Watercolors of Castilla: hanging around Barbadillo del Mercado
Of the legendary Castile, the one in which its main characters are confused with that other alternative reality, which sometimes are the legends, undoubtedly highlights a population, the vestiges of whose past can serve as a starting point to introduce us to that distant and mysterious aspect of Castilla, about which History has not yet said the last word: Barbadillo del Mercado.
Medieval fief of Doña Lambra - the mad stepmother who made the seven powerful infants of Lara lose their heads - Barbadillo del Mercado is the spearhead for anyone who intends to open a gap in the unfathomable enigmas of that special area, which was , is and will continue to be the Sierra de la Demanda.
On the outskirts of the town, past the old bridge - where the silt from whose land is gaining more and more ground in the eyes tired of looking eternally at time - a solitary hermitage refers, to travelers and curious, to a lost time in which the Visigothic Spain collapsed definitively in the face of the irrepressible advance of the sword of Islam.
In the shadow of an imposing cliff, gray as the parchment skin of a sleeping giant, due to its clearly rectangular appearance, the hermitage of San Juan seems to be an ark hopelessly stranded in a meadow in which the pre-Christian peoples once worshiped powerful evicted gods from its marble pantheons and later, to witches' covens, worthy of Goya's dark esoteric fantasies.
This seems to be indicated by the sadness of the poplars that surround it and the abundant presence of that toxic plant, the loon, popularly known as 'Devil Tomatoes', which are soaring now, without order or concert, perhaps in the same place where the ancient peoples of the stone culture raised their dolmens and menhirs, oriented towards stars that the pilgrim would later follow on his way to Compostela and beyond, to the lonely shores of the end of the world, in the foam of whose waves, the wind blows with the force of the spirits of the ancestors.
NOTICE: Both the text and the accompanying photographs are my exclusive intellectual property.