The Alameda de Cervantes in Soria is a beautiful park in the centre of the town and well-used by people of all ages. We arrived in Soria the previous evening and got a few essentials in the LeClerq supermarket on the outskirts of the town – Wow! Not even Waitrose compares with the quality, price and abundance we saw here! Then we settled into the wonderful AirBnB which we had used the previous year, had a good night’s sleep and now needed a walk after the long car journey. Last year Covid hit me hard; this year I was dealing with a lot of back pain. Walking is essential and I love this park.
A brief history of the park
I walked here a little last year and wrote a little about the history of the park. The park covers over 10 hectares, with more than 100 species of trees and shrubs, and is known as ‘La Dehesa’ by local people. It stands just outside the walls of the Mediaeval town and is one of the oldest public parks in Spain.
Walking in the park
There are different sights and views all over the park, depending on which path you take, or in which direction you turn your eyes or camera. The long avenues of mature trees provide shade in the heat and easy walking at all times, and, as always, the trees talk to you and are calming.
The Hermitage of Solitude dates from the 16th century and stands on one side of the park. The Counts of Gomara wanted to enlarge the original hermitage about the same time they were building their palace in the town. The three arches were part of the project but it was never completed. The Counts donated the building to the Church of Nuestra Senora del Espino, the church which stands next to the cemetery.
The music tree is a red horse chestnut planted in the middle of the music stand where the town band used to play. The original tree was an elm which was planted in 1611 and survived until the 1990s! A huge statue of a dog remembers the mastiffs which worked with the shepherds in the transhumance.
Statues in the park
Granados was of course a Classical composer. Jesus Hernandez de la Iglesia was a musician and lyricist who collaborated with Munoz in writing the Sanguaneras Songs. Francisco Garcia Munoz was a Director of the town band in Soria and a professor of music. He died in Soria in 1996.
Rose garden and meadow
The rose garden was looking a little tired but perhaps it was replanted earlier in the year? The climbing roses over the arches are young and need a few more years. Some of the beds are planted with flowers, a trend I see in London where the current obsession with planting wildflowers in rose gardens is abused and misunderstood.
Trees in the park
The trees in the park are glorious!
The groves of pine trees are surprisingly lovely and many are quite old.
The Alameda de Cervantes is a wonderful asset to the town of Soria and a good place to just ‘be’.