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16,5 km, 2 h 45 min.

209 m of cumulative elevation gain.

Stage 3
Saelices el Chico-Ivanrey-Ciudad Rodrigo

Altos (Heights) de Ivanrey. This is the position taken on 18 May 1706 by the armies from five different nations allied with Portugal, under the command of the Marquis de las Minas. It was prior to the capture of Ciudad Rodrigo during the War of the Spanish Succession, following the crossing of the so-called Vado (Ford) de Carboneros.This site provides an excellent view of the plain of Águeda and of the walled city itself, with the high sierras of Francia and Gata in the background.

Ciudad Rodrigo from the Heights of Ivanrey.

IvanreySettlement built by the Instituto de Colonización at a height of 620 metres.

River ÁguedaRunning to a length of 131 km, the River Águeda rises (as does the River Côa) on Mount Mezas, right on the frontier with Portugal, and empties into the Duero between La Fregeneda and Barca d´Alva, after a final stretch that is flanked by the two countries. As it passes through Ciudad Rodrigo, the river supports forests on its banks and several habitats of great interest for their fauna, especially in the marshlands watered by the brook of El Bodón and in shallow parts of the river, where we can see relatively rare birds, such as the little bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) and the European penduline tit (Remiz pendulinus). With a bit of luck and a degree of patience we may also see otters (Lutra lutra) and black stalks (Ciconia nigra). The cool temperatures these shady avenues provide in summer make the banks of the River Águeda an especially pleasant spot not only during this season, but also throughout the rest of the year. The river has been adapted for canoeing.

El Picón and La Pesquera, River Águeda in Ciudad Rodrigo.

The citadel or Alcázar de Enrique II and the bridge of Puente Mayor reflected in the River Águeda.

Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus).

Ciudad Rodrigo (Historical Site)Tens of thousands of years ago, human beings already left their marks on the sandstone escarpments that rise above the river. Standing on the most prominent of these heights was an old fort, probably dating back to the Bronze Age, and in due course to the Iron Age, when it was occupied by the Vettones, the sculptors of the stone image, the verraco, which looks toward the castle. Surviving from the Roman occupation are the Three Columns, the city’s coat-of-arms. The ramparts, built between the 12th and 19th centuries form a star shape encircling a ring. Both inside and out there are numerous churches and palaces, which despite their number are merely a token of what the city once boasted, but have since been lost to war. The Cathedral of Santa María —whose construction began when the lands of what is now the council of Almeida belonged to the kingdom of León, and therefore contributed its funding— is a gem reflecting different artistic styles. The citadel, or Alcázar, of Enrique II, which stands guard over the river, rises above the old medieval bridge, as it protects the river crossing that gave this city its meaning. According to the Duke of Wellington, this was the most wisely chosen position he had ever encountered.

Cathedral of Ciudad Rodrigo seen from Ivanrey, with the snow-capped Sierra de Francia in the background.


Text and Photos: Juan Carlos Zamarreño Domínguez - Other images: files and publications held by the local councils of Almeida and Ciudad Rodrigo and by the Cross-border Consortium of Walled Cities [Consorcio Trasfronterizo de Ciudades Amuralladas].
Any full or partial reproduction of this site for commercial purposes is prohibited without the written permission of the authors and the Consortium.


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