Spain: Sos del Rey Católico,
birthplace of a King

What?
The birthplace of King Ferdinand of Aragón, the village of Sos del Rey Católico is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Spain.

Why visit? 
The sleepy town of Sos (as it is affectionately known by its locals) is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Spain, maintaining the look and feel of Ferdinand's time- as well as his name. 

The beautiful town is full of meandering alleyways, sedate Romanesque churches, and because of the town’s dramatic position upon the hilltop, there are stunning views of the surrounding valleys and hills.

Where? 
Sos del Rey Católico sits at the foothills of the Pyrenees in the northern region of Aragón, Spain. Map

Ferdinand II, The Catholic King.

WHAT'S IN A name? The birthplace of King Ferdinand of Aragón in 1452, the village of Sos added the appendage 'del Rey Católico' (of the Catholic King) in honour of the man who had helped to unify Spain through his marriage to Isabella I of Castile in 1474. (He also found time to send Columbus on his way to the New World)


Founded as a border town against invading Moorish forces at the beginning of the 10th century, Sos owes a lot of its present day look to its former use as a defensive fort. The buildings however are all 15th century and most remain untouched since those days

Despite its small size Sos is surprisingly rich in culture and events. The Fiesta Mayor, held on the 3rd weekend of August, is celebrated by letting bulls run through the town and much drinking of wine. For the more pious, the Día de la Cruz (14th September) is a calmer day marked by eating local foods and attending mass. Sos was also the location of the cult Spanish film La Vaquilla (which used many locals as extras) in case you were wondering why there are director's chairs all around town.
Things to visit include the 12th century medieval castle and walls (with seven of the original gates still remaining), the Town Hall, originally built in the Renaissance style but renovated in the 18th century, and the San Esteban Church: constructed atop the crypt of St. María del Perdón decorated in the interior with Gothic murals from the 14th century.
Also, you can check out the Sada Palace, built by the Aristocratic Sada family in the 14th century and birthplace of the future king Ferdinand. Today the building has been turned into an exhibition centre about the Spanish hero, but the real joy is just walking around this magical place.
Did we mention the views are stunning?
Getting there:
Sos del Rey Católico can be reached by bus from Zaragoza (Delicias station) from Monday to Friday at 5 p.m. (the journey takes 2,5h); or from Sangüesa – on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 5.40 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1.45 p.m. 
Sos is easy to hitchhike out of, being as it is so small with most drivers heading north towards Pamplona.

Useful links: 
Budget travel guide to Sos del Rey Católico on Hitch-hikers Handbook.

About the authors: 

Hitchhikers Handbook was started by Ania and Jon, a couple of English teachers, hitchhiking their way around the world. 

They will soon leave their beloved Barcelona and embark on an 11-month hitchhiking trip across Asia, in search of traditional dishes, games and music, on their Long Way Home…

Follow Ania and Jon on hitchhikershandbook.com, or through Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest


2 comments:

  1. Thanks a lot for featuring our post, Michiel! Sos is such a charming little town and we believe more people should hear about it and visit it!
    Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for the contribution! A perfect contribution to Minor Sights! ;-)

    ReplyDelete

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