In Alba de Tormes were lived outstanding acts of arms during the War of Independence, as well as the occupation by French troops, which lasted almost four years.

The castle of the Dukes of Alba is the ideal place to start the route through this Napoleonic village. Inside is the tourist office, where it is recommended, after a short introduction, to climb the viewpoint located at the top of the tower, excellent watchtower from where you can interpret the landscape thanks to the information contained in the panels dedicated to the battle of Alba de Tormes (November 28, 1809) and to the events that took place in July and November of 1812.

From there it continues to the square of Santa Teresa, where the convent of the Annunciation of the Discalced Carmelite Mothers is located, which in November 1812 suffered under crossfire between the French troops that besieged the castle and the Spanish ones that defended it.

Following the marked urban route of the historic complex, you reach the parish of San Pedro and, from there, we can reach the medieval bridge over the river Tormes. It is not difficult to identify the section that the Allies flew in 1812, since, during its repair, the new arch was built with dimensions much larger than those of the rest.

From the mouth of the bridge we can follow two paths. One of them invites us to cross the Tormes and, on reaching the other end, continue walking on the right by a path parallel to the riverbank in its first meters. It is a pleasant walk that will lead us to the Hermitage of Otero, from where we can enjoy splendid views of the privileged enclave in which the Villa is located.

The second option is to walk for a kilometer along the CL-510, in the direction of Piedrahita, until you reach a crossroads, where you will see a purple sign indicating "Padre Belda Archaeological Museum", which we will reach shortly after traveling more than six hundred meters. The Museum is located in the convent of the Repair Fathers, which was used by French soldiers as a barracks.

La mejor manera de llevar a cabo esta ruta es dejarse guiar por la señalización ubicada en lugares estratégicos que te mostrarán sus principales hitos monumentales, a través de unos paseos que tienen como núcleo central la plaza Mayor, espacio de vida en el que se remansan también los quehaceres cotidianos de la localidad.

Alba de Tormes personality and the strength of her valuable monumental legacy have been forged over the centuries around three main wickers: the Casa de Alba, whose deepest roots are indissolubly linked to the town, Santa Teresa de Jesús, who made here one of his foundations and found in it his last abode, and the river Tormes.

Approaching this legacy means walking through the city from the banks of the river to the strong tower of the ducal castle and, between one and the other, discover an urban area strewn with convents, churches and corners that are worth enjoying quietly.

milestones of the route

Castle Duques de Alba

Testigo excepcional de la Guerra de la Independencia, que acabó sufriendo daños estructurales debido a los duros combates e incendios que tuvo que padecer, lo que condujo, años después, a su parcial demolición.
En noviembre de 1812, cuando las tropas aliadas se retiraban hacia Portugal, tropas escocesas y portuguesas se atrincheraron en la Villa, lo que incitó a los franceses a bombardear el castillo. Unos trescientos soldados españoles, al mando del teniente coronel José de Miranda y Cabezón, resistieron diez días entre sus muros para después escapar atravesando las líneas francesas y finalmente llegar a su Galicia natal tras una Anábasis a la española.


Monastery Madres Carmelitas

The Carmelite Mothers did not suffer looting and mishaps like the rest of the convents of the Villa, since the French governor of Salamanca, General Thiébault, drafted a decree protecting the place.

San Pedro church

During the stay of Lieutenant Colonel Miranda and his men in the castle, in November 1812, the French occupied their tower to observe and harass the Spanish.

Medieval Bridge

Key scenario during the Battle of Alba de Tormes (1809), since two divisions of the Spanish army crossed the bridge, leaving without support the other three divisions, which remained on the right bank, where they suffered badly before the attack the French cavalry. In the battle he distinguished General Mendizábal, named for it Count of Painting of Alba de Tormes.
Between the night of 22 and the early hours of 23 July 1812, after the Battle of Los Arapiles, the defeated French army withdrew across the bridge in the direction of Peñaranda de Bracamonte. The Allies withdrew four months later, pursued by the French, in the direction of Portugal, flying two of their twenty-six bows.

Hermitage of Otero

The disappeared town of Martín Valero and the Hermitage of Otero suffered looting and serious damage during the French. Soldiers of both sides were buried in the cemetery of the hermitage, as reflected by the priest Manuel Aces and Perez in the book of the deceased that is preserved in the archive of the parish of Alba de Tormes


The building was used as the headquarters of the French troops. After destroying the bridge the Allies, the French tried to restore the passage over the river using beams of this convent. One of the first pieces that can be seen on display in the museum is a French infantry briquet saber.

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