"Taramundi" is a locality: "the Ville"; too a municipality beautiful and a name with such a special sonority that just by pronouncing it we anticipate the calm that its landscapes transmit, the hospitality of its people, the craftsman seal that supports a whole way of understanding life. Here sustainability is the norm, not a declaration of intent that nobody puts into practice. Its inhabitants firmly believe in what they do, they want keep your rural world alive and avoid depopulation, recover the origins with their trades and customs. A constant effort to guarantee the present and the future of its economy and its community.
The capital of the council is one of the most beautiful towns in Asturias. It sits in a small mid-mountain valley that is surrounded by gentle hills. On its main street, the Plaza del Poyo, an oak tree was planted in 1584 when King Felipe II granted the town the title of villa. This oak survived until 1998, when it had to be cut down due to poor condition. With its wood a carving was made that still presides over this place. An emblematic site like few others where in the past the neighbors met to decide the affairs of the town.
Two steps away we can approach the parish church of San Martin de Taramundi, a beautiful temple founded in the eighteenth century. Its high massive tower can be seen from any point in the town and from the immediate vicinity. Inside the church we discover its structure in three naves separated by arches and its three beautifully made golden and polychrome altarpieces. The main altarpiece is in the Baroque style and the other two are neoclassical.
Very close is the Manuel Lombardero Square with a very unusual sculpture dedicated to a teacher. We are talking about a very dear person who turned the local school into a regional benchmark, educating and training several generations of children who later had to function on American soil. In appreciation of her work, her former students financed a bust in her memory in 1951.
Taramundi: the origin of rural tourism in Spain
The old Rectory House, built in the XNUMXth century and located in a high area of the town, is a palatial construction that today houses rural accommodation; but not any accommodation but “the first rural hotel in Spain”.
The Rectoral Hotel It is well worth a visit, not only to stay, but to enjoy its excellent cuisine or have a cider with one of the best views of Taramundi. Opened in 1986 with its four stars, it was an initiative sounded at that time, crazy according to many, being located (such a hotel) in a town with less than a thousand inhabitants, difficult to access, in the middle of nature... The concept of rural tourism and its potential audience were yet to be defined, but after the success Once achieved, this initiative became a benchmark at the state level, with numerous tourism technicians coming to the area to train under this new formula. At that time, the Higher Council for Scientific Research was conducting a study to find places to implement "Rural Tourism Nuclei", and the people of Taramund saw the opportunity to publicize their craft tradition and the beauty of its landscapes. They rehabilitated abandoned houses, they opted for the conservation of water mills, they devised museums, they opened craft shops, restaurants for tourists, they began to teach specialized courses such as those aimed at improving training in cutlery...
Taramundi council enjoys the title Zone of Artisan Interest since 2005. This is due to the deep tradition in cutlery in the council, mainly related to the development of the iron industry throughout the eighteenth century, an industry that in this area was favored by the iron ore deposits, abundant water and a great wealth of forests that provided fuel for the forges. hydraulic inventions in the region they also served to get the most out of the geophysical conditions of the territory, a greater skill in the manipulation of the deposits that ultimately meant that Taramundi gained a great reputation for craftsmanship, both nationally and worldwide.
In the XNUMXth century they came to be counted more than 100 artisan workshops They made all kinds of tools, highlighting the manufacture of knives and razors. It is for this reason that when we wander through the streets and alleys, visiting some of its craft shops, the presence of these home-made knives and razors is so dominant and that the local forge enjoys such prestige. Quality is the norm and variety too, since the production includes articles of all kinds that can be fully customized according to the buyer's requirements.
The knives of Taramundi
Taramundi's artisan knives are the latest jewel in a long metallurgical evolution that since the...
Without leaving the villa we can attend a visit to the artisan workshop "Taramundi's Cutlery" where step by step we will discover with amazement the dedication that the elaboration of knives supposes. in the village of Veiga de Llan You can visit two workshops and appreciate the great craftsmanship of wood carving or iron forging. The process of making the knives exceeds 50 steps.
We can also visit the «Taramundi Cutlery Museum» in the village of Pardiñas, three 3 kilometers from the town. In addition to the didactic exhibition on the trade, this museum is known for housing at the entrance a giant razor, the largest in the world with its 7,20 meters in length and its 1.500 kilograms in weight.
Water route and ethnographic sites
Taramundi draws the visitor's attention due to the number of places of interest that we can visit in a close radius, so it is best to visit the tourist office of the town where they will give us full information on all the options and the entire schedule of activities.
The Water Route It is one of the most outstanding itineraries and it starts in the vicinity of the tourist office itself. It runs through the Tena river valley and has a beautiful and affordable circular route of about 10 kilometres. The most recommended visits on this route are also accessible by car, such as the ethnographic trident of Taramundi: Os Teixois, the Ski Museum and the museum of the Mazonovo mills.
Ethnography in Taramundi
We would have to go back 2 or 3 centuries to understand many things about our XNUMXst century. Make a …
In these sets we understand first-hand the importance of hydraulic devices in post-feudal Asturian villages. The energies that they were capable of generating were used, among other things, to improve the quality and resistance of the clothing, provoke forces to grind the grain, sharpen and mold the iron. A little later they would even generate electric light. Visiting these facilities also guarantees us some very cool photos, as there are few places as photogenic as this one.
The fort of Os Castros is another of Taramundi's attractions. A relevant set of archaeological remains found at the beginning of the aforementioned water route, so we can access it on foot from the same town without difficulty. It is a primitive settlement occupied from the Bronze Age (3500 BC to 2000 BC) until Roman domination in the XNUMXrd century BC. Although there are still areas to be excavated, during the visit we become aware of the real dimensions of the settlement, the houses and also a singular castrexa sauna.
The Craft Center of the village of Bres It is another of the possible cultural visits by the council. It is 4,5 kilometers from Taramundi and is located in the old Villanueva house. During the visit we will be able to see first-hand the manufacturing processes of the different crafts and the artisans themselves.
In Bres, it is well worth strolling through its streets, since this town preserves magnificent examples of traditional architecture, such as granaries and huts. It also has an excellent Indiana house, the old school, currently home to The House of Water. This center is very illustrative in terms of the historical and geographical origins of hydraulic devices.
From the water route we can also take a detour to discover one of the greatest attractions of the municipality: the waterfall A Salgueira. We must walk for half an hour to access it from the branch where we turned off. The trail presents some difficulty but the final view of the waterfall is worth it. The best way to see it in all its splendor is to come in winter or spring.
Upon reaching kilometer 6 from the start of the Water Route, we reached Veigas, a beautiful town that has been rehabilitated preserving all its essence and where we can have some ciders and a good snack.
Typical gastronomy of Taramundi
Always rich and varied dishes with top quality products. The beef and local sausages stand out. Among its most typical recipes are beans, tripe or trout from its rivers. If you like desserts, we recommend you try the frixuelos. Special mention deserve their cheese, one of those products that have been able to mature slowly, carefully, and move from the country kitchen table to restaurant plates and shop displays without losing an iota of its artisan flavor.
The Taramundi cheeses
The homemade wisdom of Taramundi, accustomed to self-consumption for centuries, has managed to rescue the manual...
Information of interest
· Ethnographic set of You Teixóis: 696 44 06 40 / www.osteixois.es
Mazonovo, interactive museum of the mills: 985 64 68 17 / www.mazonovo.es
· Ethnographic Museum of skis: 669 87 68 99 / www.esquios.es
· Museum of Cutlery: 985 64 68 10 / www.navallasdetaramundi.com
Bres Water House: 985 64 68 77
· The Taramundi Cutlery: 985 64 65 00 / www.cuchilleriataramundi.com
Text: © Ramón Molleda for asturias.com