SotorribasSotorribas (Cuenca)GPS: 40.279598236083984, -2.1850500106811523
The municipality of Sotorribas, belonging to the mid-Sierras of Cuenca, is formed by the towns of Collados, Parajes, Sotos, Ribagorda, Ribatajada, Ribatajadilla, Torrecilla and Villaseca. They occupy a large part of the Depresión del Campichuelo valley, from which they get the beautiful landscape filled with small hills, ravines, pine forests and work lands. With regard to the visits we can do during our time here, we will organize them by towns, since each one offers us something of interest.
WHAT WE’LL SEE
In Ribatajada, close to the mountains, we find the highlight of its heritage in the church of Saint John the Baptist, surely the most beautiful Romanesque church in all of Campichuelo. It dates to the 13th century and crowns the town by being at the top of it. It preserves its original bell gable, apse, and facade. The brackets that decorate the cornice are interesting, in the shapes of bills, nails, balls, and hammers. Inside, it has a lovely Romanesque baptismal font. A little bit closer to the heart of the sierra, we arrive at Ribatajadilla. Here, we should focus our attention on the church of Our Lady of the Assumption, very restored. The semicircular apse with small window, the straight presbytery, and the bell gable with just one body and a flat appearance are the elements that are preserved from the original construction. It has lost its cornice and brackets. Inside, its main valuables are the parish cross, an excellent piece from the 16th century, and the main altarpiece, made with the remains of a Plateresque one. It’s also worth visiting the hermitage of Saint Pantaleon, built upon the remains of a Franciscan convent. Its nave has a lovely Baroque decor, and on the sides of the main altar we find two small Churrigueresque altarpieces and a carving of Saint Pantaleon.
Continuing our tour, we come to Sotos, administrative capital of Sotorribas and the biggest town in all of Campichuelo. In this town, the urban ensemble stands out, formed by houses that exemplify the living traditional architecture of the area, which is also present in the rest of the towns that form Sotorribas. These houses tend to be divided into two floors and made of masonry and ashlars at the corners. Their facades also preserve interesting examples of the crafted iron bar workings so characteristic of the province.
The last stop we’ll make is Torrecilla. This town is almost in the center of the Depresión del Campichuelo, and here we will find the most beautiful and beloved church of this whole ensemble of towns, that of Our Lady of the Assumption. Perhaps it is for its location isolated from the town on the top of a hill, to which you arrive by a steep street, and for being one of the few preserved in the ensemble that is fairly true to the original, which will transport the visitor to the Middle Ages.
Open access to the churches and hermitages, intending to respect the hours of worship. If you find one closed, ask at the City Hall.
Between each town, pause to look out over the landscape of Campichelo, and try the moonshine that is distilled there, a secret that everyone in the province knows, which will give your visit a special harmony.