Journey to the Alcarria: Stage 8

The stretch between Pareja and Sacedón on a journey that combines literature and life.

By Diputación Provincial de Guadalajara

Diputación Provincial de Guadalajara

Journey to the Alcarria. Text for the eighth leg (1948) by Camilo José CelaDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

This touching passage is from the eighth stage of the book "Journey to the Alcarria," in this project that combines the themes of literature and life: "Felipe is a lover of the countryside and of agriculture. He has a wholesome, old way of thinking and a profound understanding of what he does."

Map for the eighth leg: Pareja – Sacedon (1916) by Fernando Toquero y Laura DomínguezDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

The eighth stretch of the Journey to the Alcarria runs from Pareja to Sacedón, covering a total of 12 miles, 7 of which were traveled on foot and the remaining 5 in a vehicle.

Breakfast in Pareja (2018) by Enrique DelgadoDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"The sun is beating down strongly and the pack seems heavier than it ought to be. The slope is tiring, and halfway up, the traveler, who is sweating freely, decides that it would be well to make a stop and recover his energy."

Journey to the Alcarria
Camilo José Cela

Walkers usually eat on the road.

Field towards Casasana (2014) by Laura DomínguezDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"From this height, though Casasana is not yet visible, a broad and beautiful panorama can be seen. It is extremely varied, with great naked boulders and some small scanty herbage in the foreground, the red-and-white terrain of Pareja below and the green banks of the Tagus far off to the left."

Journey to the Alcarria
Camilo José Cela

It's a beautiful description of a place in which you can lose yourself.

Field towards Casasana (2014) by Laura DomínguezDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"It goes without saying, naturally, that the traveler went by way of Casasana. He had to bring greetings to Fabian Gabarda, the brother of the woman he had met in Durón."

Journey to the Alcarria
Camilo José Cela

Today's travelers will also meet people, making friends while enjoying all that nature has to offer.

Pico de la Veleta, Casasana (2016) by Enrique DelgadoDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"Casasana is a town set high up on a mountain called El Cerro de la Veleta, and built somewhat on the farther side, which is more level. You can't see Casasana until you're right on top of it."

Journey to the Alcarria

Camilo José Cela

You can see the Alcarrian landscape in its entirety from the hill of Veleta.

Commemorative plaque of the Journey to the Alcarria (2016) by Laura DomínguezDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"The traveler washes up a little in the doorway of the house, while his meal is being prepared."
These are the words on the plaque commemorating the journey that the Nobel laureate in Literature made in 1946.

Casasana (2016) by Enrique DelgadoDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"It has a very pretty color, ranging from a darkish green to a bluish gray."

Journey to the Alcarria
Camilo José Cela

The use of a palette of colors to describe towns is an intriguing literary technique, which perfectly describes Casasana.

Cherries (2014) by Laura DomínguezDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"It is a very small town with little agriculture and a good deal of dairy stock."

Journey to the Alcarria
Camilo José Cela

It has been 70 years since Cela wrote this passage. The fields are now cultivated and fruit trees can be found there.

Beehives (2018) by Enrique DelgadoDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

The Alcarria is known for its honey, which is produced by bees using plant life as their raw material. A hive is divided into well-organized sections: the bottom board and escape board; the brood chamber or lower super; a honey super; an inner cover made of wood or another material, with a hole in the middle for feeding if necessary; an outer cover; and removable frames.

View of the monastery of Monsalud in Corcoles (2016) by Enrique DelgadoDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"Around midday, the traveler, Felipe the tailor and Lucero the donkey, who is loaded up with the bags, leaves Casasana to take the Chinarros road that will take him as far as Córcoles."

Journey to the Alcarria

Camilo José Celaivy

The Monastery of Monsalud, which is one of the stops on the journey, can be seen in the distance.

Entrance to the monastery of Monsalud in Corcoles (2016) by Enrique DelgadoDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"At Córcoles, the group walks between the walls of a ruined convent, covered in ivy and surrounded by elms and walnut trees."

Journey to the Alcarria
Camilo José Cela

This passage was written in 1946. Since then, the convent has undergone some building work, which has not yet been completed

Cloister of the monastery of Monsalud in Corcoles (2016) by Enrique DelgadoDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"Two dozen black sheep graze in the abandoned cloister. Four or five black goats clamber over the crumbling walls, which are miraculously still standing..."

Journey to the Alcarria

Camilo José Cela

The cloister is still well worth a visit 70 years after this was written

Monastery of Monsalud in Corcoles (2016) by Enrique DelgadoDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

The Monastery of Monsalud is an impressive Cistercian monastery, built in the second half of the 12th century. Although it was altered in the 16th and 17th centuries, its medieval structure remains, as does the elegance and austerity characteristic of Cistercian architecture.

Monastery of Monsalud in Corcoles (2016) by Enrique DelgadoDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

The gatehouse, cloister, church, chapter house, sacristy, refectory, cellar, and some of the monastic cells are still recognizable parts of what was the Monastery of Monsalud, set in beautiful natural surroundings.

Local cuisine (2018) by Fernando ToqueroDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"The sun, bearing down over the plain, has become more intense. The traveler looks for some shade in which to sit and rest for a while, have a drink and something to eat, and smoke a cigarette."

Journey to the Alcarria

Camilo José Cela

Going for tapas in Sacedón is a good option for eating.

Nuestra Señora de la Asunción in Sacedón (2018) by Fernando ToqueroDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"The village spans quite a large area and the church tower presides gracefully over it."

Journey to the Alcarria
Camilo José Cela

The parish church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (Our Lady of the Assumption) is large and majestic. Work to build it began in around 1550.
It is part of a large group of hall churches which, although mainly dating from the late Gothic period, include features and concepts that are Renaissance in style.

Promenade in Sacedon (2018) by Alfonso RomoDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

When Camilo José Cela traveled through Sacedón, the Entrepeñas reservoir did not exist. The reservoir would later shape the character of the town, which named the adjacent street the Paseo Marítimo, or Seafront Promenade.

Sacedon (2018) by Fernando ToqueroDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

"Sacedón, which is surrounded by fields of lush green wheat, appears to be an important and very industrious town."

Journey to the Alcarria

Camilo José Cela

Seventy years after this was written, visitors to the village will see that it is indeed a place of some importance.

Sacred Heart in Sacedon (2016) by Enrique DelgadoDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

At the top of Coronilla hill is an impressive monument to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Erected in 1956, it was a gift from the Tagus Hydrographic Confederation on completion of the Entrepeñas and Buendía reservoirs. The statue of Christ is 18 feet tall, and the entire monument stands at 75 feet. It did not exist when Camilo José Cela passed through here in 1946.

Credits: Story

Coordinators: Aurora Batanero, Mario G. Somoano, and Marcelino Ayuso (Department of Press and Tourism, Guadalajara Provincial Council)

Project producer: Guadalajara Provincial Council

Texts: Laura Domínguez and Fernando Toquero
Photography: Alfonso Romo, Enrique Delgado, Laura Domínguez, and Fernando Toquero

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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