VEGA DE LIÉBANA
The current town council of Vega de Liébana is formed by the following population entities: Valmeo, Tudes, Tollo, Vega de Liébana, Toranzo, Campollo, Bárago, Dobres, Vada, Pollayo, Villaverde, Ledantes, Barrio, Bores, Enterrías, Dobarganes and Vejo, with its districts.
Starting the route towards the municipality and, after leaving Potes, the first village we find is Valmeo. Valmeo starts being part of the history in Liébana, when in 951, Vistrilli donates various lands to the monastery of Santo Toribio. The documents Baldomedio, which was the name given to the old population nucleus.
The parochial church was placed in the district of La Iglesia, on a hill dominating the village. The entrance door presents a Romanesque arch and a ball apron window, also the bell tower is at its feet, with two bodies and three spans.
In the district of San Andrés are the buildings of two forges and the ruins of another one; in this last one it seems there was a canyon repairing factory, in 1810, during the Independence War. In this same district is also the hermitage of San Andrés. From Valmeo and along a cart track called La Vega, people used to reach the village of Campollo in the old days.
We then continue travelling around the valley and next to the road, is the district of Naroba, a hamlet of the village of Tollo, on the banks of the river Quiviesa. In 818 there was a monastic pact which created a mixed men and women monastery called San Pedro y San Pablo, which must have had a very short life. Along a left turn just after Naroba, and being able to contemplate some olive trees on our way, we go up towards the villages of Tollo and Tudes. Tollo in a preindoeuropean name and the first news we have about it are from 1052. In the Middle Ages it was a property of Pedro González Orejón.
To Tudes we arrive immediately afterwards contemplating on the way a magnificent view of the Oriental Massif of Picos de Europa. Many villages once emigrated, mainly to Guatemala, during the 60s. The parochial church in on the village entry. The main chapel has a crossed vault and the triumphal arch, as well as the one on the nave, are annular. The bell tower is rustic. We think this building was built in the XVI century and the most antique carving is the one from that time representing San Sebastian. There´s also a small carving of the pilgrim Santiago.
After walking along its typical streets, we continue towards the district of Porcieda, already abandoned, with its hermitage of Virgen de las Nieves. On the track leading to Potes we can see the impressive ruins of the convent of Tresantiago, near a small meadow and dominating the district and valley where the village of Valmeo stood up.
Before arriving at Vega de Liébana, capital of the municipality, a road on the right will take us to the villages of Toranzo and Campollo, with the district of Maredes. Campollo is documented from 961, and in the XIV century it belonged to Don Tello, lord of Liébana. It preserves a rebuilt church, inaugurated in 1900, at the end of the village towards Maredes. It has some images inside from the XVI and XVII centuries. In is vicinity is the hermitage of Santa Justa, above the village. It´s a building from the XV century, with an altar-piece from the XVII century. Every year the village neighbours come and worship this saint on a special day of the year. Along another track we can get to Majada Nueva (at 1,102 m altitude), Palmedián (1,308 m), and Los Corros (1,368 m) with some magnificent Megalithic remains of the shepherd settlements who lived in these places.
Before arriving at the district of Maredes, we find the hermitage of La Magdalena, and from here we can get comfortably to the hill of La Viorna, a wonderful observation area towards Liébana and Picos de Europa.
The village of Toranzo, on the other hillside, was quoted in a document from 961. The parochial church has an ancient baptismal pile inside and some images from the XVI and XVII centuries. In the village there used to be a mill and a forge, and in a house of a higher district we can see the coats of arms of Estrada and Toranzo, over the facade.
We then return to the valley and continuing along the main road, leading to the mountain pass of San Glorio, we reach Vega de Liébana, capital of the municipality, where, as well as the town council there´s a complete variety of services and a wide hostelry offer, sports field and bowling alley. In the old days, the village was called San Vicente de Pujayo, and the parochial church was near the current parochial cemetery. Its district Pujayo, on the entrance, gave the whole council its original name. Near this one was another district called Prado, which has already disappeared.
From Vega de Liébana we can follow a road which ends at the village of Dobres. Under the current cemetery a Spanish civil police couple killed Juanín, one of the most famous ambushes from the Spanish post-war, in 1957.
We then pass next to the bridge leading to Señas and Valcayo, also a quite populated village in the council of Vega de Liébana. The hermitage of Nuestra Señora de las Nieves is still preserved in Valcayo, with an altar-piece dated from 1750. We then continue towards Dobres and pass near the disappeared district of La Lama, to the left of the road, where we can still see the remains of an ancient house belonging to García González Orejón de La Lama.
We now arrive at Soberado, which is part of the council of Bárago. This village was documented in 929. There´s a tradition about how a virgin appeared at the place called Valdarria, above the village, where there used to be a church. The truth is that the central image in the church´s altar-piece is Nuestra Señora de Arria, from the XVI century. From Soberado the apples were cart transported in the old days to be sold in the villages of Lores, Vidrieros and Triollo, in Palencia.
From Soberado we arrive at Bárago, a very disseminated and spread out village, which has a parochial church previously rebuilt in 1899, with some magnificent and popular carvings. In the central district stands the hermitage of San Roque, recently restored.
A spectacular road going through winding turns takes us to the village of Dobres. To arrive there the traveller will have to cross two tunnels perforated on the rocks, which were finished in 1949, on a place where the contrast between the limestone, the green valley pastures, and the high mountain passes put the tourist in direct contact with nature. The buildings still preserve the traditional quaintness. Dobres and its district, Cucayo, have been declared "goods of cultural interest" with the category of "historical group".
We then return again to Vega de Liébana and continuing towards San Glorio we go into Vada, with its parochial church, where the virgin of La Piedad is greatly worshipped among its neighbours. In Vada we can contemplate the old mill, a paintor´s corner, or the traditional buildings and old farming tools which give this village a special charm.
From Vada a road takes us to Pollayo. Before getting to the village we can still see the remains of some mediaeval graves, only discovered when they opened the road. Over the entrance door to the church there´s a magnificent coat of arms of the Mendoza, de la Vega and Luna families; this last one was the original name of the Duke of the Infantado.
Another road to the right from Vada, takes us to the villages of Villaverde and Ledantes, and to the left to the village of Barrio. Villaverde has, inside its church, a Romanesque inscription and various carvings, as well as a rustic painting. Ledantes, on the other hand, preserves the eldest fulling mill in Spain, which was used to full the materials, which came to the mill in a very rough state from the looms in the district. Inside the church, some important Renaissance paintings appeared. In Ledantes and Barrio, the neighbours used to divide the mountain pastures of Rio Frio into fields, where they took their livestock to graze iin the summer time. The village of Barrio is on the opposite side of Peña de Socastillo dominating the centre of this small valley. It has three different stepped districts: Hondón, Otero, and Hazas. Before getting to Hondón is the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de la O, of great antiquity. The church is in the district of Otero, preserving some popular carvings and an ancient baptismal pile. In the district of Hazas is the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, belonging to the Campillo family and which was built during the XVIII century.
From here a route begins towards the village of Bores, mentioned in the IX century and where, on the church´s outside wall, the remains of a stella fragment appeared. In the district of Campo there are two mediaeval towers, symbol of the nobility fights which took place. The Marquis of Santillana immortalised, in his "Serranillas", a lass from Bores, who he fell in love with because of her beauty: "Mocuela de Bores, allá de la Lama, púsome en amores". Oral tradition still remembers the adventures of the Marquis around the streets of her village.
We then continue our way to the mountain pass of San Glorio, and get to the village of Enterrías, where, in the XIII century the monastery of Montero was quoted. In the church there´s a Mozarabic window which could very well have belonged to such monastery. Near the village, the neighbours have a small dam, called La Tejera, with a capacity for 30,000 m3 of water, and which is used to irrigate the livestock pastures and fields.
From Enterrías we arrive at Dobarganes, quoted for the first time in the XII century, and belonging then to the Duchess of the Infantado. From Llan de la Peña, above the village, we can go up to Pico Jano; a wonderful observation area towards Picos de Europa. We must pass on our way there by the small dam of La Tejera, calculated to irrigate 500 ha of pasture land, and we can see the remains of some ancient settlements; important historical past of this village, where some silex objects from the Mesolithic were found, as well as other Megalithic remains.
The last village on the municipality is Vejo, which is placed in a hollow to the left hand-side of the main road. There are five districts: Ongayo, Valcayo, Dobares, La Vega, and El Arroyo. The parochial church is in the district of Ongayo and was built in 1950, with the aid of three indianos from Cuba, who where born in this village. The hermitage of San Clodio used to be in Dobares. In the old days there was another church on the place of Manzanedo. The school was built in 1920 again by the indianos, and is placed in the district of Valcayo. In Vejo, the tradition of harvesting the communal grasslands in San Glorio by all the neighbours is still kept. The parcels are rifled among them each year.
Before arriving at San Glorio we can contemplate a magnificent panoramic of the whole valley of Cereceda from the observation area where there is a statue of a roe deer, next to the road. This is one of the most representative species in the region. We soon arrive then to the top of the mountain pass at 1,609 m, and a track on our right will take us to the observation area of Llesba, where a monument to the brown bear was placed a few years ago, now considered the lord of our woods.
This journey around the valley concludes with a marvellous panoramic of the whole of Liébana and Picos de Europa mountains from this beautiful spot.
CABEZÓN | CAMALEÑO | CILLORIGO | PESAGUERO | POTES | TRESVISO | VEGA