The Virtues of Santa Cruz de Mudela

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We leave Viso del Marqués on the road that goes to Almuradiel to take the A-4, the Autovía de Andalucía. They had told me about the picturesque bullrings that exist in some towns of Ciudad Real, such as the hexagonal geometry bullringnal in Almadén, whose exterior was occupied by houses and where they have currently enabled the galleries as a restaurant and the houses as a hotel, which gives you the unusual possibility of staying inside a bullring. They had also told me about the bullring attached to the Sanctuary of the Virgen de La Carrasca, in Villahermosa, where bullfighting celebrations are held after the pilgrimage that takes place in September. But above all, they advised me that, if on my route I passed near Santa Cruz de Mudela, I should not stop visiting the square bullring of Las Virtudes. Actually, the Virtues is a religious enclave-bullfighting consisting of a hermitage and a bullring. The hermitage was built in the 15th century, its roof is Mudejar and has a beautiful Baroque decoration in the main chapel and some very beautiful paintings in the Virgin's dressing room. The hermitage can be entered from the square bullring that is attached to it, the hermitage actually constituting one of the sides of the square. The bullring was built in 1645 and it seems to be the oldest in Spain. The hermitage-bullring complex is perfectly assembled and it seemed to me an architectural example of union between two of the most deeply rooted traditions in this country: bulls and religion. The enclave is located very close to Santa Cruz de Mudela in a very green area, with avenues that invite you to walk and where the people of the environment usually go in religious pilgrimage. In fact, when we arrived, there were many groups of families and friends having a picnic, sitting on the lines of the bullring and walking around it, until they went inside the church when they were notified of the beginning of a religious ceremony.
After visiting the hermitage we spent a long time admiring the square bullring until we decided to continue our trip to Valdepeñas, where a visit to the Wine Museum is a must. Its facilities occupy an old cellar restored and enabled as a museum in which, in addition to showing you various gadgets used in making wine, you can admire the large jars used in La Mancha to store wine. You can also take advantage of the visit to do some wine tasting, which they usually schedule quite frequently, or in any case to buy some bottles of good La Mancha wines.

Video: Las Virtudes Santa Cruz de Mudela


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