Religious art and its unique Borricá
Torrenueva is surrounded by typical beauty spots from the Campo de Montiel, which reward us with colour changes every season and constant variety to give us calm and peace.
One of the most important dates in the history of Torrenueva is the year 1440, when the town received the “Carta puebla”. Furthermore, we should mention the 13th century, when in 1275 the Encomienda Mayor de Castilla was created, relating to the whole land area which later would become Torrenueva. From the beginning, the Encomienda took charge of a series of goods in some towns and even though Torrenueva had not yet been built, all its land area and the Hitos, which belong to the jurisdiction of Torre de Juan Abad, were under its control.
The Carta Puebla of Torrenueva came to be known to us through a legal historic document of four parchments, signed by the King Charles I on the 2nd June of 1527, which established Torrenueva as a proud new town.
The Church of Torrenueva, one of the most beautiful of Campo de Montiel, and its five Ermitas, offer the visitor a particularly monumental view
Iglesia Parroquial de Santiago el Mayor
Is situated in the Plaza de Espana and is of the type known as “exentas” which are unique types of buildings. They were constructed simply with dry stone walls and with stone blocks in the corners to act as reinforcement. The top of the buildings are crowned with brick arches. On the outside there are doors, one facing north, the main one to the south, in the main square. The south door is the most beautiful of the Campo de Montiel, similar to the one at the Villahermosa Church. Also there are two other small doors, one that provides access to the Chapel of the Virgen de Gracia, and another behind the choir namely the door of the Catecombs. Construction began in 1525 and finished in 1535. It is built in the Plateresco Isabelino renacentista style featuring pillars finished with ornate openings, in the late Gothic Tradition, like the rest of the building. This is formed by arches with crenallations of delicate metal decoration, and three flared arches supported by small columns. Among the architecture there are numerous angels heads with scallops and thistle leaves.
Ermita Nuestra Señora de la Cabeza
It is located in the suburbs facing towards the north. The chapel is surrounded by beautiful gardens and well kept walks by the people of Torrenueva, since inside of the chapel is the Virgen de la Cabeza, the patron saint which has always been venerated. The chapel is, without a doubt, the most visited and picturesque in the town. Inside, we can see the polychromed dome and a small altar. The virgin is situated in the middle of the chapel.
From the chapel Nuestra Señora de la Cabeza, the visitor can enjoy wonderful views of Torrenueva and the modest river Jabalón, which flows in front of the town and decorated with trees and typical vegetation of this area.
Ermita Santo Cristo del Consuelo
It was built in the second half of the 18th century and finished in the year 1795. It is located at the side of the town which faces the midday sun; it is said that before 1740, processions and prayers to the saint had been taken place and this devotion continues today.
As a result of this, in 1749 a process was started in order to establish a hospice or monastery in the place where the saint had been painted and the space beside it, both bought by the town council. Since the town council and the Capuchin foundation did not agree to concede the necessary license to built the monastery, the locals showed their desire to stop the agreement with the Capuchins, ending with less devotion and alms from the believers. Finally, they agreed to substitute the monastery for a chapel to the Santo Cristo. Building work began in the second half of the 18th century and finished at the end of the century, in the year 1795.
Nowadays it has been restored and is in a good state of preservation. The chapel shows off its architectural features on the side of the midday sun and the devotion of the locals to the Santo Cristo continues, despite the difficulties.
Ermita de San Juan
At the beginning, in the year 1575 it was located outside of the town. However, as the years passed, it became closer thanks to the increased urban planning of later years.
It is the only chapel that appears in the Relaciones Topográficas (Topological Survey) that still exists. According to García López, its construction started in 1526. In the visitors book of 1719, it is described as follows:
“…it has a single nave and a brick construction and masonry, rubble roofs and pine wood, gable roof… The whole chapel is plastered, there is a single altar composed of a plaster niche and inside a statue of the saint San Juan Bautista of five quarters width …”.
Ermita de la Veracruz
16th-17th Century. During Easter Week in this town The Passion and Penitence of Jesus has been celebrated in this chapel.
First the Brotherhood of la Veracruz was created and after that, the chapel. It is believed that this chapel was not built before the 16th century, because the “Relaciones Topográficas” do not mention it. However, it is known that it was built before the 17th Century. As a document of 1694 describes the brotherhoods as follows:
…another one has been founded in the ermita de la Vera Cruz…”
The location of this chapel has two Doors, one in the Real street and another one facing the Ranas street: almost in the heart of the inner town. For a long time, the Passion and Penitence of Jesus has been celebrated during the Easter Week.
Ermita de San Antón
At the beginning, it was dedicated to the saint San Sebastián until approx. 1740.
It is difficult to know when it was built. Although in 1575 there was already a Brotherhood of San Sebastián. After that date, the chapel San Sebastián was built. After 1740, it is said that the devotion to San Sebastián increased and to San Antón as well. The reason might be the tradition of bringing animals to the chapel on the day of the saint.
In the streets of Torrenueva we find various noble family mansions. These mansions once belonged to noblemen, as it is evidenced by the heraldic coats of arms that still remain. Two of these stand out; the Solis Mansion, with a stone door and coat of arms, and the Bustamente Mansion , with its beautiful patio and porch with balustrades of carved wood.
Fiestas and traditions
La Borricá, an exclusive festivity of Torrenueva
As an important and exclusive festival in Torrenueva, we should mention “la Borricá”, which has become increasingly well established and very well known in the district. It is a religious festival, where normally an inhabitant of Torrenueva pledges to carry the flag of the “lost souls” for a whole day.
A big number of locals join them riding a horse around the town. Years ago, they used to ride mules or donkies, that’s why this festivity is called “La Borricá” (a herd of donkeys). The person in charge of the flag invites their friends and all the locals from Torrenueva to drink and to eat typical sweets of the region, as well as nuts… The festivity ends in the church, where the people give the priests money along with an emotional ovation.
Fair 8 September; festivity of Santo Cristo del Consuelo, 14 September; San Antón 17 January; San Sebastián, 20 January; Las Cruces 1 to 3 May; la Romería de San Isidro 15 May and San Cristobal on the closest Sunday to the 10 July.