Natural Park of Las Batuecas
According to the dictionary of the Real Academia de la Lengua, to "be in Las Batuecas" is to be distracted and oblivious to something: meaning, to be engrossed and fascinated. Feelings of this kind are still felt today by the people who visit this secret valley, protected by escarped mountains and containing a beautiful Mediterranean-type forest, a place where some of the most interesting species of Iberian fauna have found refuge.
Add to this the valuable cave paintings from the Neolithic era that can be found in the valleys caves and shelters, the high cultural value of the legends of Las Batuecas and the ethnographic and architectural collection of the village of La Alberca, and we find a space without comparison in all of Castilla y León. In the deepest part of the valley is the Carmelite convent of San José. The convent entrance is the starting point of another trail on foot which takes us to the Cascada del Chorro (waterfall) and also enables us to enjoy the scenic beauty of Las Batuecas.
DESCRIPTION OF LAS BATUECAS
Post-palaeolithic cave art, "schematic paintings" type, in shelters and fissures.
Small valley of escarped slopes and abundant vegetation.
Situated to the south of the province of Salamanca, and owes its name to the river that runs through it.
The absence of written documents about Las Batuecas before the end of the 18th century and its geographic assignation to one of the most isolated counties in Spain have contributed to the emergence of all sorts of legends that have spread through literature and popular tradition.
The collection of Prehistoric schematic paintings are distributed among the quartzite shelters forming the valley and along the course of the river.
The technique used for these type of paintings is simple and uniform: flat inks and lineal strokes (normally red and ochre, less frequently, black and yellow, and also white, which is used often in Las Batuecas).
The subjects of the paintings are predominately bars and dots. There are also anthropomorphic and zoomorphic drawings (man and animal forms), which are sometimes part of a scene. There is a clear naturalist tendency in the case of Las Batuecas.
The chronology starts during the mid-Neolithic and develops further in the final Neolithic and Calcolithic.
Cave shelters listed in the Valle de las Batuecas:
1. Canchal de las Cabras pintadas
2. Canchal del Águila
3. Canchales de la Pizarra
4. Canchales del Zarzalón
5. Cueva del Cristo
6. Umbría del Canchal del Cristo
7. Canchales de Mahoma
8. Umbría de la Cotorrina
9. Majadilla de las Torres
10. Canchal de los Acerones
11. Corral de Morcilla
12. Covacho del Pallón
13. Risco del Ciervo
14. Canchal de Villita
15. Canchal de las Torres
These cave shelters have been declared Assets of Cultural Interest. El Canchal de las Cabras Pintadas has a specific mention.
CONTAINS THE COMMUNITIES OF:
Monsagro, El Maillo, La Alberca, Prado Carreras, Las Batuecas, El Cabaco, Peña de Francia, Caserito, Nava de Francia, Mogarraz, Herguijuela de la Sierra, Rebollosa, Monforte de la Sierra, Madroñal, Cepeda, Soto Serrano.
Hiking and cycling.