HISTORY

The first traces of the history of La Alberca are to be found in prehistory, whose imprint remains in the cave paintings of the Neolithic era in numerous scree and crags of the valleys surrounding La Alberca: Lera and Las Batuecas.

In the Middle Ages, between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries repopulation occurred by decision of King Alfonso IX. From the flow of people who came to this land, a great part of it had French origin through D. Raimundo of Burgundy, French nobleman married to Doña Urraca, one of the daughters of Alfonso VI. This origin would justify the large presence of French place names in Sierra de Francia.

At the end of the Middle Ages stands out a fact of great importance for the area: the discovery of the image of the Virgin of Peña de Francia (1434) where a sanctuary was built and later became a place of pilgrimage, that the pilgrims of the Camino de Santiago who followed the South Path through Calzada de la Plata joined.

In the seventeenth century the Peña de Francia, with its Black Virgin, is already mentioned by Cervantes in Don Quixote; the Valley of Las Batuecas is for Lope de Vega the scene in which two lovers fleeing from the Court found refuge. Since then La Alberca, with the Peña de Francia and Las Batuecas, have been a scenario become myth, a legend. Mythical essence remains today in its architecture and its landscape, in its people and customs.