Route of the Cid
The Route of the Cid is a cultural tourist trail that retraces the footsteps of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, the great nobleman and warrior known as ‘The Cid’. The itinerary is based on The Poem of the Cid,[...]Read more
- About The Cid
Rodrigo Díaz was born at the end of the first half of the 11th century. In 1058 he joined the court of King Ferdinand I, and on his death, he began to serve King Sancho of Castile, who appointed him the royal standard bearer. His many victories in battles against other knights would soon earn him the title of El Campeador - the ‘Outstanding Warrior’.
In 1072, during a fratricidal struggle, King Sancho was killed in the siege of Zamora. He was succeeded by his brother Alphonse, who became King of León, Castile and Galicia.
Following the change of monarch, The Cid lost much of his power and influence, and the constant frictions at the new court - where The Cid had powerful enemies - resulted with him being sent into exile in 1081. After leaving Castile, he entered the service of the Muslim kingdom of Zaragoza, where he reaped numerous victories leading armies made up of Christians and Muslims.
In late 1086 or early 1087, faced with the danger of an invasion by the Almoravids, King Alphonse VI granted The Cid a pardon. He returned to Castile, although it would not be long before he set out again for the Levant region in order to continue fighting. Shortly afterwards, in 1088, a further dispute with the king led to a second period of exile, which this time lasted for some four years. Following years of continued fighting, and after a long and relentless siege, The Cid finally conquered Valencia, where he would die in 1099.
- The Poem of the Cid
The Cid died in 1099 as Prince of Valencia, the city that would be governed by his wife Jimena until it was conquered by the Almoravids in 1102. Following his death, The Cid’s reputation as an invincible warrior spread rapidly in the Christian lands that bordered with those ruled over by the Muslims. Many troubadours and poets sang of the warrior’s feats, although the best-known of all is The Poem of the Cid, written in the early 13th century, a hundred years after his death.
The origins of the poem most probably lie in the lyrical tradition that surrounded this historic figure, which was used and elaborated on by the author or authors, although the facts were altered and magnified by the passing of time. Indeed, The Poem of the Cid is not a historical tale, as many of the events narrated are fictitious, although it is true that its origins are rooted in a true story.
The Poem of the Cid is Spain’s finest medieval epic poem and the first major example of literature written in the Spanish language. It quickly spread across the country’s borders, turning The Cid into an internationally-renowned myth through the recreation of his feats in countless studies, novels, plays, operas and films.
- The Route of the Cid. Practical information
The Route of the Cid is a cultural tourist itinerary that crosses regions that during the Middle Ages formed major boundaries. It passes through peaceful countryside settings of immense historical, artistic and natural value. The Route of the Cid can be followed in any of the following ways:
- Hiking, mainly along countryside tracks and paths.
- By off road - MTB bike, mostly along countryside tracks and paths.
- Classic cycle tourism along secondary roads with little traffic: suitable for cyclists that prefer tarmac to dirt tracks.
- By motor vehicles: cars, motorbikes, etc., along secondary roads and a number of main roads.
The Route of the Cid offers two itineraries as it makes its way through Castilla y León: the Route of Exile and the Borderlands, with lengths of between 270 km and 370 km depending on the chosen means of transport. All sections of the route are signposted.
The Route of the Cid Consortium is responsible for running and maintaining this itinerary. It has a website http://www.caminodelcid.org featuring all the necessary information: topography guides, maps, tracks, accommodation and all other details for travellers, supported by the Tourism Offices that can be found along the route. Together with the Consortium, these offices can issue the Letter of Safe Conduct, the Route’s credential that entitles users to special promotions and discounts of at least 10% at more than 200 accommodation options situated along the way.
More info: www.caminodelcid.org