Puentedey (Burgos), the new most beautiful village of Spain

Burgos is the capital city of the province of the same name, which is located in the northern part of Spain and belongs to the autonomous community of Castilla y León. The village of Puentedey is located 89 km from Burgos, with its streets reminiscent of medieval times and the architecture that is still preserved, typical of the region to which it belongs to Las Merindades.

This beautiful village has been established on a natural stone bridge, 15 m high, which has been formed over millions of years, thanks to the presence of the river Nela, which is a tributary of the Ebro. The locals say that this bridge is the work of God, since its name means “Bridge of God”; information that has been passed from generation to generation. 

It is a small village, with a population of approximately 50 inhabitants, and in the Middle Ages it had a protective wall against enemies; according to ancient writings that have been found.

Why is it said that Puentedey is the new most beautiful village in Spain?

In the Iberian Peninsula there is an association called “The Most Beautiful Villages of Spain”, which was born in 2011 and already has 104 members; these have been chosen from different areas, such as mountain, coast or walled villages. Its purpose is to publicize and promote small towns and villages to the world, especially rural ones, both nationally and internationally.

Therefore, each year the candidatures of those who want to be part of this list of “The Most Beautiful Villages of Spain” are examined, which in the beginning were only 14 municipalities. For this 2022 were audited 22 of them, of which only Puentedey was chosen; this because it met all the requirements demanded by the association, more than 40 criteria; becoming the number 105 of the prestigious club.

Among these requirements are taken into account the harmony and cleanliness of the municipality, the care of the heritage, the conservation of the facades, the care of the green areas, the cultural activities, the traditions, among others; being the main objective the quality and not the quantity of the town. On the other hand, Spain also presides over the “Federation of the Most Beautiful Villages of the Earth”, which implies that it also becomes part of them. 

What can we know in the surroundings of Puentedey, in Burgos?

Puentedey is a very quiet village where you can breathe fresh air and a great peace. For this trip we are going to show you the places that you can know and for which it has passed to the list of the “Most beautiful villages of Spain and the Earth”. 

The first is the natural limestone bridge, which has been carved by the continuous waters of the Nela River for about 85 to 90 million years. Legend has it that an ancient Roman road used to pass through here, via the Cigüenza. This image of the bridge is what is most associated with the village of Puentedey, as it has been built on the wonderful arch of the rock.

Also, on one side of this bridge you can see the “Puerta del viento” (Wind Gate). It is a ventero that the inhabitants of the area used to separate the straw from the grain, venting the cereal. 

Going up towards the village we find the church of San Pelayo, dating from the eleventh century, Romanesque style, but then other styles were added. However, some elements remain from that Romanesque period, among them, in the cover, a carved image of St. George in full fight, with his shield and sword, against a snake or dragon. This church has been included as an “Asset of Cultural Interest”.

Another interesting space is the Palace of the Brizuela or Palace of the Porras, which has been built on some rocky remains in the highest part of the arch of the natural bridge, and dating from the fifteenth century, made by Don Francisco de Brizuela. Later, thanks to certain matrimonial inheritances, it passed into the hands of the Porras family. 

This palace is constituted by 2 rectangular towers, united by a lower body, taking certain form of castle; observing the different coats of arms of the owner families that have lived in it. 

Some points that have been restored in the historic center and annexed in its surroundings:

The historic quarter presents some samples of its most deeply rooted traditions. Among them, the village’s Hornera or bread oven has been restored. Likewise, the old mill and the horseshoe colt have been restored. The latter is used as a bowling museum.

Towards the outer part of the village a new parking area has been added, as well as a caravan area and the suspended viewpoint of San Andrés, with a metallic structure, which offers a good panoramic view of the whole town on the opposite side of Puentedey. 

Other activities that can be done in Puentedey:

In the surroundings of Puentedey you can also do some excursions. For example, you can go to the Cascada de la Mea, which is located, from the old town, about 20 minutes away. It is a route without major problems, very simple, with yellow and white striped signs. We are talking about a narrow canyon, between high rocky walls, through which water from the Dulla Canals flows. 

The rock has been eroding by the action of the water, giving rise to this waterfall of about 30 m high. But we must be alert, because it is not always possible to appreciate this spectacle; only if it has rained or in the months of the thaw. 

Nearby, about 12 km away, we find a set of caves called Ojo Guareña. A karst complex with more than 100 km of various galleries connected to each other, and others that are not yet known. 

So far, 70 sites have been identified with human remains from the Paleolithic and later periods, such as the Bronze Age. Pottery, bones, weapons, barefoot prints and paintings have been found.

Some of the Patron Saint Festivals of Puentedey: 

The patron saint festivities of the region have different dates; however, it is important to know them, in case when you travel you coincide with any of these dates and you can take advantage of these festivities, customs and its culture. 

For example, on June 26, the celebration of San Pelayo takes place, with a sung mass, games, verbenas and parades. Likewise, they celebrate the “fiesta de andar las casas”, that is, everyone goes through the houses of the town with a music band.

Also, in the month of August, exactly on the last weekend, the Fiesta de la Cucaña is celebrated under the natural bridge, at the level of the Nela River. It consists of placing a cucaña on the bridge, which has a pennant on its tip. The idea is that the participants cross the river to take the pennant and obtain the victory; remaining as the winner of the festivities.

Posted in Europe, Spain.