The west of Toledo is dotted with interesting treasures dating from practically all stages of history. Prehistoric dolmens, Celtic forts, medieval bridges or Muslim medinas like this emblematic City of the Basques, are some must-see references for lovers of history and archeology.
City of Basques, privileged location
Like any medieval city or settlement, the medina of Vascos enjoys being located in a privileged natural environment. In the western foothills of the Montes de Toledo, and on the steep banks formed by the Uso and Tajo rivers, lies this peculiar archaeological site.
Is about a land disputed since ancient times by various civilizations, in which all have been leaving their mark. Specifically, here the Muslims settled from the s. VIII managed to create a large area of influence that controlled the wild lands of much of western Iberia.
The vegetal setting of the City of the Basques is a real spectacle, especially in spring, when the range of greens that form holm oaks, olive trees, almond trees and junipers make exquisite panoramic views possible.
The origins of the settlement
The history of the founding of the City of Basques is something still unknown, although Some hypotheses are proposed that can bring us closer to its origins.
The first refers to its location, since it is a strategic place, given the defensive need in those times and the important work that the rivers carried out in this regard. The control of the natural passages was essential to stop the Christian incursions that had already occurred before.
The second option fixes its bases on merely political interestsgiven the situation of instability that this area still continued to present in the early years of the 10th century. It had originally been occupied and used by Berbers who were rebellious against the authority imposed later by the Umayyads.
one last option establishes the area of the City of Vascos as a strategic economic enclave. Here, the remains found in its ruins have glimpsed a strong impact of metallurgy. In addition, the Basque settlement is located in an area halfway between the Andalusian capital and Toledo, of great importance in the times of the emirate.
Visit to the City of Basques
The archaeological settlement offers the visitor a first visual impact imposed by its defensive remains. The wall surrounds the medina with an interior surface of eight hectares and an abrupt descending topography towards a consummated valley in the Uso River.
To the north, on a dominant granite hill, you can see the citadel. Likewise, outside the walls there are remains of two cemeteries and, next to the Mora stream, those of a suburb.
Apart from the purely architectural elements, which are at least attractive to archeology lovers, the constant research brings us closer to the daily life of the population that inhabited the city.
Their work and leisure areas, their public and private life have been studiedtheir culture and their relationship with the afterlife through their burial places.
Among the findings that archeology has provided, pieces of weapons such as projectiles, spears, swords, knives and knives stand out. Secondly, construction utensils have appeared, tools associated with livestock activity and to textile exploitation and agricultural implements.
Finds related to daily life, such as personal and decorative ornaments and pieces for lighting and for trade, are also important. Undoubtedly, it is a wide range of elements supported by its nine excavation areas in permanent activity.
The ideal plan in the middle of nature
If what you are looking for is tranquility in a wild, silent place with a lot of history, the City of Basques is the perfect visit for any weekend getaway. The archaeological site only opens its doors on Saturdays, since it is framed within a private estate.
next to this, in the nearby municipality of Navalmoralejo, you can visit its interpretation center. This arises as a didactic support to the visit of the City of Basques. Its objective is to make known the origin, development and decline of the Islamic settlement through a museum project. This affects the ways of life of Hispano-Muslim society at the end of the first millennium AD
Finally, to make a complete historical getaway, you cannot leave the area without visiting the Azután dolmen, the Archbishop’s Bridge or the medieval castle of Oropesa.