Valdepeñas: Wikis


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—  Municipality  —
Valdepeñas Spain Church of Asumption

Coat of arms
Valdepeñas is located in Spain
Location in Spain
Coordinates: 38°46′0″N 3°24′0″W / 38.766667°N 3.4°W / 38.766667; -3.4Coordinates: 38°46′0″N 3°24′0″W / 38.766667°N 3.4°W / 38.766667; -3.4
Country  Spain
Autonomous community  Castile-La Mancha
Province Ciudad Real
Founded 13th century. Middle Ages
 - Alcalde Jesús Martín Rodríguez (2007) (PSOE)
 - Total 487.65 km2 (188.3 sq mi)
Elevation 705 m (2,313 ft)
Population (2009)
 - Total 31,147
 - Density 63.9/km2 (165.4/sq mi)
 - Demonym valdepeñero/a
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 13300
Official language(s) Spanish
Website Official website

Valdepeñas is a municipality in the Spanish province of Ciudad Real, in the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha. It is also head of the judicial district that covers the localities of Moral de Calatrava, Santa Cruz de Mudela, Viso del Marqués, Torrenueva, Castellar de Santiago and Almuradiel.



Its name means Valley of Rocks, because it is located in a wide area meander of hill the Jabalón River surrounded, just bordering on the plain south of La Mancha and the subsoil is rich in limestone rock.

Valdepeñas is located in the Campo de Calatrava, an extensive plain north of the Sierra Morena, and lies on the left bank of Jabalón River, a tributary of the Guadiana. Valdepeñas is located at 38°46′00″N 3°24′00″W / 38.7666667°N 3.4°W / 38.7666667; -3.4[1] and its population is 28,183.[2]




In the municipal area, there are many prehistoric remains, platforms and watchtowers located in the hills, compatible with settlers of the Bronze age. (Culture of the Motillas), dated between the 10th and 13th centuries BC. Vasco Merlo in their History of Valdepeñas [3] described these structures erroneously as Celtiberian settlements, despite them being much older than that and possibly belonging to the Culture of Argar.

Old History

Iberian period

Arqueological iberian ensemble of Cerro Cabezas in Valdepeñas

Eight kilometres to the south of the city, we find The Iberian city of “Cerro de las Cabezas” (Hill of the Heads), a great oppidum or town fortified with a true castle in the summit of the hill that it occupies, inhabited between the 7th and 2nd centuries BC. It is an important archaeological deposit of the Oretana Culture and shows signs of the first vestige of the grapevine in this region.

Roman and Visighotic period

In the 16th century and later artefacts such as graves, coins and other ancient Roman items, from a Roman villa of the 1st century BC, that still existed in the Visigothic period.

Medieval History

Islamic period

During this period the area was part of the Moorish Kingdom of Toledo. The Arab inscriptions and a sun dial on the walls of the Church of the Assumption date from this period. According to oral tradition, the Caliphate gave permission to the inhabitants to cultivate vineyards and make wine. This is prohibited by The Koran. The Moors were expelled from Valdepenas at the end of the 15th century.

Veracruz Hermitage

Reconquest and Order of Calatrava

By order of Queen Berenguela of Castile and after the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212, settlers of several villages (Aberturas, Corral Rubio de Jabalón, Santa María de las Flores and Castilnuevo) moved to the area around the present Church of the Assumption, which had been an old castle.

From that moment Valdepeñas belonged to the Order of Calatrava and the first text it is mentioned in is the record of The Order of Calatrava in 1243. The new settlers coming from the Kingdoms of Castile, León (Galicia mainly) and Aragón. The Order demanded conditions of establishment and right of citizenship, the continued care of the grapevine. The city was bordered by two Military Orders: Calatrava and Santiago, in the present regions of Campo de Calatrava and Campo de Montiel.

In medieval times the Jewish community became important and this is reflected in the existence at least two synagogues, one of which was eventually converted into the hermitage of Veracruz and the old building where the Parish of The Christ was located, behind its present location.

Modern History

Trinitarians Convent XVI c.

The Reyes Católicos Ferdinand and Isabella of Castille lodged in Valdepeñas on 18 February 1488 at the mother of Alfonso de Merlo's house, and left to the care of the widow the infants during part of the conquest of Granada. The same Alfonso de Merlo was named Captain and went with more than two hundred men to the Conquest of Granada, funding the campaign with their own money. The Catholic Monarchs recognized him and granted him the title of Knight. Some of their descendants moved to the New World, took important positions in Peru and Chile. [4] According to a popular saying, Queen Isabella of Castile, on one of her journeys to the south (Andalusia), gave birth to a child in Valdepeñas, who did not survive and was subsequently buried in the Church of the Assumption. We can see the shield of the Catholic Monarchs, although not very well preserved, on the gate of the sun of the church.

Currently diverse religious and civil buildings from the 16th century such as the Trinitarians Covent can be found in the town.

King Ferdinand the Catholic wanted to control the power of Military Orders and Pope Adrian VI granted orders to the Kingdom of Castile, passing to Royal Jurisdiction an important patrimony: two cities, two hundred villas (Valdepeñas among them) and a hundred of villages, distributed in an ample territory.

Señorío of Valdepeñas

King Philip II sold the villa on 22 April 1575 to D. Alvaro de Bazán first Marquess of Santa Cruz, who became Lord of Valdepeñas. Valdepeñas would happen to be a “Señorío”, secreting itself of the Order of Calatrava.

The successive marquesses promoted the wines of Valdepeñas in the Spanish Court of the Austrian and its fame consequently extended all over the country. Valdepeñas' “clarete” became known as “aloque” at this time.

Contemporary History

Nineteenth Century

statue of La Galana

Nothing remarkable happened until 6 June 1808, when the Napoleonic occupation of Spain became an issue after the events of 2 May in Madrid of that year. Napoleonic troops went to Andalusia as reinforcements and attempted to cross the villa; the entire population (men, women and also some of the neighbouring villas) took up arms to prevent the passage of Napoleon's troops through the villa. The result was a high number of lives lost and a major fire. Highlighted in the fight a woman: Johanne Galan "La Galana". The troops had to retreat from the province of La Mancha, this delay, without doubt, made easier the victory in the Battle of Bailen by the Spanish troops. The king Fernando VII would give the villa the Title of Very Heroic. After these events some inhabitants from Valdepeñas took part of the guerrilla fighting against the Napoleonic troops in the “Guerra de la Independencia”, Francisco Abad called “Chaleco” became a famous guerrillero. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, happened some events that making possible the development of the villa, the comings of supply electricity, drinkable water, the railways station and improved the roads, and the appearance of an emergent bourgeoisie growing in inhabitants duplicating in number to the provincial capital-city. In 1895, the queen Mª Cristina granted to Valdepeñas the title of City.

20th Century

Plaza de España.
Valdepeñas festival, 2007

At the beginnings of the century, the appeared of Phylloxera made to introduction of the resistant American vineyard but not changed the economy a lot. The Spanish Civil War broke this development; the city went down in population. During the decades 40, 50, 60 and 70 only the agriculture and the traditional family industry of wine were the economics activities in there, a common phenomenon of central Spain in these times. Already in the eighties had an intensive process of moving with the times in Valdepeñas by the wine sector including news kinds of grapes, and introduced techniques in elaboration and wine production.


Valdepeñas has several museums of history, art and wine. There are two Fairs, in August "the summer fair" at the first week and in September known as "Fiesta de la Vendimia" (Grape Harvest Fair).

  • Sons:
    • One of the city's famous sons is Bernardo de Balbuena, appointed Bishop of Puerto Rico in 1620, who wrote Baroque poetry extolling the beauties of Mexico.
    • Luis Merlo de la Fuente Ruiz de Beteta was a Spanish colonial official who briefly served as the Royal Governor of Chile, in 1610-11.
    • Gregorio Prieto. Member of the pictorical branch of Generation of '27, friend of Federico García Lorca, Rafael Alberti, and author of recognized pictures of them. During the decade of 1940 he lived in England with Luis Cernuda. You can visit the most of his work at several museums in Valdepeñas: The Thurst of Gregorio Prieto, The windmills´ Gallery, The Windmill of Gregorio Prieto and the Town Museum.


Windmill of Gregorio Prieto

It contains large distilleries, tanneries, flour mills, cooperages, and other factories, but its chief trade is in red wines. The city is famous for its wines and is the centre of a grape-growing district. Valdepeñas wines are among the most popular in Spain and recently in EU countries. There are hot mineral springs near the city. Recently, in addition to the food and wine industry, there’re setting up small and medium industries located in several industrial parks. Leading these industries:

  • Plant of production and investigation of Systems in High Electronic Technology.
  • The logistic center of Heavy Transport. (Trucks of great tonnage)
  • We shouldn’t forget the tourism with D. Quixote Route and the through train of wine with point of departure from Madrid.

Twin (sister) towns

Its twin town is Cognac, France.

See also



  1. ^ Valdepeñas record at Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
  2. ^ Population info at
  3. ^ Fernando Vasco Merlo "Historia de Valdepeñas"
  4. ^ Fernando Vasco Merlo "Historia de Valdepeñas", and also in "El Memorial de Don Alonso Merlo de la Fuente" (Noviembre, 1650). Work of Arturo Giráldez (print in “e Humanista Volume 07, 2006”). University of the Pacific. About manuscript held in the British Library.

External links


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