Arenas de San Pedro

Arenas de San Pedro is a central Spanish town and municipality ( municipio ) in the province of Ávila in the Autonomous Region of Castile -Leon. The old center was classified as a cultural ( Bien de Interès Cultural ) in the category Conjunto histórico - artístico. The municipality has 6933 inhabitants (INE 2011), so that Arenas de San Pedro to Ávila and Arévalo has the third largest population of the province. It is the capital of Valle Valle del Tiétar and belongs to the old Tierras de Talavera.


Arenas de San Pedro is located on the south side of the Sierra de Gredos on the southern edge of the province of Ávila; the highest peak in the municipality is La Mira ( 2343 m). The distance to Ávila is just under 85 km drive to the northeast; up to Salamanca there are more than 150 km in a north-westerly direction. In addition to Arenas de San Pedro, the community has three other districts: Ramacastañas, La Parra and Hontanares. Much of the municipality is part of the Regional Park of the Sierra de Gredos ( Parque Regional de Sierra de Gredos ).


In the 19th century, the population increased from about 1,500 in 1830 to over 3,300 in 1897.


Despite major rains that are comparable to those of the oceanic climate zone, the municipality of Arenas de San Pedro Mediterranean climate zone is attributed; it is determined (mild with dry, hot summers ) as Csa type according to the Koppen climate classification.


The agriculture, especially livestock, traditionally the largest role in the economy of the mountain community, which was also a regional center for trade and commerce in ancient times for the hamlets and isolated farmsteads in the area. Revenue from tourism in the form of the rental of apartments ( casas rurales ) have been added in recent decades.

Place name and coat of arms

The origin of the name Arenas dates from the time of the founding of the city in the Middle Ages. Originally the town was called Arenas de las Ferrerías de Ávila, due to its proximity to the old iron ore mine La Tablada that the Comarca de las Ferrerías de Ávila once gave her name. The addition de San Pedro was after the canonization of San Pedro de Alcantara, who lived in the city in the 17th century. There are some similar place names in the area: the Arenal River, which runs through the city, and the community of El Arenal.

Throughout its history, the city was pillaged several times, for example during the Spanish War of Independence and the first Karlistenkriegs. This is perhaps the reason why the municipal coat of arms in a standing flame Castle shows the aphorism Siempre incendiada y siempre fell ( "Always burned and always faithful ").


Although there is a bridge was built back in Roman times, settlement finds from Iberian, Roman, Visigoth and Islamic periods are not known and so the city's origins can be traced only to the Middle Ages, when a group of settlers in the Repoblación the present location chose. The first written mention is the place in the late Middle Ages as a property of a Don Rodrigo Alonso Pimentel, Count of Benavente. Then it went into the possession of Don Alvaro de Luna. From this time, however, the medieval toll bridge over the Río Arenal is only still standing. The town received its charter in 1393 under the reign of Henry III. of Castile. After that, the city was the capital of a lordship ( señorio ), which included, in addition Arenas de San Pedro, the villages of El Arenal, Guisando, Hontanares, La Parra, Ramacastañas and Poyales del Hoyo.

In the late 18th century the city experienced again a short flowering time by the Infante Luis de Borbón y Farnesio, the brother of King Charles III, who received in his palace artists of all kinds -. Including Francisco de Goya, Luigi Boccherini and Ventura Rodríguez.


  • The Castillo de la Triste Condesa ( " Castle of the Countess sad " ) was built in the late 14th century. It's a square castle with round towers at the corners and a keep ( torre de homenaje ). The square flanking towers may have been added later.
  • Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción was built by Ruy Lopez Davalos, the first landlords ( señor ) of Arenas in the 14th century in Gothic style.
  • A court or pillory column ( rollo de justicia or picota ) comes from the Baroque period. Tapered tip and two of the four arms of the former Kapitellzone broken.
  • The palace of the Infante Luis de Borbón ( Palacio de la Mosquera ), a classical building, which clearly oriented in its architecture at the 200- year-older model of the Escorial was. During the years after 1776 by ​​the Infante Don Luis, a brother of Charles III built. This had retired to his love marriage with a commoner here and facing the culture - so here were, inter alia, Goya and the musician and composer Boccherini guest. As a plan forming and supervising architect Ventura Rodríguez is mentioned.
  • The Aquelcabos Bridge is also known as the Roman Bridge ( Puente Romano ), as they should already have been built in Roman times. Your current sight is rather medieval, although in later times have been going on restorations.
  • Three kilometers north of the town is the Franciscan monastery of San Pedro de Alcántara. It originated in the 16th century on the site of the abandoned hermitage of San Andrés del Monte and was rebuilt in the 18th century under the direction of the architect Ventura Rodríguez and Francisco Sabatini. A museum displays works of sacred art from the 17th and 18th centuries.


  • Peter of Alcantara (1499-1562), a Franciscan mystic, preacher and religious reformer
  • Infant Luis de Borbón y Farnesio (1727-1785), brother of King Charles III.


The celebrations of the city are celebrated in honor of the Madonna del Pilar (September 8 ) and of Saint Peter of Alcantara (19 October ).