Tordesillas: the demise of Queen Jane

For: Ricardo Coarasa (text and photos)
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Tordesillas oozes history from every pore. Is one of those places that are traveled sensing a rich past. In this village on the banks of the Duero Spanish where Spain and Portugal divided the world was half a century captive Queen Juana, call “The crazy”, taken out of heartbreak and melancholy.

TravelThe waters of the Duero down, passing through Tordesillas, pregnant with whispers of the past. Just sit and listen. There, next to the medieval bridge, where the silhouette of the town of Valladolid is trimmed in heaven Castilian, the river shore spreads rumors of a slow death, the cries of a queen locked up in his palace for almost half a century. Joanna I of Castile reached Tordesillas in March 1509 with the body of her husband, Philip the Fair, died two years earlier, still unburied. Queen without throne, his 29 years away was to imagine that their captivity would last 46, until his death in 1555.

But, Where is the palace where Juana la Loca mourned her loneliness? The traveler has before it, aside, treated houses, Portugal and Spain where they divided the known world 1494, and the old church of San Antolin. On the other, the monastery of Santa Clara. Between the two, unsuccessful searches look in search of the palace-prison of Queen. The resort of Tordesillas drama is that the royal residence built during the reign of Henry III's nothing left standing. The place where there was, between the church of San Antolin and the convent of Santa Clara, is now occupied by residential buildings. Another king, Carlos III, ordered to demolish the building on two floors in 1773 because it threatened ruin. The silence of history then fell like a cold slab on the memory of the mad queen.

Organ music for a closure

Where track, as, the drama of the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella in this town? The traveler must direct his steps, square below, to the monastery of Santa Clara, former royal palace of Alfonso XI, of distinctive Moorish style. There, chapel in golden, save a realejo, an old Castilian portable organ, that may have belonged to Queen Juana, very fond of music. The inventory of his property made after his death figure, at least, an instrument with these characteristics, guide explains the National Heritage.

To reach the viewpoint of the church of San Antolin have to climb the 57 steps of the tower where, allegedly, Juana la Loca showed himself to remind the people that still captivates.

Despite the proximity of the monastery and the palace of Doña Juana, Queen never set foot here, although his eyes had lost many times within these walls, where her husband lay buried. The 15 April 1555 she was buried in the chapel of the Saldaña, but Philip the Handsome was not there. His body had been moved to Granada thirty years earlier, follow the same path as the remains of the queen in 1574 order of their grandson, Felipe II. The chapel can be visited today, but we must abandon the instinct to guess the grave where he buried the queen.

The tower of Doña Juana

Leaving the monastery following the course of the Duero, the traveler walks in front of the land where stood the old palace, measured façade 75 meters long, with some bitterness. In the gardens located opposite, Carlos III gave the town following the demolition of the building, You can imagine the terrible sadness of a queen, probably schizophrenic, have many moments of lucidity. Briefly rescued from oblivion by the community, who wanted to sit her on the throne and even visited the palace, the defeat of the revolutionary cause in 1521 added one more reason to turn away from the sovereign. Visitors can still see for himself the traces of that failure touring the outskirts of the square, where the nobles who supported famililas commoner obliterated their shields struggle to leave no tracks solariegos Charles V supported the mad queen.
On the streets of San Antolin current, an elevated walkway connecting the palace to the church of the same name, now a museum, which allowed Joanna to attend religious services without having to go out (in fact, only left the palace for several months by an epidemic of plague in 1533). Legend has it that the queen used to look out the window of the tower of the temple and their feet, the tordesillanos few years ago erected a statue of Doña Juana, perhaps wanting to make up for so many years of neglect.
To reach the viewpoint of the church of San Antolin have to climb the 57 steps of the tower where, allegedly, Juana la Loca showed himself to remind the people that still captivates. Earlier in the evening, The sun sparkles on the calm waters of the Douro and the view of the traveler, as perhaps the queen five centuries ago, is lost in the vast expanse of the Castilian plateau, Velazquez in heaven invites go ahead. The wind ruffles the hair and blow the mind an overwhelming sense of freedom to the sovereign, well at least imagine the traveler prefers, was briefly reconciling him with the life that was not allowed to live.

the way
Tordesillas is at kilometer 182 of the A-6 (road to La Coruña), an hour and a half drive from Madrid.

a nap
The traveler fell asleep in the Hotel Los Toreros (46 euros the double room), but the town offers visitors plenty of accommodation options. It is best to consult the tourist site of Tordesillas,, a great example of how to provide visitors with a useful and attractive.

a table set
It's worth dropping by the Cooker Santa Clara (Is. Mary, 11, very close to the Plaza Mayor) to enjoy a baked shoulder of lamb with potatoes (18 EUR) and treat yourself to a Toro bEURino. In the historic downtown restaurants menus range from nine to 15 EUR. If the visitor opts for caps, the "Bar Figon", Zorita Pepe in the square, has a good bar at reasonable prices (try cod stuffed potatoes or meat). For breakfast, apple cake "Bar Castilla", located opposite the former, is delicious. If the traveler wants to take some sweets, leaf buns and milk bread are a must in your luggage.

highly recommended
View sunset from the left bank of the Duero, on the esplanade next to the stone bridge, is an unforgettable experience. As the shadows lurk the houses of the treaty and the church of San Antolin, the sun lights up the bridge piers and the breeze came the murmur of water. Looks like never Tordesillas. It's a look face to face with history.
-For those who want to know more historical data and Tordesillas Juana la Loca is a pleasure to hear the comments of Pili, the guidance of the church of San Antolin.
-Books are especially recommended: "Daily life and art in the palace of Queen Joanna I in Tordesillas", Michelangelo Zalama. University of Valladolid, and “Juana la Loca. The captive of Tordesillas ", Manuel Fernandez Alvarez. And. Espasa, the latter more informative.

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Comments (5)

  • martin


    Great story on Tordesillas and Queen Juana. It's a great weekend destination


  • chelo


    Thanks for reminding us of our past Ricardo. Biene well remember, because it is based and our present is a starting point to improve or not our future. I felt very close to your words when I visited this historic place.


  • Ricardo Coarasa


    You're right in everything you say Chelo. I am delighted that my words will accompany you in Tordesillas and inspire. So we created this magazine for almost five years ago. Greetings




    I've been to Tordesillas and the statue of Queen Juana I of Castile, I was moved greatly. Both doctors and their own family they did not know or understand and treat his illness. His family were not interested at all, just wanted power and their own political interests.


  • Mariam Rovira


    La.pena well worth visiting the castle…torreon see where he was emcerrada…as they told me from there Juana saw a gentleman…. ( will think something romantic…) the people the Castillo de la Mota….I had the opportunity to visit….I loved it…comfortable too..


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