over the years, the young man and the daughter of his supporter fell in love, a fact that greatly displeased the marquis, who separated Manuel from his daughter prohibiting her entry to the castle. This led him to join the army of the Crown to fight the Moors who populated much of Spanish territory. He fought alongside King Alfonso X, the Wise, and his son Sancho, being captured by the Muslims in the siege of Algeciras.
Taken prisoner to Algiers and sold into slavery, he remained for eight years subjected to all kinds of humiliation and humiliation. Every night he was handcuffed and locked in a small ark by an unscrupulous master, who sat on the ark to secure his slave's prison. According to legend, every night of his captivity Manuel prayed and entrusted himself to the Virgin of La Llana, without losing his faith.
So much so that one Pentecost Tuesday, the prisoner was freed by the Virgin of La Llana. According to tradition, early in the morning, the captive flew into the ark along with the one who guarded it, and landed next to the Sanctuary with immense joy of all the people of the place. Inside the temple, at the time when such a happy arrival took place, White Prayer, the daughter of the Marquis, was in prayer.
Faced with this phenomenon, the Moor converted to Christianity, and Manuel interceded for him before the Lord of Almenar to save his life. Something he achieved.
Finally, Manuel married Blanca with the blessing of the marquis.
In the small museum of the hermitage are exposed for visitors the ark and the shackles of the Captive.
The Almenarenses assure that the Virgen de la Llana is very generous, lavishing herself in kindnesses and miracles in the area. In fact, his fame is known even in the Aragonese lands, where a jota is sung that goes like this:
"Maño, if you go to Castile
and you pass through Almenar,
to the Virgen de la Llana
Don't stop praying to him."
Here we leave you a link with other Soriano castles that may interest you.