It is located in the eastern part of the Tabladillo valley, on the banks of the river Mataviejas or Ura, to the south-east of the province of Burgos, surrounded by the limestone rocky mountains that form the Natural Area of the Sabinares de Arlanza. Its landscape is austere, but the waters have carved in these limestone rocks, beautiful and capricious forms that delight our sight. Archaeological remains of ceramics and domestic utensils, found in the cavities and caves of the mountains surrounding Santo Domingo de Silos, indicate that there may have been human settlements in prehistoric times, possibly in the Bronze Age. Celtiberian, Roman and Visigothic remains have also been found.
Alfonso VI, king of Castile and Leon, granted jurisdiction to the abbey in 1098, according to which the abbot could allow settlers to settle next to the monastery, leaving them under his protection and vassalage and thus giving birth to the current town of Silos that depended on the abbot until in 1440, the monks sold it to the Velasco, Condestables of Castile.
In addition to the natural charms offered by the surroundings of Santo Domingo de Silos and the routes and walks that leave from here, we can admire the charm of the town, its still, although decimated, medieval aspect, remembered in the pieces of wall that keep the garden of the monastery or in the two doors of the same that gave access to the enclave, that of La Calderera and that of San Juan.
The church of San Pedro, built between the 12th and 17th centuries, houses the Virgen del Mercado, patron saint of the town. Its monastery, with which it shares its name, of Santo Domingo de Silos, deserves special mention. Between the monastery and the arch of San Juan we find a spring of perennial waters that feeds the washing place in front of the monks' vegetable garden. Another natural monument, carved by the flow of the waters, which we cannot miss, is the Gorge of La Yecla, located a few kilometres from the village.
The patron saint of Silos is the Virgen del Mercadoand her feast day is celebrated on the 2nd of July. The feast of La Cruz is the first weekend in May. The 20th of December is a tribute to the patron saint of the town of Santo Domingo de Silos and a very peculiar and amusing fiesta is the last Saturday of January and is, with legend and representation included, the Fiesta de los Jefes (Feast of the Chiefs).
One of the traditions still maintained in Santo Domingo de Silos is the singing of the Marzas. In the night that begins the month of March, the young men, single boys, gather and go out through the town singing, announcing the beginning of the month of March, the arrival of spring, fertile season, roaming the young women with their songs and at the same time making postulation.
Santo Domingo de Silos is the knot of historical paths: the Wool Route, the El Cid Way, the El Cid exile route, and the Castilian-Aragonese Way converge in it.
Legend has it that during the Muslim invasion, when Santo Domingo de Silos was about to be besieged by the Moors, a neighbour of the town pretended a great fire in the town, and the destruction of all the property there was, to deceive the aggressor and make him think that there was nothing left of use and so that he left without attacking. And so it was, the besieger chose to forget that villa destroyed by fire.
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Santo Domingo de Silos can be reached following the BU-911 that comes from nearby Caleruega or from Lerma by the BU-900, it is also possible to access from the N-234 that joins Burgos and Soria following the BU-903 from Hacinas.
There is a bus service, departing from Burgos or Lerma, every day except Sundays and public holidays.
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