Carucedo is a beautiful village in El Bierzo, full of history, with a long tradition of openness to visitors, travellers and neighbours. Its culture is rich and in its people you can appreciate a deep-rooted Leonese speech, which coexists with the full mastery of the Galician language. It presents charming landscapes to the delight of anyone who wishes to walk through them, such as its famous lake or the Médulas. It is a simple place, with nature as the protagonist and the Camino Invierno in the Jacobean itinerary.
What to see and do in Carucedo
Las Médulas comprises a beautiful natural and scenic environment derived from an ancient Roman gold mining operation. Its relevance goes beyond its beauty, as it is considered the largest exploitation of the entire Roman Empire. The construction work carried out to make it resulted in a place of reddish sand covered today by lush vegetation consisting of oak and chestnut trees. Its importance is such that it was declared of Cultural Interest in 1996, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997 and a Natural Monument in 2002. The farm was abandoned in the 2nd century and from that time onwards nature took over and gave way to the beautiful surroundings that can be found today in this idyllic place.
The lake of Carucedo
This lake is the most memorable of those created as a barrier or alluvium derived from the mining excavations of the Médulas. The legend of the area says that the Sword of Roland is immersed in its waters, so it is endowed with a certain mystical aroma added to the beauty of its forms. It has a perimeter of about 5 km and a depth of 9 m. It is another essential visit when travelling through Carucedo.
The House of the Médulas Park
To understand the importance and value of the Médulas, a visit to the Casa del Parque de las Médulas is a must. A modern building designed to disseminate the wealth and history of this former mining operation. Here you will find all kinds of information, audiovisual material and orientation regarding this incredible landscape. At its entrance, there is the Roman transformation ramp that represents the transformation of the mountain at that time.
The Path of the Valiñas
Very close to the surroundings of Las Médulas you can enjoy the natural wealth of Carucedo through other waterways, such as the Senda de las Valiñas. Along this path there are asphalted and dirt tracks, in any case sheltered by the chestnut trees that make up a fairytale walk. The path first passes through the Cuevona and then arrives at La Encantada, two caves with an incomparable charm to get some amazing photographs completely. Of course, these stem from the exploitations of the ancient Roman Empire.
The viewpoint of Orellán and Gallery of Orellán
The viewpoint of Orellán provides the best known view of Las Médulas and can be reached by following the aforementioned Senda de las Valiñas and taking a small detour. Once at the viewpoint you can access the Orellán Gallery, which is open to the public with the purchase of a ticket. In this gallery you will find impressive caves, as it is nothing more than the interior of the mine itself. At the end of the tour you can find another viewpoint to let yourself be conquered by the characteristic landscape.
The Parish Church of Caduredo
This church of Romanesque origin may be the cultural visit par excellence in this area, leaving aside the landscapes of the Médulas to enter into another type of heritage. It contains one of the most important pieces of silverware in El Bierzo, dating from the 18th century. It is also home to one of the most unique clocks in the province of León, made from slate. A beautiful architectural and historical jewel to behold in this beautiful villa.