- Dec 15, 2021
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Considered one of the most beautiful villages in Spain, Puebla de Sanabria is a village set in exceptional natural surroundings with plenty of stories to tell.
As it could not be otherwise, to discover the origins of Puebla de Sanabria we have to go back to the time of the Celts, who populated these lands some centuries before the arrival of Christ. In fact, Sanabria comes from the word 'Senabriga', possibly of Indo-European origin, meaning 'hill fort', and we can find traces of this civilisation throughout the region.
But it was in the Middle Ages when Puebla de Sanabria began to be of interest due to its strategic location next to the Portuguese border. So much so that everything that can be seen in the beauty of its streets is due to the fact that in the 12th century Puebla de Sanabria became a fortified village and an example of a defensive fortress.
Such was its importance that the Romanesque church of Santa María del Azogue, located in the Plaza Mayor, was erected at the end of that century and is a must-see.
The Castle of the Counts of Benavente is another of the fundamental elements of the road map on your trip to Puebla de Sanabria and another example of the power that the town had in the Middle Ages. Undoubtedly, along with those film-like cobbled streets, the castle is one of the most photographed locations in this marvel of rural tourism.
The castle, which dates back to the 15th century, was badly damaged during the War of Independence (a war that took place between 1808 and 1814 in the context of the Napoleonic Wars, which pitted the allied powers of Spain, the United Kingdom and Portugal against the First French Empire) and has even been used as a prison. It now houses the municipal library, the Casa de la Cultura and a centre for the interpretation of fortifications.
At this time of the year, it is a real pleasure to walk through these streets that smell of chimney, of old wood, of the village in short.
To discover the Town Hall square is to open up to a square surrounded by emblazoned houses of wood and slate that remind us that once there lived families with a lot of power. And in the centre, another of the necessary photos: the Elizabethan façade of the Town Hall which closes this visit to a town declared a Historic-Artistic Site and which deserves a prominent place among the most beautiful places in our country.
Puebla de Sanabria is located in a privileged natural enclave, with the Sierra de la Culebra mountain range and Lake Sanabria as exceptional neighbours. We find ourselves with the largest lake of glacial origin in Europe, which has several sandy beaches where hundreds of tourists flock when the weather is pleasant.