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Aguilar de Campoo

Perched on the banks of the Pisuerga River, Aguilar de Campoo occupies a strategic position near the Cantabrian mountains and the borders of Burgos (1). After the fall of the Visigothic kingdom, some nobles even took refuge here and then began the arduous campaign of the Reconquista (2). Aguilar has garnered much royal and noble favor - there are records of noble donations to the monastery of Aguilar de Campoo from the eleventh century onwards, and the first urban settlements flourished, thanks to the royal support and protection of Alfonso VIII of Castile (r. 1158-1214), on the castle hill around the castle walls and the hermitage of Santa Cecilia, and also around the church of San Miguel (3). On May 14, 1255, Alfonso X of Castile even granted a fuero that conferred the status of a royal town upon Aguilar de Campoo (4). The town also lies on one of the routes to Santiago de Compostela, as well as stands at the crossroads of major trading routes, connecting ports, cities, and towns such as San Vicente de la Barquera along the Bay of Biscay, Santander, Valladolid, Burgos, and the fertile plains of Tierra de Campos (5).


(1) José Luis Hernando Garrido, "Aguilar de Campoo," in The Grove Encyclopedia of Medieval Art and Architecture, ed. Colum P. Hourihane (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 15; Teofilo F. Ruiz, "The Lands of Santa María la Real de Aguilar de Campóo in the Late Middle Ages: A Case Study," in Crisis and Continuity : Land and Town in Late Medieval Castile (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994), 102.

(2) Rafael Paradelo, "Aguilar de Campoo," in Enciclopedia del románico en Castilla y León: Palencia, eds. José María Pérez González, Miguel Ángel García Guinea and José Manuel Rodríguez Montañés (Aguilar de Campoo: Fundación Santa María La Real, Centro de Estudios del Románico, 2002), 167.

(3) Rafael Paradelo, "Aguilar de Campoo," 167.

(4) Hernando Garrido and Jaime Nuño González, "La Iglesia Tardorrománica de Santa Cecilia en Aguilar de Campoo (Palencia)," Codex aquilarensis: Cuadernos de investigación del Monasterio de Santa María la Real 7 (1992): 12-14; Rafael Paradelo, "Aguilar de Campoo," 168.

(5) María Estela Gonzales de Fauve, La Orden Premostratense en España. El monasterio de Santa María la Real en Aguilar de Campoo siglos XI-XV (Aguilar de Campoo: Centro de Estudios del Románico, 1992), 53; Ruiz, "The Lands of Santa María la Real de Aguilar de Campóo in the Late Middle Ages," 102.

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