Cascante is somewhat ‘down on its uppers’. A town, now of less than 4000 inhabitants that nestles on a hill in the Queiles valley, that was hit hard; initially when Spain joined the EU (which brought with it cheaper Chinese imports that hit the already struggling textile industry here) and then again as a result of the financial crisis in 2008.
Like Ejea and Tudela it has a history going back to Roman and earlier Celt-Iberian times and more recently as a small industrial centre. A claim to fame being that the first ‘Lucifer’ match factory in Spain opened here in the early C19th and survived into the C20th – just.
The most notable feature in the town is the C17th Baroque Basilica of ‘Our Lady of the Romero’ that sits atop the highest point in the town and with it’s unusually long covered walkway climbing up the hill from the town below. In an outcrop just behind the walkway the remains of ‘troglodyte’ dwellings can be seen.
A peaceful wander around the streets of the town reveals an array of architectural styles and ages and in varying degrees of repair – or dilapidation. I got the sense that it is perhaps cheaper to build a new property, perhaps of more accommodating size, on the outskirts than to restore the old buildings in the ancient heart of the town. The large pink-painted property stands empty: testament to better times.
Looking back to Cascante as I head on in the midday sun towards Soria.
Once again out on the plains but with a chill wind and clouds gathering and there’s early snow on the higher elevations.
And finally to to my camp for the night by the river, but alas too chilly to keep the side door open and admire the view.
Cascante to Soria