It is always a pleasure to just wander in an old town, and exploring corners in Ciudad Rodrigo was no exception.
Plaza Campo del Pozo and Plaza Cristobal de Castillejo1
There are several important religious buildings in these two squares. I wondered why there are so many churches, convents and monasteries in the town in addition to the cathedral, but if the Spaniards were try to re-establish Christianity as the dominant religion I suppose this might be the reason.
The Church of San Isidoro and San Pedro is two churches, back to back. The Church of San Isidoro was Romanesque and built of brick. Only the northern apse remains, and there is also an interior doorway which I could see through locked railings. The Church of San Pedro dates from the 16th century and it too was closed.
The Convent of the Barefoot Franciscans (Franciscas Descalzas) was first established perhaps in the 14th century but this building, funded by Bishop Tellez, dates from the 18th century. In the 19th century it was an army barracks, and it was briefly used as a prison. Then it returned to the nuns and today it is a home for the elderly.
The stories about St Francis of Assisi say that he passed through Ciudad Rodrigo in the 13th century on his way to pay homage to the saint in Santiago de Compostela.2 In the town he lived for c.two months in the Hermitage of San Gil which was replaced by the Monastery of St Francis, now in ruins just outside the walls.
The Church of San Agustin dates from the 16th century but I can’t find any further information about the church. St Augustine was apparently of Berber origin who was born in modern-day Algeria and lived in the 4th century. His writings have been hugely influential in shaping Western Christianity.
Plaza del Buen Alcalde
This lovely square is near the Cathedral and every Tuesday it has a craft and vegetable market under the arcades. Although it has been renovated and remodelled the buildings date from the 18th century. The church overlooking the square if the Chapel of the Cerralba family.
The name of the square translates as ‘the square of the good mayor’ and the person in question was D. José Manuel Sánchez-Arjona and de Velasco who was mayor of Ciudad Rodrigo from 1925 to 1929. He apparently contributed greatly to the town’s prosperity, but also reintroduced bullfighting!
The main square in Ciudad Rodrigo is in the middle of the town, on a straight road which runs through the town from the Puerta del Sol to the Puerta de la Colada. It was always busy, filled with stalls and table and chairs during the Festival, and parked cars at other times. It is a good place to people-watch!
And then there are always little sights and pleasures when you just wander…
And to finish exploring the corners in Ciudad Rodrigo…