It is a small town that is located on a slight hill on a vast plain, between the Sierra de la Pica and the Rituerto river, in the centre of the province of Soria, in the region of Campo de Gómara. Although it seems to have had population settlements from the remotest history, it was the Arabs who left the greatest mark on the place, since the very name Almenar could be derived from the Arabic word "almanára", a site or place where there is a lighthouse, which could well be a primitive Arabic signal tower where the castle later stood. The first reference to Almenar de Soria is when it is mentioned in the feat song of the historical legend of the Seven Infants of Lara.
From the 13th century there are also documents that say that James I of Aragon granted the dominion of the town to one of his Catalan knights. In 1430, John II of Castilla granted Hernán Bravo de Lagunas the lordship of Almenar by giving him land and a castle. Carlos II and Felipe V also passed through Almenar de Soria, staying in the castle for long periods of time. At the fall of the Old Regime the town became a constitutional municipality, known then as Almenar in the region of Castilla la Vieja and it was in 1917 when it was renamed Almenar de Soria.
The town of Almenar de Soria, which has inspired poets such as Bécquer and where the wife and muse of Antonio Machado was born, shows the visitor one of the best preserved castles in the whole province. Its oldest remains are from the 10th century and the current castle was built on top of them between the 15th and 16th centuries. It was formerly owned by the Count of Gómara and is now privately owned, although it can be visited with the owners' permission. The parish church of Almenar de Soria is dedicated to San Pedro Apóstol and was built in the 18th century. The hermitage of the Virgin of La Llana, located at the entrance of the village, is accessed by a wide grass walk, flanked by trees and hedges. The sanctuary, which was built in the 18th century on top of a previous smaller one, houses the image, highly revered by the local people and those from neighbouring towns such as Peroniel del Campo, of the Virgin of La Llana, from the 12th century. The ex-votos related to the legend of Peroniel's captive and a beautiful silver relief from the 12th century are also kept there.
Almenar de Soria celebrates its patron saint's day on 15 August in honour of the Virgen de La Llana, the day on which it also celebrates San Roque.
In Almenar de Soria a traditional and popular festivity is celebrated, the commemoration of the legend of the Captive of Peroniel. It takes place on the third day of Pentecost. In this celebration, the local authorities give the representatives of the district of Peroniel del Campo their insignia of command and stole. After the celebration of the Mass there is a brotherhood picnic and at its end the objects given back to the authorities of Almenar de Soria.
In Almenar de Soria, specifically in its castle when it was the headquarters of the Civil Guard, Leonor Izquierdo Cuevas was born, the daughter of a sergeant of the Benemérita and was baptised in the church of San Pedro Apóstol. Leonor Izquierdo was the wife and muse of the poet Antonio Machado. They were married in 1909 when she was 15 years old and three years later she died of tuberculosis. Machado wrote after his death a poem published in Campos de Castilla "Lord, you ripped out what I wanted most. Listen again, my God, my heart is crying out. Your will was done, Lord, against my will. Lord, we are alone my heart and the sea."
The Virgen de La Llana, a Virgin to whom numerous miracles are attributed and whose accounts have given rise to pious legends, also has her own in how she came to be venerated in the hermitage. According to the story, the image appeared in the place of Andava near both Peroniel del Campo and Almenar, which caused a dispute between the two localities who claimed it for themselves at the time. Seeing that neither of them gave up their efforts, they decided that it was the Virgin herself who would decide, and they left her in the place and watched over her all night. The next day, to the satisfaction of some and the sorrow of others, they saw that the Virgin had chosen the lands of Almenar. To fulfil their desire, they built the primitive hermitage there, from where the Virgin of La Llana protected and continues to protect all her devotees.
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Almenar de Soria is located on the N-234 road that connects it with Soria on one side and with Calatayud on the other. Several local roads also connect it with Gómara, Cabrejas del Campo and Esteras de Lubia.
Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays and all school Fridays, Almenar de Soria has a bus service on the Soria - Ciria route. The Cihuela - Soria line, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays stops at Almenar de Soria, which also has a public transport service on demand that links it to neighbouring towns. To request it from Monday to Sunday between 8:00 and 20:00 hours, indicating the route, the telephone number is 900 204 020
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