After visiting the village of Sigüenza, my host family and I decided to take a tour of another small village in the Guadalajara province recommended to us by our tour guide in Sigüenza. The city of Atienza, about a 15 minute drive northwest of Sigüenza, is a smaller village of about 480 people. It is dominated by a castle which thrived in the Middle Ages. Today, while it is merely a ruin, it played a big part in the defensive side for the Moorish kingdom that dominated Spain during the Middle Ages. It was dubbed a national monument in 1931 but you can not go inside since it is in poor condition.
A short walk down the hill from the top of the city near the castle, you will stumble upon the old Plaza de Toros. I can’t imagine that they still hold corridas in this old ring but looks like it’s still a working arena. I wouldn’t feel too safe standing near this bullring because the outer surface just feels like thin sheet metal. It’s pretty to look at though!
Walking the streets of Atieza feels like a dream. The streets are exactly like you’d picture. Old, narrow, European style cobblestone streets, with balconies that feel as if you could touch your neighbors hand are everywhere in this village. I think I took a picture of every single street in that town, which isn’t a huge feat actually.
Getting out of big cities and coming out to these smaller pueblos is so refreshing and it’s so nice to appreciate the interesting history and caring people of these villages. Grab a cafe con leche on a terrace overlooking the hilly landscape of this beautiful region and imagine El Cid or the fictional character of Don Quixote riding their horses through these same hills.