Nestling on a gentle slope leading down to the banks of the River Oca, this area is dotted with small woods of pines, holm and gall oaks, as well as junipers and boxwoods, whilst the bottom of the valley is filled with orchards and vegetable patches.

The town flourished during the days of Sancho García, who founded the Monastery of San Salvador, which was as wealthy and influential as those of Santo Domingo de Silos or Las Huelgas. The town prospered thanks to numerous donations and privileges, and the Abbot ruled over more than 100 churches and monasteries, as well as 170 towns and villages.

In the 14th century, in an attempt to defend this strategic location on the road between the central plateau and the ports of Cantabria, Sancho Díaz began to build a wall, including several towers which are still standing today.