A walk along the Duero in Zamora, even a short walk, is a real pleasure! First thing in the morning I opened the curtains and looked out on the river which invited us to go for a walk.
The Stone Bridge
The Stone Bridge dates back to the beginning of the 13th century and was where the Via de la Plata entered the city. On the north side of the river it connected to the city walls with a gate and watch tower. A matching watch tower stood on the south bank of the river but both are demolished. The bridge is closed to traffic.
Along the river
Even though it was September the bank of the river was green and quite lush. Willows and poplars seemed to be the main trees here, as one might expect! It was quiet and relaxing and a lovely way to spend some time in Zamora and gave another insight into the lives of local residents. I always feel rather sad when I see tour parties. Do they ever have the time to just wander? How do you begin to understand another place if you don’t ‘waste’ time there?
The Old Bridge or the Bridge of Olivares was the original bridge over the Duero. It isn’t clear if the bridge was deliberately destroyed, destroyed in war, or just left to fall into disrepair.
Mills of Olivares
The Acenas de Olivares are Mediaeval mills on the river on the north bank. The cathedral owned and maintained the mills which were used for grinding corn. Then the government, starting with Mendizabal, confiscated church property in the 19th century. The mills were finally restored as a museum in 2008.
Park on the south side
The Playa de los Pelambres on the south bank is a little park but also the official beach and bathing point for the city. You can hire a boat here or just have a picnic. The site is well-equipped and the facilities are spotlessly clean.
In the past this was also the area where the fur tanneries used to be situated, hence the name.
North bank of the Duero
We crossed the river on the new road bridge and returned to the town through the meadows and the Park of Olivares.
Walking along the Duero is a ‘must’ if you visit Zamora because from the south bank you will have the best views of the Cathedral from outside the city. And if you have time, and energy, then the Tourist Office supplies free of charge a book of walks which include the Duero.