Here you have eight clues to help you for more information about the Way of El Cid.

  

Your guide: Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, El Cid

The Way of El Cid is a huge stage of over 2000 km crossing Spain from northwest to southeast. It recreates one of the greatest epic poems ever written in the Middle Ages: the Poem of The Cid. You will visit sites from history and literature that have kept a good part of their medieval character and your guide will be El Cid, one of the most famous medieval knights in Europe. Follow his steps and walk into the legend.

 

  • El Cid, exiled, leaves Vivar with a handful of knights ordered by the king to leave Castile in nine days. Statue of el Cid in Vivar del Cid, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Spain, XI and XII Centuries
  • The heroes of epic songs of deeds are often the result of individual or collective imagination. Some of them, however, are based on people who actually existed, whose fame converted them into legendary figures. This is the case of El Cid / José Beut Duato.
  • El Cid's charter of donation to the Cathedral of Valencia (1098): his signature 'Ego Ruderico' is shown below.  Ego Ruderico in Latin means 'I, Rodrigo'.
  • Sepultures of El Cid and his wife Jimena in the Monastery of San Pedro de Cardeña, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Tras la muerte del Cid comenzó a propagarse su leyenda de boca en boca gracias a juglares y poetas. La manifestación literaria más importante fue el Cantar de mío Cid, un poema de gesta anónimo escrito a finales del siglo XII o principios del XIII. Imagen: una de las hojas del manuscrito del Cantar, que hoy se conserva en la Biblioteca Nacional.
  • The equestrian sculpture of El Cid is the most photographed one in the city of Burgos / ALC.
  • Vela Zanetti´s mural paintings portraying el Cid in the inside of the Palace of the Burgos Provincial Council / ALC.
  • Con posterioridad el Cid fue recuperado por los románticos alemanes y desde entonces la leyenda del Cid ha contado con numerosas reinterpretaciones que han acrecentado el mito: obras de teatro, óperas, novelas, o películas, como la que protagonizaron Charlton Heston y Sofía Loren en 1961, en la imagen / Castillo de Belmonte.
  • On describing the figure of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, el Cid Campeador (the Battler), we must make a clear distinction between documented historical fact and the literary creation of this figure. Even today, in modern times, it is quite easy to confuse both planes, and although it is necessary to compare them, they must not be confused with each other /  Víctor Manuel Ausín Sáinz.
  • According to the Song of el Cid, around Castillejo de Robledo -Soria- Cid's daughters were brutally beat and leave to their fate by their husbands  / ALC
  • Possibly in May 1099, El Cid died in Valencia of natural causes, at the age of less than fifty-five years. Monument to El Cid, in the city of Valencia, by sculptress Anna Hyatt Huntington / ALC.
  • Camino del Cid, a medieval Western / ALC.
  • The Way of el Cid, when history and legend come together / Anton Pentinat Ayelo
  • This carrion crow plays a very special role in the Poem of El Cid. Stanza 11 reads “Crows flew across to their right as they were leaving Bivar”. The direction of the flight of the carrion crow was seen as an omen. For travellers, as for El Cid, this bird is a symbol of good luck / ALC.
  • Before Sunrise / Diego de la Iglesia.
  • El Cid, exiled, leaves Vivar with a handful of knights ordered by the king to leave Castile in nine days, a term El Cid uses to leave his daughters and his wife in the monastery of San Pedro de Cardeña (image), stock up on ammunition and stores and increase his small group of loyal followers by enlisting new knights and soldiers / ALC.
  • Statue of el Cid in the front of the San Pedro de Cardeña´s monastery / ALC.
  • Romanesque capital in the fascinating cloister of Santo Domingo de Silos. El Cid and Jimena, her wife, donated several possessions to the monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • According with the Song of El Cid, on the 16th day of exile, the heroe set up camp opposite the fortified town of Alcocer (today an archaeological site), very close to Ateca (image), and after a siege of more than three months, he succeeded in its conquest / ALC.
  • Statue of el Cid, in the village of El Poyo del Cid, province of Teruel. According with the Song of el Cid, the warrior reinforced a Roman fortress, turning it into his headquarter for Teruel and Zaragoza / ALC.
  • According with the Song of el Cid, Rodrigo conquered the castle of Onda (image), province of Castellón / ALC.
  • In 1092 Rodrigo rebuilt the castle of Peña Cadiella (today, La Carbonera, in the mountains of Benicadell, province of Valencia), where he established his operations base / Gersón Beltrán.
  • There are a lot of streets with the name of El Cid along the Way / ALC.
  • Along the Camino del Cid many medieval festivals are celebrated, some of which are based on the life and legend of El Cid / ALC.
  • Every year Burgos celebrates a festival called Fin de Semana Cidiano during the first weekend of october / ALC.
  • Mail coif. You can see many medieval reenacments in the Way of el Cid throughout the year / ALC.

  

Eight highlights of medieval origin, declared World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO.

On the route, you will come across eight medieval World Heritage Sites: in Burgos, the Gothic cathedral and the Way of Saint James; in Aragón, the Aragonese Mudejar, a style of architecture of Islamic influence; in Valencia, the Water Tribunal of the Plain of Valencia and the Gothic Silk Market; in Algemesí (Valencia) the Festivity of La Mare de Déu de la Salut, and in Alicante, El Palmeral and El Misteri. In a dozen or so villages you will also be able to see examples of the cave paintings of the Mediterranean Arch, declared a World Heritage Site in 1998.

 

Patrimonios de la Humanidad

  • Cathedral of Burgos / PAB.
  • The Palmeral de Elche is the largest palm grove in Europe / Rafael Jaúregui.
  • Mudejar Tower of Saint Martin in the town of Teruel, declared World Heritage Site by the UNESCO / ALC.
  • Mudéjar tower of Santa María in Calatayud (Zaragoza), declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO / ALC.
  • Mystery Play of Elche is a liturgical drama dating from the Middle Ages, which is enacted and celebrated in the Basílica de Santa María in the city of Elche on 14 and 15 August of each year. Elche, Alicante / Turisme Elche.
  • La Lonja de Valencia was a financial centre where the latest medieval merchants work out contracts. It is a wholly exceptional example of a secular building in late Gothic style. It was declared World Heritage Site in 1996 / València Terra i Mar.
  • The Festivity of ‘la Mare de Déu de la Salut' is a series of activities and performances celebrated every 7 and 8 September in Algemesí, Valencia / Museu Valencià de la Festa de Algemesí.
  • Rock Art of the Mediterranean Basin on the Iberian Peninsula, declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO / CARP.
  • The Way of Saint James, Burgos / SODEBUR.

 

 

Some of the most beautiful villages in Spain are to be found here.

The Way of El Cid has 39 villages declared Historical and/or Artistic Sites by the Spanish government. Villages which, for their history, heritage and beautiful surroundings deserve special protection as acknowledgment of their intrinsic value and tourist attractions. Make sure you visit them.

 

Conjuntos histórico artísticos

  • Bocairent, province of Valencia / ALC
  • Albarracín is a legendary petty islamic Kingdom in the heart of the province of Teruel, and also one of the prettiest villages in Spain / Luis Antonio Gil Pellín.
  • Streets of Daroca, a medieval town of two thousand inhabitants, in the province of Zaragoza / Ramón Sanz Frax.
  • The old town of Burgos / Manuel Muñoz García.
  • Hita, province of Guadalajara / Alfonso López Pérez.
  • Villena, province of Alicante / Manuel López Francés.
  • The millenary city of Sagunto, province of Valencia / Julián Negredo Sánchez.
  • Covarrubias, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Mirambel,Teruel / ALC.
  • Santo Domingo de Silos, Burgos / ALC.
  • Ontinyent, Valencia / Tourist Info Ontinyent,
  • Elche, Alicante / Turisme Elche.
  • Valencia / ALC.
  • The village of Onda, province of Castellón / ALC.
  • Walls of Alzira, province of Valencia / València Terra i Mar.
  • El Burgo de Osma, province of Soria / ALC.
  • The town of Teruel, its cathedral was declared World Heritage Site by the UNESCO / ALC.
  • Morella, province of Castellón. In 1083 El Cid attacked Morella Castle, although he was forced to retreat / Diputación de Castellón.
  • Culla, Castellón / ALC.
  • Sigüenza, Guadalajara / ALC.
  • Mora de Rubielos, Teruel / ALC.
  • Segorbe. The islamic Segorbe paid tributes to El Cid / ALC.
  • Molina de Aragón, Guadalajara / ALC.
  • Cantavieja, Teruel / Diputación de Teruel.
  • Peñaranda de Duero, Burgos / Diputación de Burgos.
  • Rubielos de Mora, Teruel / ALC.
  • Linares de Mora, Teruel / ALC.
  • Langa de Duero, Soria / ALC.
  • Calatayud, Zaragoza / Santiago Cabello.
  • Culla, Castellón / ALC.
  • Burriana, Castellón / ALC.
  • Orihuela del Tremedal, Teruel / ALC.
  • La Iglesuela del Cid, Teruel / ALC.
  • Berlanga de Duero, Soria / ALC.
  • Orihuela, Alicante / Asís G. Ayerbe.
  • Jérica, Castellón / Asís G. Ayerbe.
  • Xàtiva, Valencia / PAB.
  • Atienza, Guadalajara / ALC.
  • The Fadrí Tower, a standing alone bell-tower of the Gothic procathedral of Castellón / Diputación de Castellón.
  • San Esteban de Gormaz, Soria / ALC.
  • Main Plaza of Medinaceli, Soria / ALC.

 

 

Vast countryside

The Way of El Cid crosses mostly rural areas of Spain with few inhabitants. This makes for a different travel experience that is very attractive for rural tourism enthusiasts, full of country roads in the open air. The route crosses more than seventy country areas protected by the Natura 2000 Networking Programme, forming a mosaic of rivers, valleys, mountains and plateaus that inevitably lead to the sun-laden beaches of the Mediterranean.

 

Espacios Naturales

  • The Duero river near Gormaz fortress, province of Soria / ALC.
  • Abandoned silver mines in Hiendelaencina, province of Guadalajara / ALC.
  • Protected Natural Area of San Martín, province of Teruel / ALC.
  • Mountain range of Albarracín, province of Teruel / ALC.
  • Shelter in front of the castle of Atienza, province of Guadalajara / ALC.
  • Alfafar rice paddies, Valencia / Vicente Alemany.
  • Vultures near Berlanga de Duero, Soria / ALC
  • The Castellón route is a short and quiet coastal route situated mainly in the province of Castellón that leads travellers to a series of spectacular beaches that are surprisingly uncrowded for most of the year, such as Burriana, Chilches or Nules / ALC.
  • Pela mountain range, dight from Miedes de Atienza, province of Guadalajara / ALC.
  • Hot spring in Montanejos, province of Castellón / ALC.
  • The Valley of Jiloca, provinces of Saragossa and Teruel / ALC.
  • The Gallocanta Lake is one of Europe´s most important wetland and birdwatching areas / Eduardo Viñuales.
  • Marshes in Valencia have an extremely rich biodiversity. They allow a great variety of fauna, especially birds, and flora to be observed year-round / María Antonia García de la Vega.
  • The Alto Tajo Natural Park is an impressive outdoor geological museum with all kinds of faults, folds, stone rivers, drop stones and all forms of erosion, some of which are particularly interesting, such as the Towers of Chequilla, in the province of Guadalajara / ALC.
  • Spectacular straits of river Mijares, province of Castellón / ALC.
  • La Albufera de Valencia. This ancient marine gulf, evolved into a freshwater lake, is one of the most important wetlands in Spain. It has also been declared a Special Bird Protection Area / / Luis Moreno Morales.
  • Saltworks in Salinas de Almallá, Guadalajara / ALC.
  • Landscape in Huesa del Común, Teruel / ALC.

 

 

The villages, the people

The things most foreign travellers say after doing the Way of El Cid are: “I didn’t expect it" and “The best thing were the people”. An important part of the Way of El Cid during the Middle Ages was borderland with hardly any population. Things have not changed much since then: in certain regions the population density does not exceed 8 inhabitants per km2 (in Germany the figure is 229; in France, 119; in Spain, 92; in the UK, 270; and in the Netherlands, 503 inhabitants/km2). Although there are also cosmopolitan cities, such as Valencia, the main protagonists of the Way of El Cid are its small villages. 152 of the 387 villages on the route have fewer than 100 inhabitants. Many are direct descendants of the first settlers in these lands, who mastered them under precarious conditions. The greatest part of the Way of El Cid is its, pleasant, friendly people. Here, you will feel welcome, safe and relaxed.

 

La gente, los pueblos

  • Villages in the Camino del Cid. Where do you want to go? / ALC.
  • Narrow streets and lights of dusk or dawn / ALC.
  • Some villages of the Camino del Cid are small outdoor ethnographic museums / ALC.
  • Roofs with Spanish called 'arabian roof tile' / ALC.
  • Atardeceres silenciosos a la sombra de castillos
  • Las ovejas fueron el oro blanco de la Edad Media. ¿Desaparecerán algún día de nuestros campos?
  • Torres Torres, province of Valencia / ALC.
  • Aguilera, Soria / ALC.
  • Sunset in Torrecilla del Rebollar, Teruel / ALC.
  • Peaceful country villages where it is easy to feel safe and sound / ALC.
  • Villafranca del Cid, Castellón / Asís G. Ayerbe
  • Some villages are very small and have limited infrastructures. Book your accommodation at the end of the stage in advance and if you change where you plan to finish the route, check that there is accommodation available there / ALC.
  • Street markets in small villages usually sell fresh fruits grown around / ALC.
  • If you are walking or cycling you can fill your bottles in the public drinking fountains in the towns and villages. Many of these fountains have a sign that reads “Agua no tratada” (Untreated water). This does not mean that the water is not potable, but rather that it comes from a nearby spring and has not been treated with chemicals. The water is generally of excellent quality. If you have any concerns, ask a local / ALC.
  • Local customs and usages in the small villages. Municipal edict / ALC.
  • Empty swings in Escalera, province of Guadalajara / ALC.
  • Little friends. Sparrows / Concepción Coronado Bravo
  • Local festivities / Guillermo Quintanilla.
  • The main protagonists of the Way of El Cid are its small villages / ALC.
  • Tradiciones clavadas en las puertas de las casas.
  • A summer evening / ALC.
  • Little villages, great moments / ALC.
  • Ancient dovecotes in the Way of el Cid / ALC.
  • White storks, very common in the Spanish villages / ALC.
  • Flock of sheep in La Pobla del Bellestar, province of Castellón / Joaquín Campos.
  • Ancestral stone construction techniques located in El Maestrazgo, provinces of Castellón and Teruel /  Manuel Moliner Marín.
  • Traditional constructions in Torrehermosa, Zaragoza / ALC
  • Peaceful landscapes in the Way of el Cid / Luis Esteras Maluenda.
  • Convoy of horses in the Way of el Cid / Juan Antonio Bascón.
  • Ancient stone paths / ALC.
  • Small samples, simple and exciting at the same time, of rural Romanesque / ALC.
  • The people is the most important value of the Way of el Cid. Lara de los Infantes, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Take it easy, you´re in the Way of el Cid / ALC.
  • Nocturnal. Just arriving! / ALC.

 

More than 200 castles, lookout towers and defence constructions.

Most of the Way of El Cid crosses areas that were borderland, not only during the Middle Ages. This has ensured the conservation of a good number of castles, lookout towers and military constructions built at strategic locations to defend or watch over mountain passes and valleys. Some of these buildings have been refurbished, while others are in ruins: from the simple remains of an Arabic lookout tower from the 8th century to the most important rock fortress, seeing them is tantamount to stepping into a very important part of Spanish history.

 

Castillos, atalayas y amurallamientos

  • The castle of El Burgo de Osma (X-XI Centuries), province of Soria / Jesús Bernal Lorenzo.
  • The millennial castle of Sagunto, province of Valencia / Felipe Noguera Trejón.
  • Templar castle in Castillejo de Robledo, province of Soria / ALC.
  • Castle of Torres Torres, province of Valencia / ALC.
  • Castle of Sax, province of Alicante / Juan Miguel Martínez.
  • Castle of Mora de Rubielos, Teruel / ALC.
  • Watchtower in Calatayud. Because of its size and age, Calatayud is one of the most important Islamic walled towns in Spain / ALC.
  • Castle of Huesa del Común, province of Teruel / ALC.
  • Castle of Atienza, province of Guadalajara / ALC.
  • The caliphal fortress of Gormaz, province of Soria / ALC.
  • Watchtower in Almenara, province of Castellón. El Cid conquered the castle in 1098 / ALC.
  • Castle of Xàtiva, Valencia / València Terra i Mar.
  • Castle of Jadraque (province of Guadalajara), named as Castle of El Cid / ALC.
  • Alhama de Aragón, province of Zaragoza / ALC.
  • Villena castle, Alicante / ALC.
  • Daroca islamic walls. El Cid was there in 1090. Daroca, province of Saragossa / ALC.
  • Mirambel, Teruel / ALC.
  • Cox castle, Alicante / ALC.
  • Monforte de Moyuela castle, Teruel / ALC.
  • Burbáguena castle, Zaragoza / ALC.
  • Medinaceli castle, in the province of Soria / ALC.
  • Biar castle, Alicante / ALC.
  • Langa de Duero bridge and tower, Soria / ALC.
  • Berlanga de Duero castle, Soria / ALC.
  • Tower in La Hoz de la Vieja, Teruel / ALC.
  • Banyeres de Mariola castle, Alicante / ALC.
  • Montuenga de Soria castle, province of Soria / ALC.
  • Burgos castle / ALC.

 

 

A route with a lot of art and style

The artistic heritage of medieval origin or linked to the Middle Ages on the Way of El Cid is the only one of its kind in Europe. Besides the seven World Heritage Sites, you can find very interesting examples of Visigoth, Romanesque, Gothic, Islamic and Mudejar art.

 

Art

  • Visigoth hermitage of Quintanilla de las Viñas, Burgos / ALC.
  • Mozarab hermitage in Santibáñez del Val, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Arab plasterwork in the castle of Onda, Castellón / ALC.
  • The Moslem Calif-style fortress of Gormaz was built in the X century to defend the lands of the Duero from Christian attacks during the Reconquest. Gormaz, province of Soria / ALC.
  • Romanesque tower of San Pedro de Cardeña, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Romanesque art in Sigüenza, province of Guadalajara / ALC.
  • Small samples, simple and exciting at the same time, of rural Romanesque / ALC.
  • Converts Refectory in the Monastery of Santa María de Huerta, province of Soria / Juan Antón Oliva.
  • Medieval bridge in La Pobla del Bellestar, Castellón / ALC.
  • Gate of the Church Santa María la Mayor in Morella, Castellón / ALC.
  • Artistic treasures inside the Burgos cathedral / Blas Carrión.
  • Palace of El Infantado, Guadalajara / ALC
  • The Cathedral of Sigüenza (province of Guadalajara) hoses the sepulchre of Martín Vázquez de Arce. Vázquez died in 1486 during the conquest of Granada and his brother Fernando, bishop of the Canary Islands, ordered a portrait in alabaster where he lies on his side while reading, in one of the finest examples of Spanish funerary art / ALC.

  

A living route: gastronomy and festivals.

Wild mushrooms, rice dishes, roast kid or baby lamb, game stews, wonderful vegetables, cod, very sweet desserts, designation-of-origin wines, horchatas and tasty citrus fruits... Try any traditional Spanish dish and become part of the festivals: there are 20 festivals of official national and international interest and 9 have to do with the figure of El Cid Campeador.

 

Rev. JGG 01.08.16

 

Fiestas populares

  • You can find almost twenty festivities declared of National or International Tourist Interest / José Antonio López Rico.
  • Dancers. Popular Festival at Utande, province of Guadalajara / Jesús de los Reyes Martínez.
  • The Contradanza of Cetina (province of Saragossa) is an ancient ritual dance with the Devil as protagonist / Javier Romero Francés.
  • Devil´s Festival. Saturday of Carnival in Luzón, province of Guadalajara / Juana María López Rojo.
  • The ancient relationship between men and animals is mirrowed in traditional festivals as Albal, Valencia /  José Beut Duato.
  • Festival called La Nit del Foc (Night of Fire) in Burriana, province of Castellón / Alberto Navarro
  • Festivity of Saint Acacious, in Utande, a small village of 30 inhabitants, province of Guadalajara / Juana María López Rojo.
  • Medieval market in Villena, province of Alicante / Stewart John Mur.
  • 'Carasses', festivity with masks in Petrer, Alicante. In October / José Antonio López Rico.
  • Correfocs 'fire runners' in Petrer, Alicante / José Antonio López Rico.
  • Fiesta de La Caballada in Atienza, province of Guadalajara. Festivity of National Tourist Interest. It commemorates the charge of muleteers in Atienza, 1162, that saved king of Castilla Alfonso VIII from falling into the hands of his uncle / Jesús de los Reyes.
  • Festival in Petrer, province of Alicante / José Antonio López Rico.
  • Easter in the small village of Hiendelaencina, Guadalajara / Carlos Pineda García
  • The city of Burgos celebrate the exile of el Cid in the first weekend of October / ALC.
  • The village of Segorbe, province of Castellón, celebrates during the second week of September the Bulls and Horses Entrance, Fiesta of International Tourist Interest / Juan Francisco Bascón.
  • Bull and Horse droving fiesta in Segorbe (Castellón), festivity declared of International Tourist Interest / Ayuntamiento de Segorbe.
  • Burgos, during the festivity of El Cid, the first weekend in october / ALC.