The region of Arlanza treasures like few others, history, natural sites and localities that still preserve intact their marked Castilian character. The Ducal Villa of Lerma, located on the hill from which a large part of the region is dominated, is a symbol of the splendour experienced by these lands and their people. The great architectural and historical patrimony that preserves speaks to us of the importance that the town of Lerma ostento in times of the reign of Felipe III, importance that today is reflected in its streets and buildings, in its traditions and customs, without forgetting us of course of the famous gastronomy that we can taste in Lerma.
Through this walk through Lerma monumental village we will make a symbolic journey through time as we walk its streets, visit its monuments and discover the charming corners that await us in Lerma and that we can not fail to see. A trip in which besides knowing the Ducal Villa of Lerma we will also meet the illustrious characters that passed through here and we will be surprised with the main architectonic herreriano set of Spain. To visit Lerma is to follow the layout of the old Cañada Real Burgalesa, it is to submerge in the Baroque Festival that is organized here every August, it is to taste the typical and traditional dishes of its renowned gastronomy, without a doubt unbeatable letter of presentation for the town of Lerma. An experience that will surely leave us a pleasant and unforgettable memory of our visit to Lerma.
The Main Square of Lerma, also known as the Grand Square or Ducal Square, is one of the largest in Spain and forms next to the Ducal Palace a splendid monumental ensemble. It is the ideal starting point to begin our tour of Lerma monumental villa. This large square has been bullring, market and corral of comedies, the typical Castilian arcades that surrounded it only retains today one of its sides, although this fact does not detract in any way from the imposing impression you feel when entering it. The Ducal Palace crowns this large square with its unmistakable silhouette, of course marked by the four towers that mark it, built thanks to the argucia and picaresque of the Duke. Towers that distinguish it from the rest of ducal palaces that we can find and that only have in their structure two towers by real design.
We leave behind us the Ducal Palace and the Main Square to go to discover more corners of Lerma. Just before our arrival to the next stop of this Stroll for Lerma monumental villa, although it could be said that forming part of it, receives us the Monastery of Santa Teresa. The Monastery of the Ascension of Our Lord, also known as the Convent of Santa Clara, one of the three convents of cloistered nuns in the villa Lerma, awaits us here. Hidden in the building of the Monastery of Santa Teresa we can find the famous Passage of the Duke of Lerma. In the middle of the square is the access to the Viewpoint of the Arches, a balcony outside the walls from where you can contemplate the flow of the river Arlanza as it passes through Lerma. Outside the walls, crossed by a pleasant promenade that borders this part of the town.
We say goodbye to this beautiful corner for, following the course of the walk outside the walls, bordering the Monastery of the Ascension of Our Lord to go to the next destination that has prepared this route for us by Lerma, the monumental Ex-Collegiate of San Pedro. The interior of this abbey, in addition to its careful mixture of architectural styles, stands out for having authentic heritage jewels, such as the baptismal font, the imposing sculpture of Don Cristóbal de Rojas or its altarpiece among other historical wonders. Without a doubt an ornamental richness that does not foresee the austere exterior of the temple. Walking through the cobbled streets that surround the temple or sitting down to enjoy this area of Lerma with calm are other interesting temptations that we have in front of us in this part of our journey through Lerma.
A route that, after saying goodbye to the place we have just visited, takes us quietly through ancient streets. Streets in which the long-lived Medieval Houses that are still preserved in Lerma await us, houses that precede the moment of abandoning the old walled enclosure that protected the town. The Arch of the Prison is the only one of the four gates of the wall of Lerma that is still preserved today, thanks in part to its conversion into a prison in the 17th century. Once outside the walled enclosure we can calmly contemplate the singular structure that characterises the one also known as the Prison Door. Led by two towers is undoubtedly an outstanding location for the headquarters of the Denomination of Origin Ribera del Arlanza, which currently houses.
Following the imaginary layout of the old wall of Lerma, next to which runs the road that crosses the town, old N-I, we go to make a visit to another of the lords of Lerma, the river Arlanza. A route of this tour that will allow us to enjoy another perspective of the town. Of the seven hermitages that the Duke of Lerma ordered built next to the gardens, fountains and ponds that adorned this area of Lerma today we can only contemplate the hermitage of the Humilladero just before our arrival at the Medieval Bridge of Lerma. It was not built until the town had a robust defence. The landscape that surrounds this part of the route invites us to enjoy it calmly, entertaining us with every corner and observing from this location, once an area of strolls and recreation for the nobility, the imposing silhouette of the town of Lerma.
We say goodbye to the old Medieval Bridge to return on our steps to the Arch of the Prison, where also awaits us the Monastery of the Mother of God, better known as the Convent of Carmen, built in the seventeenth century and inhabited by the Discalced Carmelites until the end of 2.016. A sober convent in whose interior we can find some superb carvings of Saint Teresa and the Virgin of Carmen. From there and following for a hundred meters the route of the old national we will go towards the Convent of Santo Domingo, built in the seventeenth century by order of the Duke of Lerma. The long history of this architectural monument is reflected in the ornamentation of its main façade, as well as in its interior. At present it is destined to be a space for multiple uses, in charge of the city council of Lerma.
We go back into the historic streets of Lerma to head towards our starting point where we will also put an end to this route through Lerma. A walk through its streets that will bring us to the royal Convent of San Blas, located and formerly linked to the Ducal Palace of Lerma. Built in the seventeenth century is still inhabited today by Dominican nuns, inside include works such as Christ Crucified, the Castilian School of Gregorio Fernandez or the Virgin of the Rosary and real jewelry as a reliquary donated by the Duke. There is no doubt that its sober exterior façade highlights the door of the church. The Convent of San Blas, together with the Ducal Palace and the Plaza Mayor de Lerma, forms an imposing architectural ensemble, an unbeatable end point for this Walk through Lerma, a monumental villa.
Map of the route
This map is a sketch made as an example of the route, in no case represents the best or the only itinerary to follow. Its development has not taken into account the current rules of circulation or the state of the places through which it passes and that could affect its layout.
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¿Did you know that...
On the feast of San Blas, back on 3 February, it is traditional to make the typical Emes, a kind of doughnut in the shape of a capital "M". Once they have been bought or made, they must be taken to the Convent of San Blas to be blessed.
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The Month of the Baroque, traditionally celebrated every year in August. During this month different events are organised, ranging from baroque music concerts to dramatised visits and environmental fairs in the baroque period.
Distance of the route
2,2 Km This figure may vary depending on the route we follow.
Duration of the tour
1h 45min. It is the approximate time that will take us to cross the distance that separates each place.
Time of year
All year round
Historical, cultural and gastronomic. This route gives us to know a great part of the history and culture of Lerma.
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Route information updated on 06-11-2019. The route may vary greatly depending on the time of year, weather conditions and terrain, as well as the actions of third parties and the evolution suffered in the natural environment where it is located. All opinions, advice and/or assessments made by SENDITUR in their descriptions are for guidance only and are subject to and/or refer to the specific conditions of the specific day of the route, referring to that specific day, taken from trained people, with the appropriate experience and with a high level of physical and technical preparation as a reference, as well as correctly equipped.
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