It is located on one of the hills of the Cameros mountain range, at the point where the Masa River flows into the Cidacos, in the northern end of the province of Soria, being one of the natural passes between the mountains and plateaus of Soria and the valleys of La Rioja. Yanguas has a pre-Roman origin, the Celts occupied these lands before the Romans arrived, the Arabs also had their historical episodes in the area until the 11th century when it was reconquered and repopulated. There are written references to Yanguas from when King Don Garcia granted his wife the lands of the Arnedo Valley, Cidacos region, upstream of Yanguas. In the year 1134 Yanguas, belonging to the kingdom of Pamplona until then passed to the crown of Castilla, being in the year 1144 when it is first cited to the Community of Yanguas and its Land.
In the Middle Ages it was the head of the important Community of Villa y Tierra, called Tierra de Yanguas. The sixteenth century saw the flowering of the village of Yanguas, although there was no lack of complaints and disputes between the people and the nobility plain, the XVII and XVIII brought for Yanguas a time of transition and in the nineteenth century the Council of the Town and Land disappears to make way for the constitutional council. In the 20th century, as happened in many villages, Yanguas suffers the abandonment of young people who move to more industrialized cities. At present the natural environment of Yanguas as well as its traditions, history and culture, have made the town a quiet but very attractive tourist attraction. Yanguas has become part of the network of "The most beautiful villages in Spain".
The urban area of Yanguas, declared a Historic-Artistic Heritage Site, offers the visitor, for their relaxation and enjoyment, steep streets, some of them with their original cobblestones, flanked by mountain mansions that adorn their facades with noble coats of arms, squares such as La Mayor or La Constitución, where the building of the old school now houses the town hall, on the other side of the square is one of the walls of the church of San Lorenzo, from the 15th century in the Gothic style, and closing the other two sides with strong porches. From here you can see the castle built in the 14th century, in the Arab style and on top of a previous fortress. It has a rectangular floor plan with four towers at the corners, and was inhabited at least until 1600. On the outskirts of the village the 18th century Cereceda Palace, now abandoned, was also a convent.
From the old walls there are two gates left, the one on the River and the one on the Village. The church of Santa María, which was the parish church of the disappeared Villa Vieja, was built in the 16th century and concluded in the 18th century with the construction of the chapel of Santo Cristo de la Villa Vieja, patron saint of Villa and Tierra de Yanguas. The slender Tower of San Miguel is the last vestige of the Romanesque temple of the same name that existed here until the year 1800. Between the church of Santa María and the Tower of San Miguel you can guess the remains of the Villa Vieja that was most probably located on a Roman town. Over the river Cidacos, the centenary three-eyed bridge, Romanesque for some and medieval for others, now a pedestrian bridge, leads to the washing place and the old mill. All this beautiful monumental set is the heritage of the importance that the town had in the past.
Yanguas celebrates festivities on 16 July in honour of Nuestra Señora del Carmen and the Santo Cristo de la Villa Vieja is honoured with a pilgrimage on Whit Monday, forty days after Holy Week.
It is a traditional pilgrimage that year after year the residents of the twenty-five villages that made up the Community of La Villa and Tierras de Yanguas make, in which, 40 days after Holy Week, on Whit Monday, carrying their ensigns, banners and standards, they come to offer them and deposit them before their patron saint, the Santo Cristo de la Villa Vieja, who is guarded in the church of Santa María de Yanguas.
The yangüeses muleteers came to have great importance in the trade between the cities and towns of Castilla, thanks in part to the fact that in the 14th century King Alfonso XI granted them the privilege of not having to pay taxes or porters to the entrances of these. This importance was reflected in one of the northern trade routes to Seville that came to be called the Way of the Yangüeses and everything suggests that Cervantes reflected them in his world famous novel Don Quijote de La Mancha.
It is said that when the village of Yanguas was walled, and when night came, the ringing of all the bells of the village filled the air and invited, in summer at ten o'clock and in winter at nine o'clock at night, to silence and recollection in the peace and security of the homes, then the doors of the walls were closed and only the sentries were left watching over the peaceful sleep of its inhabitants.
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Yanguas can be reached by the SO-615 road that connects it with Garray and the N-111 on the one hand and with Enciso, Arnedillo and Arnedo in the neighbouring region of La Rioja on the other.
In Yanguas there is a bus service that covers the route Calahorra-Soria daily. In addition Yanguas, has transport service on demand, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, within the route Diustes-San Pedro Manrique. You can request this service by calling from Monday to Sunday from 8 am to 8 pm at 900 204 020
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