It is situated where the River Duero receives its tributary Bánvelo, in the centre of the extensive plain that irrigates the Duero, to the south of the province of Burgos. The origins of Aranda de Duero are not very clear although it is believed that, as in the whole area, the locality arose with the repopulation of the ninth century. While other scholars take its foundation some centuries earlier, the truth is that the first documents in which it is mentioned are from the eleventh century. Its primitive population nucleus would be walled, in the highest part of the city, around the church of San Juan. The town was a place of royalty as early as the 13th century, a condition that was granted by Sancho IV and Pedro I.
In the reign of Enrique IV Aranda de Duero was Court of the king; Doña Juana, wife of Enrique IV, was Lady of Aranda. In the town was held in the year 1473, a provincial council convened by Archbishop Alfonso Carrillo, one of the points to discuss was to give greater support to the succession to the crown of Castile by Princess Isabel. Curiously enough, this council also approved that all ecclesiastics who did not know Latin could not be ordained. Centuries of palatial intrigues, of struggle for power, take place in Aranda de Duero, which has reached the present time being one of the industrial points and one of the most important cities in the province of Burgos.
In Aranda de Duero, which very possibly was born as a place of passage and crossroads, a city irrigated and crossed by several rivers, the bridges that save them become access roads, links of union, essential for their inhabitants. Among all the bridges we can highlight the Conchuela bridge of medieval origin and the Romanesque bridge of the Tanneries, known as the Roman bridge. Walking along the streets of Aranda de Duero we find, very close to the Roman bridge, the 16th century church of San Juan Bautista, with its defensive tower; this desacralised temple currently houses the Sacred Museum. The house of the Balls, in front of the church of San Juan, where Isabel la Católica spent her childhood, is today a painting museum. The church of Santa Maria la Real, known as the "small cathedral", is one of the monuments if not the most important of the city, built in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries on a Romanesque church, is flaming gothic style.
The Vera Cruz church from the 17th century. Squares such as the Mayor, with its arcades, kiosk and the reproduction of the Aranda plan of the year 1503, the Wheat, or the Rollo, in which is the palace of the Berdugo, Renaissance, one of the many mansions that are tucked between the houses of Aranda de Duero, in this palace is said to have housed Napoleon Bonaparte in 1808. On the outskirts of the city, on a small hill, is the sanctuary of the Virgen de las Viñas, from the 17th century, where the image of the Virgen de las Viñas, patron saint of the city, is kept. But we can also enjoy Aranda de Duero going through its entrails, more than 7 kilometres of endless corridors that house up to 135 wine cellars; underground cellars in the old town, an entire underground city built between the 12th and 18th centuries. Aranda de Duero is located within the Ribera de Duero wine route, through which it also crosses the Cañada Real Segoviana. Set on an extensive plain, with a green environment, Aranda de Duero invites you to enjoy boat rides along the River Duero, or to walk along its banks discovering the diversity of birds that have their habitat in the area.
Aranda de Duero celebrates its patron saint fiestas in honour of the Virgen de las Viñas on 8 September.
In Aranda de Duero, on Easter Sunday, the traditional Bajada del Ángel (Descent of the Angel) takes place. In front of the façade of the Church of Santa María and descending from above, a child dressed as an angel and suspended from a cable reaches the image of the Virgin who is covered with a black mantle of mourning and takes it off, so that she can see her resurrected Son with her own eyes. When the veil falls, pigeons are released and the general joy is felt.
The first urban plan that was carried out in Spain was that of Aranda de Duero in the year 1503, was made as a result of a neighborhood lawsuit. Today it is preserved in the General Archive of Simancas, being the oldest urban map of Spain and the oldest cartographic document of the General Archive. It was the basis for the urban development of the cities discovered in the New World.
Legend has it that when the inhabitants of Aranda de Duero were suffering from a serious plague epidemic, a priest, a local neighbour and very devoted to the Virgen de las Viñas, seeing that neither his charity nor the help he kindly gave to the sick managed to alleviate their suffering, he entrusted himself with faith and daily to his Virgin begging for their help. One day a young man, almost a child, arrived at the door of his dwelling, asking for lodging, something to which the good cleric gladly agreed. When the young man learned the reason why the good man was sad and worried, he offered to help him, and accompanying him in his daily visit to the sick, with only his presence, they began to heal. The young man was called the mediquin and it is said that when all the arandinos were healed and recovered they approached the priest's house to thank and honor the boy but what was his surprise that they did not find him either in her or in the surroundings where they looked for him. Then they understood that their beloved mediquín had been an angel sent by the Virgen de las Viñas and for this reason, together with the Virgen and in his own temple, you can see the carving of a boy referred to as the Mediquín.
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As far as Aranda de Duero we arrived by the highway A-I that joins it with Madrid and Burgos. With Soria and Valladolid it is communicated by the N-122. From Aranda de Duero start different roads that connect it with neighboring towns such as Roa, Caleruega, Peñaranda de Duero or Sotillo de la Ribera among others.
The bus station of Aranda de Duero is located in Calle Valladolid, s/n. The telephone number for further information is 947 509 951. It is served by buses that connect it with Madrid and provincial capitals on different routes and timetables. Other lines connect the nearby towns with Aranda de Duero.
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