It sits on a promontory that overlooks the river Duratón and one of its tributaries, the Caslilla, and the spectacular canyon, the famous Sickles of the river Duratón, which the river has formed as it passes through the municipality, and which is located in the northeast of the province of Segovia, being the capital of the municipality of the same name, also comprising ten other population centres. Long before the Romans arrived in Septempublica, as they called it, there were Palaeolithic and Iron Age settlements in the area, and archaeological remains have been found that testify to this. The Visigoths also settled in the area, perhaps being the precursors of the medieval town of Sepulveda. The Arabs, likewise, arrived in Sepulveda, which meant that it passed from Muslim to Christian hands and from Christian to Muslim as one or the other advanced in their struggles to gain ground in the long period of the Reconquest, until Sancho García, grandson of Fernán González, in the year 1010 and in view of the decline of the Caliphate of Córdoba, recovered it definitively.
In the 11th century, Alfonso VI confirmed the charter that his ancestors, Counts Fernán González, García Fernández and Sancho García, granted to Sepúlveda, establishing the town as a territorial political entity. The Middle Ages was a time of splendour for Sepúlveda in which three cultures coexisted, the Catholic, the Muslim and the Jewish. In the 15th century, the future Queen Isabel the Catholic, together with her brother, the Infant-King Don Alfonso, held the lordship of the town. In 1468 the Jews were expelled from the town and a few years later, in 1472, the sovereignty of the future Catholic Monarchs was recognised. During the War of Independence, the lands of Sepulveda saw battles being fought there, and raids were made like those of El Empecinado, which had its headquarters in the caves of the Duratón River Canyon. In the mid-20th century Sepulveda was declared a Historic-Artistic Site and since 2016 formed part of the Association the most beautiful villages in Spain .
Sepulveda offers the visitor the pleasant experience of walking its streets slowly, discovering romantic corners and emblazoned buildings, such as the house of the Proaño family or house of the Moor, which together with its Romanesque churches and the canvases and doors of its walls, speak of years and years of history full of events and experiences of the people who lived here and who give the town its peculiar and beautiful appearance. The Main Square, rectangular in shape and with some porticos, was built outside the walls and in it the remains of the castle, a tireless lookout for the activity of the town. The castle marked the boundary of the town walls and there are still three periods of construction, the towers of the Arab wall from the tenth century and which belonged to the castle at the same time; the building from the fifteenth century, of which two balconies can be seen in the sections of the wall and the baroque facade that was attached to it in the eighteenth century.
Of the seven gates in the wall, some of them have stood the test of time and are now part of the town, the Gate of Azogue or Ecce Homo, the Gate of the River, or the remains of the Gate of Strength, which is located on the outskirts of the town, on one of the paths in the Hoces of the River Duratón Nature Reserve, and from which a Roman road leads to the Picazos Bridge. In the highest part of Sepulveda the church of San Salvador, built in the 11th century, is considered the oldest Romanesque building in the province of Segovia. Behind the Gate of Azogue is the Romanesque church of Saints Justo and Pastor, from the 12th and 13th centuries, declared a National Monument in 1931, and currently houses the Museum of the Fueros.
Situated on one of the Sickles of the River Duratón the 12th century Romanesque church of Nuestra Señora de la Peña has a beautiful doorway whose tympanum is a real gem, where the apocalyptic Christ the Judge is flanked by the symbols of the evangelists and below Him a chrismon. The church houses the image of the Virgen de la Peña, patron saint of Sepulveda and its Community of Villa y Tierra. At the back of the church and taking advantage of such a privileged situation, a viewpoint offers a view of the first Sickles of the Duratón River. The current parish of the town is the also Romanesque church of San Bartolomé from the 12th century. Another of the five Romanesque churches still standing in Sepulveda is that of Santiago, which has an underground crypt where there are a series of anthropomorphic tombs excavated in the rock that could date from the 10th century. Today this temple houses the House of the Park or Interpretation Centre of the Hoces of the River Duratón from where a beautiful hiking route begins that goes into the Natural Park of the Hoces of the River Duratón and will delight young and old alike.
Sepulveda celebrates its patron saint's day on September 29th in honour of the Virgen de la Peña. The Saints Justo and Pastor are celebrated on August 5th and the Virgen de las Pucherillas has her day on the 15th of the same month. San Marcos is celebrated on April 25 and 26 and on the third weekend of July Sepulveda commemorates the confirmation of its Fueros.
On the eve of San Bartolomé, August 23rd, at 10 o'clock at night, Sepúlveda stays in the dark to let the lights shine that the Diablillos, coming down the steps of the temple, carry on both sides of their heads resembling as if they were coming out of the flames, the truth is that they come out from behind a bonfire lit a little earlier and broom in hand they chase the public gathered there, According to tradition, this is the only night of the year when San Bartolomé lets the Diablillos run and play around, but only for a while, because half an hour later they go back up to the church and the saint ties them up again.
One of the kings of Sepulveda's rich gastronomy is the suckling lamb roasted in a wood-fired oven. In the town, the figones, typical taverns of the Middle Ages and today restaurants, are those specialized in this traditional food.
The zangana, one of the two bells located in the belfry that rises above the central tower of the castle, announced the "curfew" daily, 33 bells preceding the closing of the doors of the wall. Today the zangana and its bells are still part of the cultural, living and immaterial tradition of the town.
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Various roads lead to Sepulveda, such as the SG-232 which connects it with the nearby A-1 between Burgos and Madrid, at the level of the towns of Boceguillas and Castillejo de Mesleón on the one hand and with Turégano on the other. The SG-241 also reaches Sepúlveda, linking it with Peñafiel, among other towns, or the SG-V-2323, which runs through part of the Sickles of the River Duratón Natural Park. Without forgetting the various options available to us to reach Sepulveda from the N-110 in its section corresponding to the junction between Segovia and the A-1.
Sepulveda has regular bus service to Madrid, Boceguillas, Santo Tomé del Puerto, Segovia, Peñafiel and Aranda de Duero.
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