A walk through Montuenga de Soria
From its heights, dominating not only the placid stillness of the town of Montuenga, but also a vast expanse of the Jalón Valley, you can see, passing with lightning speed, that metaphorical modern Pegasus, which, under the name by AVE or high-speed train, connects Madrid with Barcelona and France.
A similar route, for comparison, to that carried out, at the end of the 11th century or the beginning of the 12th century, by the Cistercian monks of Clairvaux or Clairvaux, who, becoming sedentary a few kilometers further on, raised with their own hands and their scarce resources, one of the most impressive Romanesque monasteries, not only in the Community and land of Soria, but also in Spain: that of Santa María de Huerta.
In fact, its location, if we have to be more precise, is barely equidistant from it about three kilometers, as are the kilometers that separate it from another of the most important towns in the area, which still exhibits as a real treasure, in a siding, the old steam locomotive, which made, in those times when traveling could still be considered a great adventure, the routes that modern railways make today: Arcos de Jalón.
Although it has been declared a Historic-Artistic Monument, the Montuenga castle barely consists of a few canvases, which, in part, can offer a slight synthesis of the strategic importance it may have had in that medieval past, located in this part of the so-called border of the Duero, which not only separated Christian Spain from Muslim Spain, but also housed a good part of the so-called Taifas or small independent strongholds, under whose pacts issues such as alliances or survival itself were settled, in which both Christians As Muslims, they committed to maintaining good relations by paying the corresponding taxes.
It is, on the other hand, an ideal observatory to appreciate, in its entirety, not only that town of hardworking people, dedicated body and soul to agriculture and livestock, mainly in the sheep sector and genuinely pious, whose houses are distribute, like the archivolts of an old Romanesque doorway, around that central sun, metaphorically speaking, which is the parish church, but also the magnificent constitution of that architecture, typical and rural, which not only maintains the rigor of its long-standing medieval roots, but also constitutes a heritage treasure, worthy of admiration.
It could be said that it is the essence of the Castilian peoples: those who still look to the future, without ever losing the north of their authentic roots, preserving the modus vivendi and the attachment to the land that their ancestors maintained throughout the centuries, generation after generation.
It is not strange, then, if in contrast with those fertile and splendid fields, especially, seen in spring, there is the bloody beauty of an architecture where tile, plaster and mortar predominate, whose properties constitute natural insulators that preserve the heat of the homes in the harsh plateau winters and the coolness in the torrid summers, appreciating, in its constitution, that fundamental type of single-family homes, shared with livestock and implements, which were and continue to be so abundant, by default, in most of the Spanish towns and which deserved so much interest and studies in the past by famous anthropologists, such as Julio Caro Baroja.
For this reason, mainly, the ascent to the top of the mound where the reduced canvases of the medieval fortress of Montuenga still stand, impassive in the face of the passing of the centuries, is an invitation, more than to adventure, properly speaking, to contemplation, rarely achieved, of appreciating those existential and architectural details that constitute the fundamental basis of the character of some towns and people, who, attached to their land and their traditions, form, without a doubt, a fundamental part of that Spain, picturesque and mysterious, always worth knowing.
NOTICE: Both the text, the accompanying photographs, as well as the video that illustrates it, are my exclusive intellectual property and are therefore subject to my Copyright.