Castillejo de Robledo (Soria)

Cuando dejaron a mis hijas en el robledo de Corpes,
conmigo no quisieron tener parte y perdieron mi amor:
¡denme mis espadas, cuando mis yernos no son!
Versos 3156 y ss. CMC

Many scholars place in Castillejo de Robledo the affront suffered by El Cid's daughters at the hands of their husbands, the lords of Carrión. Rescued by her cousin, Félez Muñoz, the Cid's daughters will rest in San Esteban until they recover from their wounds. This connection with the Cidian legend contrasts with the uncertain origin of Castillejo de Robledo, which barely allows to venture on its Islamic past until the 11th century. The later traces of history are still visible in its Romanesque church or in its castle.

Castillejo is a small village, less than 200 inhabitants, dedicated to rainfed agriculture, livestock and lately to wine and tourism, growing due to its attractive heritage and being the headquarters of the School of the Spanish Hunting Federation, which justifies its important number of accommodations. Located in a small and narrow valley between limestone rocks where the aromatic plants grow, it is surrounded by oaks and junipers. Oaks (robles) give the "surname" to the town  (Robledo). The place where the poet maybe located the Afrenta de Corpes is nearby  a mountain where abound wild boars, rabbits, partridges and quails.

The toponym of Castillejo de Robledo comes from its castle (Castillejo means little castle), once owned by the Order of the Temple. After its suppression by Pope Clement V in 1311, the castle passed to the Hospitaller Order of St. John. In the 15th century Don Alfonso Carrillo de Acuña rebuilt the building: it is this remodeling that today survives, in ruins, propped up on a large limestone rock, which can be accessed without difficulty by a short path from the parish church. The castle remains a double walled enclosure; there are mainly two towers, the cistern, and canvases of the walls. Located on a hill, is a good place to rest for a while and to contemplate the silent landscapes of Castillejo.

The evocative power of the castle's ruins multiplies when approaching from the church of La Asunción de Nuestra Señora (the assumption of the Virgin) in Romanesque style, from the XII and XIII centuries. This is one of the most interesting rural Romanesque churches on the Camino del Cid largely due to the partial conservation of its paintings, the triumphal arch of ogival layout guarded by the paintings of two dragons or serpents, the balanced cover of four archivolts -possibly from the 13th century- that preserves remains of its original polychromy, or the presence in its apse of corbels among which there is an interesting example of the always curious erotic imagery. Romanesque traces still can be found in the ruined remains of the Ermita (hermitage) de los Mártires, outside the town, on the left of the road coming from Langa.

 Lastly, fans of the Cidian legend can walk along a path, which takes about twenty minutes to reach, to the remains of the hermitage of La Concepción del Monte, located under a large rock, at the beginning of a narrow and closed valley,  in whose surroundings there is a fountain that has traditionally been designated as the spot where the Afrenta de Corpes (Affront of Corpes) took place: when the Counts of Carrión raped and ditched  the daughters of El Cid. 

We suggest

  • In addition to its essential Romanesque church, the visit to Castillejo will be a good opportunity to test an interesting red wine, called "Silentium", under the wine designation of origin Ribera del Duero. 

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Rev. ALC: 25.07.18

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Rev. ALC: 16.07.18