It is located in the fertile plain of the river Ucieza, in the centre of the province of Palencia, and close to Revenga de Campos and Frómista. The name Villovieco was formed from the Latin word villa which means farm or small farm, plus, surely, the name of the repopulator of the villa Ovecen. Already the town appears named in a document of San Zoilo, in the year 1000, as Villa Ovieco, The place of the fifth of Ovieco. In the fourteenth century had three parishes, Santa Maria, San Jorde or Jorge, which was the church of the monastery of San Salvador del Nogal and San Sebastian. Of the three, it is that of Santa María that is maintained as the parish church today.
Villovieco also had a hospital for the poor and pilgrims which was located where the municipal fronton is now located and which in its name alluded to the different confraternities, as it was called Hospital de Nuestra Señora, de San Sebastián, San Roque and all the saints. In the middle of the 19th century it had a temporary school for boys and girls. Two hawthorns, in the winery town of Villovieco, remind us of a landscape that was sown with vineyards and that preserves the flavour of the vharvest wine.
The parish church of Santa María is well worth a visit in the village. It has an advanced Renaissance style, built of stone and brick. In its main altarpiece two interesting reliefs with signs of Santiago stage the Battle of Clavijo, you can also see the shell of pilgrims. Three other altarpieces from different centuries with canvases, paintings and sculptures, no less worthy of admiration, complete and give liturgical and artistic warmth to the temple that in its sacristy keeps a preciouschest of chest of drawers from the XVI century in which there are decorations with symbols of military orders such as Malta, Calatrava or Montesa, perhaps as a reminder of the great importance that these orders had in the Way of Saint James. In the surroundings of the village, on the banks of the river, a sports area invites us to enjoy activities such as the Basque ball, a sport deeply rooted in the locality.
The patron saint fiestas of Villovieco are on the 3rd of May which celebrates the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and on the 2nd of July the fiesta is in honour of Santa Isabel.
At the Villovieco festivities it was traditional to organise a ball hand competition by hand. The matches were held in their typical Castilian frontón of three walls, which gave the people a slight advantage over their visiting opponents who were not accustomed to playing in this type of courts.
Pilgrims passed through the town to ask for alms or hospital assistance, despite the fact that the French Way of Saint James did not pass directly through the town of Villovieco, although it does so through its municipal district.
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Villovieco is located on the local road that joins the P-980, in the vicinity of Revenga de Campos, and the P-981 next to the town of Arconada, and that connects Villalcázar de Sirga with Santillana de Campos. the P-980 in turn connects Frómista, on the A-67 between Palencia and Santander, with Carrión de los Condes, in full A-23, Camino dual carriageway.
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6:55 h.32.4 km.
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