From the time of Madoz to the present, there are communities that little or nothing have changed, and when they have done so, it has been to get away from their land, like those dark swallows, which according to the poet, Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, never returned to Seville .
One such community is Soria. Not only has it always stood out for its small size, but also for having one of the smallest demographics in Spain. In fact, of its approximately ninety thousand inhabitants, more than half reside in Soria capital.
One of the biggest problems affecting the Soria community is the ghost of depopulation. The small rural nuclei are emptying little by little, to the point that it is one of the communities where more unpopulated towns are located.
In other cases, just take a look at some villages, which seem like lost fireflies around larger populations, to realize that this epidemic, far from being stopped, is increasing with the passage of time.
This is the case of Aldea de San Esteban, a town that derives from the first medieval settlements on this side of the so-called Douro border, which is what separated Christian Spain from Muslim Spain.
But it is also true that entering San Esteban Village, located, kilometer plus kilometer less than less than a dozen kilometers from the important town of San Esteban de Gormaz, is like taking a walk through those dark puddles of a History, about the one that possibly the historians, too comfortable, have passed by, without doubt showing the saying that says that water that you do not have to drink, let it run.
As usual, the houses of the town, both those that remain proudly standing still and those that long ago claudicated oblivion and abandonment, are distributed, like tentacles, around their parish church.
It is not as spectacular as the great Romanesque temples, pride of the community, in the stately town of San Esteban de Gormaz, and which respond to the advocations of San Miguel - the most arcane church in all of Soria and its province - and of the Virgin of the Rivero, and although very modified at present, you can still see in her remains of her old Romanesque factory.
Based on this, you can see, not only the main cover, but also some of the elements that made up its arcaded gallery. Both one and others, very modified, make today that graphic story that the stones of the ancient temples used to tell and that people, at least in the medieval times in which they were raised, have been lost, less understood in a simple but sufficient way.
As in most of the Castilian towns, the houses conform that native architecture that seduces the sight of tourists and visitors, because it maintains, with the exception of some modern factory houses, that attachment with the environment, being its most common materials, apart from the stone, the brick - possibly introduced into the Peninsula by the Muslim bells - and the baked clay.
Such, then, are the elements that metaphorically would form the meat of skeletons formed by the continuous solidity of beams of unbreakable oak, spruce or chestnut wood, abundant in the province.
In terms of economy, Aldea de San Esteban, like most of the Castilian towns, survives with agriculture and livestock based mainly on sheep.
In this sense, we must not forget that Soria was one of the main mestera communities of Old Castile, glory that was lost with the inexorable passage of time, but that is still remembered in areas whose depopulation is still much higher, as they are the highlands, called Highlands, where you can still see, in the noble shields of the old houses, the proud blazons of the great lords of the Mesta.
Notwithstanding the above, knowing a community is not only traveling to the largest or busiest places, but, on the contrary, true adventure and true knowledge begins with this type of small communities and the great lessons of history, suffering, attachment and death that will help us to understand much better the picturesque surroundings of the country in which we live.
And another attraction: never forget, that you are walking along the same path that the Cid Campeador did, the path of exile. Therefore, they walk the Camino del Cid.
NOTICE: Both the text and the accompanying photographs are my exclusive intellectual property.
Te invito a conocer el mundo del que estoy enamorado.
Image © juancar347. All Rights Reserved.
Original content by @juancar347
[Martial, latin poet]
Ars vtinam more Animvm qve effingere. Posses pulchrior in ter. Ris nvlla tabella foret.
Arte Ojala pudieras representar. el carácter y el espíritu. No habría sobre la tierra. Imagen más bella
Toca la imagen y participa.
Diviértete y disfruta.