It is located in Tierra de Campos, in the southeast of the province of León. Villamarco de las Matas, according to experts has its origin in Roman times, in a primitive villa dedicated to Marco Aurelio, this theory is supported by the proximity of the Via Trajana, therefore has almost two thousand years of history. Little is known more about it, so it is suspected that it would run parallel to that of the area, with its years of oblivion and importance. In the Middle Ages the Way of Saint James passed through here and the town had a pilgrims' hospital and a hermitage dedicated to the Apostle. Today it is a hamlet belonging to the municipality of Santas Martas.
In Villamarco, its small and quiet streets mix new and old buildings and among them is the parish church dedicated to San Isidro, was rebuilt in 1974 and has, as its own, the beautiful Mudejar-style Tower, witness of its previous church. The Santo Cristo del Malvar hermitage, built in brick, has a simple façade crowned with a belfry and inside, in the centre of the altar, the image of Santo Cristo del Amparo, also called Cristo del Santo Malvar.
Villamarco de las Matas celebrates its festivities on 8 December in honour of the Immaculate Conception, patron saint of the town, and on 15 May it celebrates San Isidro.
It is told from generation to generation, as oral history passes from generation to generation, that until the beginning of the twentieth century, these areas were populated by shrubs and bushes in addition to extensive forests in which the oaks predominated and that there were also a lot of hunting and wolves, foxes ... In Villamarco de las Matas, there is still a small grove near the train track.
In this area there are several villages with the toponym of Las Matas, Villamarco de las Matas, Santas Martas de las Matas, Reliegos de las Matas, Grajalejo de las Matas, Villamoratiel de las Matas. The word Matas has as meaning land populated with trees of the same species. In some of the coats of arms of these towns they have reflected a holm oak.
The elders of the place tell us how in Villamarco there was a deep-rooted custom. When a poor, wandering person arrived in the village, all the neighbours had the obligation to assist him in his needs and so that everyone complied with this almost law, there was a symbol, they had a rod or stick called "el Palo de los Pobres" which was guarded in one of the houses, as a general rule that of one of the wealthiest of the village. The chiquillería received it as if it was a celebration and they accompanied it up to the dwelling of the one who had the stick, there it was taken care of and later with the stick in the hand, it went house in house receiving what goodly they could give it, bacon, bread... or they offered him the haystack or the stable to sleep.
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Villamarco de las Matas can be reached from Santas Martas on the N-601, which joins Valladolid and León, via the CV-195. You will also find the detour to this town on the A-231 Motorway and from there to Villamarco de las Matas. In addition we will find another access in the local highway that joins El Burgo Ranero with Reliegos and Mansilla de las Mulas following the course of the Way of Saint James.
Villamarco de las Matas has a transport service on demand, which connects it with different neighbouring villages and with León. To do so, call 900 204 020. There is a service from Monday to Friday. The bus stop is located on the corner of the village church, on Calle Travesía de la Iglesia.
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