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Campo de Montiel

Ciudad Real

Villahermosa, the flamboyant 2018 winner of the CMM competition The most beautiful town in Castilla-La Mancha, has a town centre featuring traditional, two-storey whitewashed La Mancha constructions, ...
Santuario de Nuestra Señora de la Carrasca
Montiel (castillo)
Santa Cruz de los Cáñamos
Almedina (puente romano)

Villahermosa, the flamboyant 2018 winner of the CMM competition The most beautiful town in Castilla-La Mancha, has a town centre featuring traditional, two-storey whitewashed La Mancha constructions, with a dash of stately homes with coat-of-arms on their façades, with the stunning Church of Assumption towering above, with Gothic traces and Renaissance and Baroque elements. Inside, in a formidable wooden stand, lies the historical, 18th-century organ, still in perfect condition.

Outside the town, 16 km away, there is the Shrine to Nuestra Señora de la Carrasca, one of the most impressive chapel-bull ring complexes in Castilla-La Mancha. The chapel dates to the 15th century and was renovated in the 17th and 18th centuries. The bull ring is square-shaped, and its age is unknown, although it was cited in 1444. The municipality of Villahermosa is home to Laguna Blanca (White Lagoon), the first of the lagoons comprising the Ruidera Lagoons Natural Park.

Montiel (together with Alhambra and Torre de Juan Abad) was the main town in Roman, Visigoth and Islamic times, and from here, the different villages, castles and churches that gave rise to the famous Campo de Montiel when the region belonged to the Order of Santiago; a golden age for the town that lasted for two centuries, between 1243 and 1421.

Its history is closely linked to its castle’s past, the Estrella or Montiel castle. At the foot of the castle, the so-called Tragedy of Montiel took place in 1369. This saw the pretenders to the throne of Castile fight each other, the brothers Peter I the Cruel and Henry of Trastámara, and decided the fate of a long civil war that devastated the Kingdom of Castile in the 14th century.

Built in the 9th century by the Arabs, it blocked the path to the Taifa Kingdom of Jaén. There were two areas, one outdoors, in very poor condition, used as a barbican, which has the remains of some towers; another indoor, built by the Christians in the late 13th century or early 14th century, which conserves large drapes of linen and some turrets.

Santa Cruz de los Cáñamos is a beautiful town surrounded by springs and fountains, where the environment offers visitors the opportunity to take a nice stroll. In the lower part of the town, we find an interesting fountain. From there, visiting the church and the Quixote lookout point offers a nice walk; the views of Campo de Montiel and Campo de la Vega are stunning.

At the summit of a small, extensive hill, Almedina stretches out, a charming small town with alley ways, nooks and crannies featuring Arabic morphology, and seven caves, each with their own history, which can be visited. This is the birthplace of Leonardo Da Vinci’s leading disciple, Hernando Yánez; ceramic reproductions of the painter’s finest works are dotted around the streets, in an original style of exhibition.

The slopes are replete with interesting Arabic vegetable gardens with a terrace system. 300 metres away lies a magnificent, extremely well preserved Roman bridge and some remains of the Roman road and its cobblestones.

After the Navas de Tolosa battle (1212), the Order of Santiago repopulated Campo de Montiel, organising its defence based on fortification borders. The Terrinches castle, in a good state of preservation, is part of this network of defences built to the south (like the Montizón castle). Inside, there is the Order of Santiago and Campo de Montiel Interpretation Centre, which allows us to learn about the historical course of this region.

In Terrinches, don’t miss the Santo Domingo Guzmán Church. Inside, there is a beautiful 17th century altar by Miguel Bajo and Gaspar Vistal, and a marvellous, original 18th-century organ.

Travel recommendations

Since 2007, from 24-28 March, the Montiel Medieval Days have been held, commemorating the death of Peter I of Castile. The whole town of Montiel is transformed, on these days, to offer visitors a varied range of historical, cultural and leisure events in a city that becomes medieval for a few days.

Tourist office
Oficina de Turismo de Villanueva de los Infantes
Plaza Mayor, 3
13320 Villanueva de los Infantes
926 361 321

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Castilla-La Mancha Tourism in 2023. All rights reserved.

Castilla-la Mancha