Places to visit in Spain - Pedraza in Segovia

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The village of Pedraza is a town and municipality in the province of Segovia (Spain), located 37 km from the capital Segovia. It is known for being a medieval walled town and for one of the most outstanding celebrations in Spain: the night of the candles.

Its resident population is 342 inhabitants, according to the National Institute of Statistics of 2021.

The first human records we have about Pedraza are found thanks to an important set of rock art in the Cueva de la Griega, which marks the pattern of settlements of human groups in this area since the Upper Palaeolithic.

The Villa de Pedraza as we know it today was built on a hill and with a strong walled enclosure with the Puerta de la Villa as the only access, and dates back to the time of the repopulation of the frontiers in the Middle Ages.

Thus, it was the centre of the Comunidad de Villa y Tierra de Pedraza from the early Middle Ages, and has remained intact since around 1600.

Its period of maximum splendour can be found in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, centuries which date back to the Castle, restored by Ignacio Zuloaga and where he set up his studio, and the numerous emblazoned houses which tell us of the importance of its inhabitants.

Its arcaded Plaza Mayor is one of the most beautiful in Spain, as are its four churches, of which only the church of San Juan, with its impressive Romanesque tower, remains standing.

Declared a Monumental Site by Decree of 30 March 1951 and distinguished with the "C Awards" for Tourism of Castilla y León in 1993, and "Europa Nostra" in 1996, it has been used as a set for many films and TV commercials since 1929, when Florián Rey's "La Aldea Maldita" was filmed here. One of the most famous films shot here was Orson Welles' "Chimes at Midnight" in 1965.

On the first two Saturdays of July, the Villa de Pedraza Foundation, together with the Town Council, organises the famous "Concert of the Candles" or "Night of the Candles", which attracts audiences from all over Spain for the quality of its orchestras and the grandeur of the spectacle, where the whole town is lit up with more than 35,000 candles.

 

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