Charming Villages - Berlanga de Duero (Soria Spain)

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The Soriana village of Berlanga de Duero (Spain), declared a Historic-Monumental Site, has an enviable monumental heritage. Its origin is Celtiberian and then Roman. Its name comes from the Roman settlement "Augusta Valeránica".

During the High Middle Ages played an important role in the famous border line of the Duero -like San Esteban de Gormaz, Osma, Gormaz, and Medinaceli- between Christians and Muslims.

After the consolidation of the Christian reconquest and given its relevance became head of the Community of Villa y Tierra. The whole territory was taken over by the Tovar family, who in the 15th century carried out a radical transformation of Berlanga, suppressing the Romanesque parish churches (up to six there were in the village) to build a Renaissance city, including the current collegiate church, its palace and the castle bastion

The castle of Berlanga de Duero could have originated in the 10th century and was a stronghold in defense of the Douro in front of the Muslims. Its control had to pass of a to others during centuries X and XI until Fernando I in 1060 seized of all this territory and Alfonso I SAW it consolidated it after the conquest of Toledo.

This initial fortress was rebuilt in the fifteenth century by Luis de Tovar, leaving from that building part of the walls and a splendid keep of vallisoletano aspect, with battlements and garitones.

Between the second and third decade of the sixteenth century D. Juan de Tovar hired the Italian Master Benedict to build a new fortress adapted to the new artillery uses. In this project the castle of the previous century is respected and surrounded by a new wall with four huge cubes of chairs.

This bastion castle remained unfinished since simultaneously his residential palace was being built under him and economic resources were weakening.

The views from the castle are magnificent. Towards the south the own locality of Berlanga de Duero and its surroundings and towards the north the ravine of the Escalote river.

It was the classic Renaissance palace of which the southern facade and one of the towers is conserved in good condition, since it was destroyed in the War of Independence by the French.

Collegiate Church of Santa María

The collegiate church of Santa María is another of the Renaissance buildings that Berlanga de Duero saw erect in the first decades of the 16th century.

It is a large columnar temple with a hall floor, that is, with naves of equal height separated by large cylindrical pillars that collect the nerves of the stellate vaults.

It is one of the most important buildings of the architect Juan de Rasines.
 
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