It is located between the rivers Esla and Cea, in Tierra de Campos, in the middle of the Jacobean route to the southeast of León, through which the Via Trajana already passed, the route that linked Bordeaux with Astorga. Today we know that Calzadilla de los Hermanillos was founded back in the year 1,100, when several surrounding villages already had several years of history, but its origin dates back to Roman times. In the place there was a fountain where the Roman troops used to camp, which gave rise to a more or less stable settlement. In the Middle Ages, the village was gradually formed around the Way of Saint James, which passed through there, and it was reached by the brother monks benitos, hermanillos, from the nearby monastery of Sahagún, who built a hermitage dedicated to the Virgin of Sorrows and attended to pilgrims by providing lodging and hospitality. Nowadays, the tranquillity of the village has turned it into a place of residence for summer and weekends.
In Calzadilla de los Hermanillos, the hermitage of the Virgen de los Dolores is located in the centre of the village and houses the image of its patron saint, Nuestra Señora de los Dolores (Our Lady of Sorrows), which may date from the early 16th century. The hermitage, with structural bases inherited from the Romanesque period, was restored in the 16th century undergoing later reforms. The parish church of San Bartolomé was rebuilt in the Middle Ages and strongly restored in the 16th and 18th centuries. Inside, a beautiful altarpiece adorns the altar exhibiting a 15th century carving of Calvary and a figure of Saint Bartholomew, patron saint of the village. Next to the church you can admire a small park, with an exhibition of archaeological remains of Roman times which shows some of the ingenuity used in the Roman roads. In addition, a building near the church known as La panera (The Breadbasket) served in its time as an alhóndiga, a place where cereal grains were distributed and lent.
In the middle of the Jacobean route, on the outskirts of the village, a wide stretch of the Roman road is preserved. And for peaceful meetings and enjoyment of nature, Calzadilla de los Hermanillos offers us a fountain or old washing place with three piles, the last two to soap the clothes and the first one to clarify it, and two spouts where people, still in these times, go with their botijos for fresh water and the Fountain of the Pilgrims, traditionally known as the Pelegrin with swings, tables, barbecues...
Calzadilla de los Hermanillos celebrates its festivities in honour of its patron saints, the Virgen de los Dolores on Viernes de Dolores and San Bartolomé on 24 August.
In the parish church of San Bartolomé there is a kind of 19th century altar known as the Monument, which is made up of three serge, cloth, painted representing the Last Supper and which, according to tradition, are unrolled during Holy Week.
Before the arrival of the little brothers, friars, it is very likely that there was a Visigothic or Mozarabic temple in Calzadilla and that it was razed to the ground by the Arab leader Almanzor in his eagerness to conquer Christian territories of León and Galicia and it is said that the church of Calzadilla de los Hermanillos was built on top of the pile of rubble, which very possibly was also dedicated to San Bartolomé.
Legend has it that the beautiful carving of the Virgen de los Dolores that is in the hermitage of the same name, was found by some shepherds between Bercianos and Calzadilla originating a great dispute for who of the two villages belonged. To solve it they decided to place the image in a cart and let them be the oxen, which according to the direction they took, decided, and the animals went to Calzadilla de los Hermanillos.
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To get to Calzadilla de los Hermanillos an option is from the nearby El Burgo Ranero on the A-231 between Burgos and León, from there we will have to take the LE-5703 in the direction of Villamuñío, for shortly after take the detour that leads to Calzadilla de los Hermanillos. This same road, but in the opposite direction, connects the town with the neighbouring towns of Castellanos and Villacalabuey.
We have the option of bus service in Calzadilla de los Hermanillos if we approach Sahagún, with daily connections. If on the other hand we go towards El Burgo Ranero the service towards León does not have daily frequency. There is also a bus service, upon request and reservation, which covers the line Las Grañeras-Mansilla de las Mulas, with a stop at Calzadilla de los Hermanillos, on Mondays, Tuesdays and working Wednesdays. The place reservation call is to the telephone number 900 204 020, from 8 in the morning to 8 in the afternoon.
If you want to travel by train, accessing El Burgo Ranero you will have daily service with León as well as Valladolid. If we approach Sahagún, its service is mainly the Palencia-La Coruña line, but it maintains connections with the main Spanish capitals.
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