It is located in the southern part of the province of Burgos and forming part of the Ribera del Duero is the bridge between it and the foothills of the Sierra de la Demanda. The origins of Caleruega date back to the time of the Reconquest, in the tenth century, and because of this its beginnings were not easy because in the incursions of the Muslims they razed everything, so the population to defend itself was grouped around the tower of the Guzman and was protected by a wall. The first document in which Caleruega is cited is from the year 1062 and years later in 1094 the name of Caleruega appears in an archive of the monastery of San Salvador de Oña. But Caleruega became famous in the year 1.170, the year in which he was born in this locality Santo Domingo de Guzmán in the family bosom of the Lords of Caleruega.
When Antonio de Guzmán, brother of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, died without descendants, King Alfonso X the Wise ordered the transfer of the Dominican nuns from San Esteban de Gormaz to the convent that he had built in the ancestral house of the Guzmanes in Caleruega and granted a privilege to the people, and to the Royal Monastery of Santo Domingo de Caleruega he granted the title of lordship, holding from that moment, the prioress or abbess mother, the title of Lady of Caleruega. The lordship of the nuns over Caleruega lasted until the changes of the 19th century, the disentailment and the mandate of Queen Isabel who, in 1868, withdrew this title from the Royal Monastery. At the fall of the Old Regime, Caleruega is constituted as a constitutional council of the same name, in the Party of Aranda belonging to the region of Castilla la Vieja.
The visit to Caleruega is slow, quiet, because the village itself emanates peace. The square of Caleruega, presided over by a statue of his holy son Domingo, is surrounded by the walls of what can be considered the monumental ensemble of the village, which has gone on to swell the lists of the most beautiful villages in Spain. This complex is made up of the Convent of the Dominicans, a house of spirituality, built in the fifties of the last century and which houses the oldest monument preserved almost from the very origin of the town, the Tower of the Guzmanes, from the tenth century. The Royal Monastery of Santo Domingo in Caleruega, which was inhabited by Dominican nuns in the 13th century, forms a whole next to it; and a little further apart, the parish church of San Sebastián, a Romanesque temple built in the 12th century, is preserved from its origin, the tower, the entrance arch and a biforic window.
But it is not only Caleruega that gives off peace, its surroundings also invite calm. A good walk leads to discover, by the PRC-BU69, Sendero de las Loberas, from the traditional wineries located on the slopes of the Peña de San Jorge, the most important hillock of the town crowned by a red cross, which can be seen from all the town and shines at night, through fountains and holm oaks like that of Santo Domingo to the loberas, popular buildings where shepherds kept the sheep to preserve them from the wolves. Another hiking route is the Archaeological Route which, after covering a few kilometres, brings the walker closer to the La Pudia archaeological site, a high medieval village and San Mamés with its hermitage and an anthropomorphic tomb.
Caleruega celebrates Santo Domingo de Guzmán, from 7 to 9 August. Santa Juana is celebrated on August 17 and 18. The feast in honour of St. Sebastian, patron saint of Caleruega, is celebrated on the Sunday following 20 January. The Candelas are on 2 February. And the traditional pilgrimage of Castro or of the Santito is the third Sunday of April.
In Caleruega it is a tradition that on the night before a wedding, the neighbours meet in front of the bride's house and like troubadours or tunos they sing a series of popular songs that have been passed from parents to children. This act is known in the village as the Cantanovias and in it the family of the bride offers wine and nuts to the neighbors to encourage them in the celebration to thank them for their presence.
The brotherhoods of Caleruega are in charge of organizing the different and varied celebrations that are celebrated in the locality. The fifths are in charge, among others, of the summer festivities of Santo Domingo and Santa Juana. The Brotherhood of San Sebastián is in charge of organising the procession of the town's patron saint on 20 January. The Candelas brotherhood is in charge of the festivities and the procession on 2 February. On Women's Day, the Confraternity of Santa Águeda is in charge. Like the Vera Cruz, it is the Holy Week. And the Brotherhood of Santo Domingo is in charge of preparing all the religious part of the 7th, 8th and 9th of August..
Legend has it that in the nearby Peña de San Jorge, pierced by a large number of caves, the Moors would hide and, being on the lookout, whenever they felt it was appropriate to attack and plunder Caleruega and its neighbors. A good day for the Calerogans, the Cid Campeador passed through the town, on his way to exile, back in the tenth century. The people of Caleruega, who fearfully hid in the Torreón de los Guzmanes, encouraged by the presence of Don Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar went out to battle and managed to expel the Moors from Caleruega.
Caleruega is reached by the BU-910 road, which joins Aranda de Duero and the N-1 on one side and Santo Domingo de Silos on the other. Caleruega is also served by other local roads that connect it with neighbouring towns, such as Peñaranda de Duero, Huerta de Rey and Gumiel de Izán, among others.
Caleruega has a bus service that connects it with Burgos from Monday to Friday. It also has a regular service, Tuesdays and Thursdays, which connect it with Aranda de Duero.
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